The $50MM CanExport Program

In an effort to increase and facilitate the expansion into new markets, Canada’s federal government recently announced the launch of the CanExport program. This new program will provide up to $50MM in financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada over the next five years.

Supporting Small Business

SMEs represent 99% of all Canadian businesses. The fund aims to help these companies cover some of the costs associated with exporting goods and expanding business opportunities into new markets. Registered Canadian firms with under 250 full-time employees and between $200,000 and $50 million in annual revenue will be able to take advantage of this program. The program focuses on SMEs in high-growth markets, bridging the gap in financing when it comes to exporting.

Up to 50% of the cost of eligible activities and expenses between $10,000 to $100,000 will be reimbursed through the CanExport program. Activities and associated expenses undertaken by SMEs with the purpose of expanding the export of good and services, such as travelling to target markets, participating at trade fairs, adapting marketing tools for a new market, and conducting market research, are eligible for this financial support.

Expansion into any country will be supported, provided that there are no trade or economic sanctions imposed by Canada in the region and that the applicant company hasn’t exported to that country within the past 24 months. Ineligible activities include core operational activities and ongoing promotional activities in already established markets. Companies in all sectors are eligible, with the exception of agriculture, food and beverage, fish and seafood, and wine, beer, and spirits which are eligible for support for exporting through Agri-Food Canada’s AgriMarketing Program.

Eligible applicants need to apply and be accepted into the program before being able to receive reimbursement for costs. Only one CanExport project can be undertaken at a time, but companies may reapply for the program once a project and all associated claims have been concluded.

The Benefits of the CanExport Program

Expanding into new markets can help companies mitigate risks, reduce market volatility through diversifying customers and suppliers, and increase the potential for long-term growth. With the current state of the Canadian dollar, accessing US or European markets and generating revenue in other currencies can help prepare Canadian companies for expansion domestically and internationally.

Taking advantage of the CanExport program provides companies with the financial support they need to grow beyond Canadian borders. By having a sense of the global market and being active abroad, Canadian companies will be able to develop and grow into innovative leaders with long-term viability.