Recently, I had a pleasure of contributing to the newest Plant magazine issue and sharing my thoughts on government grants for manufacturing sector. I would like to share this interview with you, in hopes that it will enable you to understand the whole government funding concept better and give you practical tools on how to start the grant application for your business.
It’s quite the task to stay up to speed on all the government grants a manufacturer can access. “The funding is always changing. Only a handful of programs are over five years old,” says Igor Chigrin, author of a book on the subject (Get Funded) and a government-funding expert at Fair Grant Writing in the Greater Toronto Area. “Funding is often limited by changes in government budgets and the government is not that good at communicating changes, but it’s absolutely worthwhile,” Chigrin says. “Government funding can give manufacturers the cash they need, and often it’s not repayable.”There are six main categories targeted for government funding:
- Equipment purchasing
- Skills training
- Export marketing
- Research & Development
He suggests identifying the programs you qualify for and make note of the deadlines, the eligibility requirements and the availability of the grants, details that unsuccessful applicants overlook. It’s mandatory to call the programs to ensure funding is available. “It’s always a good idea to establish a relationship with a funding agency early on.” It could take two to six weeks or six to eight months for approval, depending on the requirements. “Before you actually get your money you have to submit claims and demonstrate two things: you have expenses, and you have accomplishments. The main benefit to the manufacturer is productivity improvement. Chances are you will get more funding if this is the case.” Chigrin offers this advice to manufacturers looking to invest access grants and contributions: “If this is the road they want to take, it requires patience.”
Finding adequate funding to invest in your business can be challenging, but there are sources to tap and resources available that point to the best way forward.
Check eligibility of your company and your project idea by submitting eligibility check form.