In continuation of my earlier blog on some key resources for small businesses in BC, below are a few more important ones:
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
An advocacy group for small businesses on topics such as taxation and reducing regulatory burdens on business. There are more than 109,000 member businesses across the country. Members can participate in “privilege programs” with reduced costs for administrative and support services.
National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program
Provides support to Canadian small and medium-sized firms in the development and commercialization of technologies. Programs range from advisory services, funding for innovative research and development projects, youth employment programs and other services.
Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program
SR&ED provides support in the form of tax credits and/or refunds to businesses that conduct research and development in Canada. Administered by Canada Revenue Agency, it offers a number of tools to assist potential, new and current claimants.
Canadian Youth Business Foundation
The foundation supports entrepreneurs aged 18 to 39. Programs for startups or newcomers to Canada offer up to $45,000 in financing. A key part of this program’s success is matching entrepreneurs with business mentors, among several other programs.
Women’s Enterprise Centre
The centre supports women entrepreneurs by offering business advisory services, business loans (up to $150,000), workshops and an award-winning mentoring program.
The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs
The FWE provides “visionary women with the education, empowerment, and energy they need to become wildly successful entrepreneurs.” Many of BC’s successful women entrepreneurs have been through this program. FWE also has a mentorship program which has helped over 500 mentees.
Boards of trade and industry associations
Your local board of trade offers resources, events and discounts on services for its members. Don’t forget your own industry association formed to help support and advocate for businesses in your specific industry. Industry Canada has a comprehensive directory.