What You Need To Know About The CanExport Program

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A brand new program, run by Global Affairs Canada, is offering an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to grow and access new export opportunities. With many of our members interested in accessing new markets from the USA to Europe to Australia and everywhere in between, we know that this new program – called CanExport – might be a useful tool, especially if you’re looking to diversify the markets your business is currently engaging in.

Here’s what you need to know:

Program Basics

  • CanExport provides $50 million over 5 years to assist small and medium sized companies to “develop new export opportunities and markets, particularly high-growth priority markets and sectors.
  • You have to submit an application for CanExport funding, and each application is judged on its export business case, its market potential, the export readiness/history of the applicant, alignment with the Government of Canada’s trade priorities and the ability for the project to yield incremental results in a new territory for the applicant. (See here for a definition of incrementality).
  • For each applicant, the program rovides a minimum contribution of $10,000 (requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $20,000) and a maximum contribution of $99,999 (which requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $199,998).
  • The program reimburses up to 50% of eligible expenses, and requires that the applicant match funds on a one-to-one basis.

Who is eligible?

  •  It’s a targeted program for small and medium sized businesses only, so the following criteria applies:
    • For-profit companies that are either incorporated legal entities or have a limited liability partnership (LLC).
    • Applicants need to have a CRA business identifier number.
    • Annual revenues for the firm need to be between $200,000 – $50 million.
    • The applicant needs to employ between 1-250 full time employees.
  • All industry sectors are eligible (with the exception of any food & agriculture sectors that have their own program).

What are eligible activities that can be funded through CanExport?

  • Activities must aim to promote international business development and must go beyond the applicant’s core activities, represent new or expanded initiatives and provide an opportunity to yield incremental results.
  • Examples of eligible activities:
    • Business travel, participation at trade fairs, market research, adaptation of marketing tools for a new market and the legal fees associated with a distribution/representation agreement.

 What type of activities are not eligible for funding support through CanExport?

  • On-going or core operational activities.
  • Activities in a market where you have been exporting in the last 24 months.
  • Promotional efforts that are “normal business activities”
  • Promotion of language training and other education services where funding is from federal or provincial/territorial sources.
  • Investment promotion or seeking of entrepreneurial immigrants.
  • Anything involving used equipment (some exceptions)

What kinds of expenses are eligible for inclusion in CanExport?

  • A maximum of 50% of eligible expenses are shared between applicant and CanExport.
  • Travel costs, contractor fees and consultant fees.

For more information about the program, including stacking limits, limits on funding, and more, please check out the Application Guideline or visit the FAQ

CanExport website: http://international.gc.ca/canexport/index.aspx?lang=eng