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Government funding FAQs

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What is Funding Portal?

Funding Portal is a comprehensive service helping companies like yours to get government and private sector funding.Get Funding >

What are Government Grants and Contributions?

Often referred to as "Gs & Cs," government grants and contributions within the business marketplace are government funding assistance to businesses to support specific commercial and industrial policy objectives.

What types of funding programs are included in Funding Portal's searches and services?

Funding Portal takes a comprehensive approach to searching through all government funding and private financing programs to find the right type of funding instrument for your business. Here is an overview of the types of funding included on the Fundsearch tool:

  • Contributions: Repayable financial contributions awarded by governments to an organization.
  • Equity: Ownership stakes by government in the shares of the applicant company's corporation.
  • Government funding programs: Grants, contributions, loans, vouchers and tax incentives offered by government to applicant organizations as sources of industrial and economic stimulus.
  • Grants: Non-repayable financial contributions awarded by the government to an organization.
  • Incentives: Funding (grants, contributions, loans, tax credits, vouchers) disbursed by Canadian governments to support businesses and the economy.
  • Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs): Formerly known as Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRBs), Industry Canada's ITB Program ensures that aerospace and defence companies winning contracts worth more than $100 million provide contracts of equivalent value to Canadian contractors. The Government is currently reviewing this program.
  • Industrial Stimulus: See “Incentives”.
  • Loans: Funds loaned by a government agency or a private party to an organization.
  • Private financing programs: Canadian sources of venture capital (VC), angel financing, bank financing, private foundations and private investment available to applicant Canadian businesses.
  • Tax Credits: Tax refunds and tax credits are a type of funding administered through the tax system that provides refunds or credits on eligible investments.
  • Value Proposition (VP): A new "rated and weighted" approach to evaluating the quality of defence procurement projects under the Industrial and Technological Benefit (ITB) program.
  • Vouchers: Vouchers are pre-paid fund flowing from a government agency to a research institution to conduct R&D, e-business or commercialization services on behalf of a business.
  • Wage Subsidies: Funding to support all or part of an employee's salary, wage subsidies are generally applicable to persons with certain characteristics, such as students, interns, graduates, unemployed workers, people with disabilities, or aboriginal persons.

Why use Funding Portal?

Use Funding Portal to find government funding and private matching funds for your organization in a fraction of the time. 

Without Funding Portal:

  • Average time required to find funding: 12 business days/ 94 hours
  • Average cost per hour: $150 blended rate for professional/ in-house time $13,700 
  • Total time and costs: 12 business days and $14,000 in out-of-pocket costs 

With Funding Portal:

  • Average time spent by Fundingsources customers: 2.4 hours
  • Average cost using Funding Portal: $5180 (Including client time priced at $75/hour)
  • Total Time and Costs: 2.4 hours and $5180 in costs

Savings over conventional method:

  • Time: 91.6 hours (3 weeks) saved
  • Money: $8,820 saved 

How much funding is paid out in Canada each year through government funding programs, including grants and contributions?

While it is difficult to tally because governments account for grants and contributions in many different ways, it is estimated that governments in Canada at the federal, provincial and municipal levels together provide about $30 billion in annual government funding to businesses. This funding is an important instrument for governments to stimulate economic development and achieve industrial policy objectives, and is common in developed countries around the world.

Are there funding opportunities available for my business?

There is only one way to find out. Search using Fundsearch, our high-powered search engine, and apply using our business advisory services to improve your outcomes. Before Funding Portal, it took days to identify government funding and private financing programs, department by department and website by website. Now, you can instantly identify appropriate funding programs and turn to Funding Portal’s expert funding services to improve your outcomes.

How does Funding Portal match its experts with funding applicants?

Funding Portal brings together some of Canada's foremost funding experts in government grants and private financing, many drawn from respected federal, provincial and municipal government funding agencies. Funding Portal matches applicants with the most relevant expert based on industry sector, location and funding objectives.

Can my location impact the funding programs to which I can apply?

Some government funding programs or private investment funds are available nationwide, while others are region-specific. Some funding programs are also geared towards certain industries or certain size businesses, such as start-ups or small businesses. Funding Portal's Fundsearch tool helps refine your results to navigate funding requirements.

Can I fill out more than one government funding application for my business?

Yes, you can apply for all the government funding programs for which you meet the requirements. However,  a small percentage of government funding programs prevent applicants from receiving funds from other programs.

