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The Ins and Outs of Grant Stacking

The Ins and Outs of Grant Stacking

Executive Summary

  • Small businesses can use more than one grant to fund projects. 
  • Stacking refers to using multiple funding sources for the same project or initiative. 
  • Not all grants allow for stacking and the ones that do will have specific requirements that need to be met.

Small businesses in Canada have access to federal, provincial, and privately offered grant programs that can support various costs associated with running a small business. This includes training, hiring, expanding, innovation, research and development, and more. 

If you’re planning a project and you’ve looked for grants to support your endeavour, you may have noticed that many programs have overlapping eligible expenses. The grant programs and eligible expenses are finite, so how do you choose the right grant? 

Sometimes, you don’t have to. 

What is grant stacking?

The term “grant stacking” refers to the practice of leveraging multiple grant programs for the same new hire, project or initiative. This offsets a greater percentage of the eligible expenses and can make projects more attainable for small businesses. 

How do you stack government grants? 

To leverage more than one grant for the same project, it’s important to understand its rules and limitations. Importantly, not all grant programs allow stacking. Most programs clearly indicate in the Applicant Guide if and how stacking is permitted. It’s important to meticulously review these rules to ensure you are working within the limits of the program. 

Stacking government grants takes an additional layer of business strategy and project management. Most of all, it requires an excellent understanding of the grant programs and their guidelines. 

Although many grant and loan programs allow for stacking, there are a few rules that you should follow. Let’s take a look:

Stacking Rules to Remember

  • No double dipping: While stacking may be allowed with certain programs, you cannot use two funding sources for the same expense. For example, you are hiring for a new position and get approved for two different hiring grants that cover 75% of the candidate’s wages. You cannot use both grants to cover 75% twice for the same position because you would make money on the new hire. Instead, most often, if stacking is permitted, you could stack up to 75% or 100% of the wages so long as it does not exceed the recommended percentages. Small businesses are meant to get support from grant programs – not profit from them.
  • Watch the percentage: If a grant allows for stacking, it will often stipulate to what percentage. Most often, the maximum allowable government contribution is 75% of the project costs. Knowing this, you can plan around having to contribute 25% at the very least. 
  • Federal and provincial: For the most part, stacking only works if you are using one provincial program and one federal program. Be sure to check the funding source to find out if the grants you’re interested in are federally or provincially funded.  

Examples of stackable government grant programs

It can be difficult to identify which grants are stackable. If you’re looking through Applicant Guide after Applicant Guide, the information can get lost in the shuffle. We’ve put together five examples of grants that allow for stacking that you can use as a reference for your future searches. 

  1. The Access to Talent program offers funding to employers across Canada in the natural product sector looking to hire an experienced individual. 
  2. The Apprenticeship Service program offers incentives to help employers across Canada onboard and train new first-year apprentices. 
  3. The Canada Periodical Fund supports editorial publishers across Canada with growth-focused projects. 
  4. The Jobs and Growth Fund is a federal loan program that helps businesses access loans for projects that create jobs and foster a green and inclusive economy. 
  5. The Natural Resources Internship through Career Launcher offers salary subsidies to employers across Canada that are hiring youth for positions in the natural resource sectors. 

This list is absolutely not exhaustive. There are dozens of provincial and stackable programs that businesses across Canada can apply for. If you’re ever lost looking for grants, head over to GetGranted to access our all-in-one grant database. You can filter grants based on your business location, industry, and goals. By simply inputting a new filter, GetGranted will show you all the stackable grants that our Researchers have identified.  

Strategy with stacking government grants

If you’re looking to maximize your grant funding, stacking needs to be considered. To do this effectively, you need to take a proactive approach and plan out your grant applications ahead of time. 

There are many different strategies that you could use, and it all depends on the goals you have for your company. If you’re in an aggressive hiring phase, then you’ll want to look at hiring grants specifically and plan your hiring based on the grant intakes. You might also consider stacking hiring and training grants to upskill and grow your team simultaneously. 

Regardless of your business goals, stacking grants can be an effective way to cushion your bottom line. At Granted, our clients have a dedicated Grant Strategist that creates custom grant planners tailored to each business’s stage, needs, and ambitions. 

Head over to our Grant Calculator to get connected with one of our Grant Angels!