Grant Knowledge

How to Apply for a Small Business Grant

How To Apply For Small Business Grant

The Canadian government has hundreds of small business grants, loans, and tax break programs available for small business owners and startup entrepreneurs, but you may be wondering if you are eligible and how to apply.

Applying for government funding can be rather tricky. Even though there are many grants, loans, and other incentives available, these programs tend not to be promoted. This means that finding the right program or having someone else point you in the right direction could prove difficult.

So, how does one go about finding the right program and applying?

How to Apply For a Small Business Grant?

You may want to keep in mind that while small business grants tend to be the most popular choice, there are other options available that you may not be aware of. This includes repayable grants, partial contributions, and conditionally repayable grants. In addition to these, there are other forms of funding, such as low- or no-interest loans and government-guaranteed loans. These may be viable options for you to consider.

That said, let’s look at how to apply for a small business grant.

Step 1 - What are your funding needs?

You should begin by determining exactly what you need funding for. Be as specific as possible as this will help you locate the right funding programs for your needs. Some possibilities include:

  • Hiring and training costs
  • Paying of employee wages
  • Marketing and advertising costs
  • Renovations and improvements
  • Cash flow assistance
  • Purchasing of tools, equipment, and other supplies
  • Costs associated with research and development


Step 2 - How Much Funding Do You Require?

Now that you know what you need the funds for, you need to determine the exact amount you require. As with the previous step, it’s important to be as specific as possible. When you are requesting money, you need to demonstrate that you have a solid plan for its use. Be honest and accurate to inspire confidence.

Break down your needs into specific categories so that you can seek funding from multiple programs. After all, you are more likely to receive lesser funding from several programs than you are to receive a single, large grant.

As an example, you may determine that you need $30,000 to start your business. Rather than seeking a single grant to cover the full amount, you could break it up as follows:

  • $4,000 for office space
  • $12,000 for the purchase of tools and equipment
  • $8,000 for hiring employees and covering their wages for the startup period
  • $3,000 for marketing costs
  • $3,000 for start-up cash flow


This allows you to seek out several different programs for funding, greatly increasing your chances of success.

Step 3 - Have Your Business Plan Ready

Make sure you have your business plan prepared. It should clearly detail and explain your business and your funding needs in accurate detail. You may want to consider business plan software to help you out.

Step 4 - Seek Help And Support

Starting a business takes a lot of time and energy. Splitting your attention between planning your business and looking for funding may not be the best use of your resources. Don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it. Delegating certain tasks can be a lifesaver, and having a professional help secure your funding while you focus on the actual start-up can take a lot of weight off of your shoulders.

Student Hiring Small Business Grants

One grant you definitely need to consider is a student hiring grant. As a small business owner and employer, you can apply for a grant that will offset the cost of hiring a student. This can help you bring workers on board to get your business rolling.

Aside from the obvious financial reasons for seeking student hiring grants and incentives, your business can benefit from hiring students in several other ways such as:

  • Filling temporary positions. Hiring a student can be a great way to manage short-term projects or provide support to full-time staff during heavy periods.
  • Students are ready to contribute. Many talented students are ready and eager to show what they can do, bringing energy and momentum to the workplace. They are anxious to have an impact and make a difference, which is something any business can make use of.
  • Identify future employees. Hiring a student might introduce you to someone who will become a permanent member of your team, saving you the time and effort of recruiting down the road.
  • A fresh perspective. Bringing a student into your business provides you with a worker who has the most up-to-date training, which can give you new ideas and fresh insight into the business.


When applying for your small business grant, turning to a professional can help. At GrantFinders, we will let you focus on running your business while we take care of getting you the small business grant you need to subsidize a student hire.

For more information on this process and how we can help you, read about our process or contact us today!