Do government grants and contributions need to be repaid?

Under some government funding programs, a contribution may need to be repaid. Grants are generally not repayable provided that they are used to achieve the stated objectives of the program and the business objectives specified in the government funding agreement. Breach of the government funding agreement can trigger repayment obligations— therefore it is important to respect your engagement and keep proof of any purchases made with the funds.

Does Funding Portal sell government information?

Funding Portal is a national bilingual online portal that provides all Canadians with access to more than 15,000 federal, provincial and municipal government funding programs, tax incentives and private financing opportunities through its unique Fundsearch tool. Users are asked to register for a free account to conduct multiple searches on the tool.

Are “success fees” or “contingency-based billing” allowed? Does Funding Portal link payment of client fees to the success of the funding application in any way?

Funding Portal complies with the legal and regulatory environment governing government funding. Modest work fees are preferred by most applicants. Outcome-oriented fees can apply where permitted in law and agreed to by the parties:

  • Tax incentive programs administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, such as SR&ED, allow for contingency-based billing or “success fees”, as they are often called. Many service providers do in fact charge clients on this basis, requiring payment if and when tax incentives are received by the applicant.
  • Many grants and contributions programs require applicants to state that they will not use their government funding to pay for professional services associated with the application process. The funds are to be used to finance the approved project itself and not the application process.
  • Funding Portal never collects fees from the amount received by the applicant from the government funding program.
  • Outcome-oriented fees can apply where permitted in law and agreed to by the parties.

While our data suggests that your funding outcomes will improve by using Funding Portal, we cannot guarantee results and much will depend on the quality of the project, team  and supporting information that the applicant is able to put forward. We provide a valuable professional service and our clients accept that our fees are fair and payable for working with them to make their application the best it can be.

Our policies can be summarized as follows:

  • All work fees and supplementary fees are agreed to in advance, and set out in an invoice and/or contract.
  • Work fees are collected prior to service delivery.
  • Outcome-oriented fees are paid where permitted in law and agreed to by the parties.
  • All clients receive a receipt after payment is received.
  • No refunds are provided once payment has been received.

These practices are consistent with those adopted by reputable professional firms, worldwide.

What are the benefits of work fees relative to contingency fees?

Contingency fees are higher than work fees. Here’s a comparison:

Company is Seeking Contingency Fee Model Work Fee Model
Tier 1 Level Funding ($10k-$100k) $15,000 fee (Most firms charge 15%) $5,000 fee
Tier 2 Level Funding ($100k-$1M) $100,000 fee (Most firms charge 10%) $15,000 fee
Tier 3 Level Funding ($1M-$10M) $800,000 fee (Most firms charge 8%) $20,000 fee
Tier 4 Level Funding ($10M+) $1.2M fee (Most firms charge 6%) $25,000 fee

Why would someone pay $800,000 for Tier 3 level funding when they could only pay $20,000?

Work fees are up-front fees—they are suitable for companies that make informed assessments as to their chances of success and therefore are willing to pay a small amount up-front where they feel they have a good chance of success. Fundingportal provides companies with a custom Fundingsources Report so they can review reliable data and make informed assessments about the top sources of funding for their company, how much funding they can expect to receive from these sources, and the likelihood that their company will get funded. Then companies can feel confident paying a small work fee or contingency fees.

What are the advantages of contingency fees? Why do some companies pay them?

Companies that are raising a first round of funding often have no money at all, and can only pay for services if they receive funding. Others are highly uncertain that they will get funded and prefer to pass that risk to a service provider. Companies in these circumstances pay higher fees, but the contingent aspect of the fees can make this the right choice for some.

How can Fundingportal provide quality services at such a reduced work fee?

Fundingportal leverages data to help companies improve their funding decisions and outcomes, and uses online tools to avoid expensive office infrastructure and overhead costs, and deliver very significant savings to companies looking for funding.

What are the accepted payment methods?

Funding Portal accepts payments via credit card and cheque. PayPal payments are also accepted, but a 5% surcharge will apply. Payments must be made prior to service delivery.

Does Funding Portal offer services related to Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs)?

Funding Portal offers a one-window gateway for companies seeking information and expert services related to Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs). Funding Portal has a pan-Canadian team of experts who can match your organization with large multi-national aerospace and defence companies with ITB obligations.

What specific services will I receive under Ask-an-Expert, Apply for It, and Leverage It?

Please visit our designated Services page to learn more about each offer.