We’ve come a long way since March 2020. At the outset of the pandemic, commentators were predicting a catastrophic collapse. As ordinary life ground to a halt, warnings rang out that we could soon be facing economic hardship not seen since the Great Depression.
As we know, that didn’t actually happen. Instead, the pandemic gave rise to a historic bull market, a record-shattering 21 months. S&P 500 increased by 114% and startups raised $450 billion in venture capital. However, on June 13, 2022, when the S&P finished 21.8% below its January 3 peak, it became clear the party was coming to an end. Low unemployment and stable spending indicate that the economy is still relatively strong. With markets falling, inflation looming, and interest rates creeping up, consumers and businesses are coming to terms with a more challenging economic environment. If you are a business owner, it’s more important than ever to understand the options available to you. Luckily, Granted is here to help.
How are grants factoring into your post-pandemic business strategy? We’ve thought of a few possibilities you may want to consider.
1. Leverage Non-Dilutive Funding to Thrive in a Lean Capital Environment
VC funding in the first quarter of 2022 was impressive by ordinary standards. It has fallen considerably from the delirious heights reached in 2021 and is likely to continue on that trajectory for some time. With less investor capital up for grabs, you can turn to non-dilutive funding in the form of grants. The main advantage of non-dilutive funding is that you don’t have to give up any equity in exchange for the funds. This means you retain more control of your business, and–if you want to–you can sell shares in your business at a later date when they’re more valuable. Fortunately, grant funding tends to become more available at precisely the time that investor capital is becoming less available since governments use grants to stimulate economic growth.
2. Overcome a Tight Labour Market by Upskilling Your Employees with Training Grants
Struggling to hire skilled personnel in a competitive labour market? Maybe you can retrain the staff you already have, and maybe you can get the training paid for! Granted can help you identify the kinds of training opportunities that can be funded through grants. This will help streamline your business growth by building the capacity of your existing team.
For more information on training grants, check out our blog on Training Grants for Companies in Canada.
3. Offset the Cost of Hiring With Hiring Grants
If you’ve hired recently or interviewed for a new position yourself, you’re probably aware of the upward trend in wages. In June, hourly wages rose 5.2% year over year – the fastest pace on record. Business owners concerned about rising costs should look into hiring grants as a mitigation strategy. As our recent newsletters have detailed, hiring grants are becoming more competitive, but they are still available. Our resident grant experts can help you determine which programs are most appropriate for your business.
For more insights into hiring grants, check out our blog on How to Leverage Canadian Hiring Grants.
4. Counteract Slowing Sales by Expanding Into New Markets with Expansion Grants
Are inflation-wary consumers spending less on your products/services? Now might be a good time to explore larger markets. Rest assured, this doesn’t have to be a high-risk activity: with market expansion grants, you can access subsidies to get your business established in a new market. These grants are a lot of work to apply for, but they are definitely worth the effort. If you need help with your application, you know who to call (Granted, not Ghostbusters).
Feeling lost with grant strategies? Our Grant Angels are privy to industry insights and consider many things, including the points above, when formulating grant strategies for our clients. Head over to our Grant Quiz to get in touch with us!