On January 5, 2016, Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland unveiled CanExport, a new five-year, $50-million Government of Canada program that provides direct financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) seeking to develop new export opportunities, especially in high-growth emerging markets.
To be eligible for this program, companies must have in between $200,000 to $50 million in annual revenues.
Business activities eligible for CanExport funding include:
- business travel to target markets;
- participation at trade fairs;
- adaptation of marketing tools for a new market;
- market research; and,
- legal fees associated with a distribution/representation agreement.
Expenses incurred by businesses are reimbursable by CanExport on a 50/50 cost-shared basis. Successful applicants can receive a minimum of $10,000 per application (requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $20,000) and a maximum contribution of $99,999 per application (which requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $199,998);
Examples of eligible expenses include:
- the cost of travel for up to two employees;
- travel per diems of up to $400 per day for two employees;
- the cost of registration at a trade fair and booth fees;
- translation/interpretation costs;
- fees related to the design, editing, adaptation and printing of marketing tools for specific markets;
- legal fees pertaining to incremental activities targeting the export of products and/or services in a new market; and
- business consultant fees for organizing business-to-business (B2B) meeting programs and matchmaking related to a CanExport-funded international business development activity.
Additional information on eligibility, eligible activities and expenses and the application process is available online in the CanExport Applicant’s Guide.
All sectors are eligible, except for agriculture, food and beverage, fish and seafood and wine, beer and spirit sectors. They can apply for export support through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriMarketing Program.