Government help for export marketing costs

The Government of Canada has a program designed to increase competitiveness of Canadian companies by supplementing their marketing costs in foreign markets. CanExport will provide up to $50 million over a set period in direct financial support to small businesses in Canada seeking to develop new export opportunities.

CanExport program:


  • Reimburses up to 50%  of eligible expenses
  • Requires that the applicant match funds on a one-to-one basis
  • The maximum annual CanExport contribution per applicant is set at $99,999 per government fiscal year (in the event of multiple subsequent projects being approved in the same fiscal year), which begins on April 1 of each year and ends on March 31 of the following year
  • Provides a minimum contribution of $10,000 per project (requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $20,000) and a maximum contribution of $ 50,000 per project (which requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $ 100,000)
  • Is open to projects in any sector, with the exception of sectors for which other specific federal export development funding programs exist. Ex: sectors including agriculture and processed food, fish and seafood, and wine, beer and spirits are excluded from CanExport because companies active in these particular sectors and looking for export support are eligible to apply to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriMarketing program

For full details, please visit the CanExport site.

Is your small business eligible?


The CanExport program is open to small businesses in every sector (with the exception of businesses in agriculture, fish and seafood, and wine, beer and spirits sectors for which other funding opportunities are in place). Small and medium-size enterprises in high-growth priority markets and sectors are particularly good candidates to receive direct financial support from this new program.

In order to be considered for CanExport program funding, your small business must be a for-profit company and meet these additional criteria:

  • Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business identifier number
  • Have no less than $200,000 and no more than $50 million in annual revenue declared in Canada
  • Have at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee and up to a maximum of 250 FTE employees

Determine your eligibility for funding by using the Applicant’s Guide to the CanExport program.

Eligible funding activities


Funding is available for activities that “aim to promote international business development” such as business travel (for up to two employees), market research, and legal fees to cover the cost of a distribution agreement.

For example, the costs associated with registering for a trade show in a foreign market, setting up a display booth there, and shipping promotional materials for the event are all eligible expenses.

Expenses associated with ongoing operational activities, salaries and commissions, capital costs or promotional efforts unrelated to exporting are not eligible, nor are any expenses that were incurred prior to the approval of the application.

For a full list of eligible and ineligible expenses under this funding opportunity, visit the Global Affairs Canada CanExport program website.

 

(Before you take action on any of the information above, we recommend consulting with a qualified business advisor that understands your unique needs and situation for your specific business and/or personal plans.)