British Columbia

From business grants to tax credits and government loans, small businesses in BC can benefit from a variety of sources of funding to get their business started [1] or keep it up and running.

Business is booming in BC, with nearly 180,000 small businesses taking advantage of the excellent economic outlook in the province. It’s a great place to start or run a business, with plenty of funding options available for all types of businesses and business needs. Many business owners in BC rely on financial incentives offered by local, provincial and federal governments to make their ventures a success.

Here, our tax accountants at T2inc.ca share what you need to know about finding the best sources of funding for small businesses in BC.

Before looking for small business grants in BC

Depending on the size of your business, its structure, and the industry in which you operate, your grants and funding options will vary. Before applying for a grant, it’s important to be prepared.

You’ll have to share a lot of information about your business when you apply for a small business grant in BC. Each government agency has its own application criteria, and you should check them over before beginning the application process to make sure you don’t waste your time on an application that is not likely to be successful, or for which you cannot complete the full application. Remember to check application deadlines before you start.

 In general, applications for small business grants require that you provide at least:

●       Your business location

●       The industry you operate in

●       What you need funding for and how much funding you need

●       A business plan

●       Your personal or business credit score. 

While it can be time-consuming to track down and supply additional grant application details, the process should not be difficult. Feel free to ask for help from an accountant or lawyer if you aren’t sure what to do or if you hit a roadblock.

How to find grants for small businesses in BC

According to Canada Startups, there are currently 303 grant programs available to small businesses in BC. You can become a member to get access to a complete list of these programs, or turn to the services of a qualified corporate accountant who will already know what programs your business could be eligible for.

Grants are available for everything from business development to training, equipment, trade shows, renovations, marketing, research and operating capital. 

Here are two examples of grants available to small businesses in BC:

Canada Digital Adoption Program

This federal grant program offers two grants to small businesses to hep them get online and build their business with the help of technology. You could be eligible for the Boost Your Business Online grant, which includes up to $15,000 to develop a Digital Adoption Plan, or the Grow Your Business Online grant, which includes up to $2,400 to set up an e-commerce. The Canada Digital Adoption Program also includes support for making your digital transition a success. 

BC Employer Training Grant

The BC Employer Training Grant is a program that provides employers or self-employed business owners in British Columbia the funding they need to train employees. This support helps companies keep up with the changing job market and stay competitive by ensuring their teams have the necessary skills. Employers are eligible to receive 80% of the cost of eligible training up to $10,000 per participant, per fiscal year.

Types of grants for small businesses in BC

There are three categories of government and non-profit grants available to small businesses in BC:

One time and renewable

This is the most common type of grant, by which a business is awarded a lump sum to use for a specific purpose, such as renovating a facility. When the business needs more money for further renovations, they can apply for money again, which is why these grants are called "renewable".

Non repayable

Non repayable grants are preferred by most business owners. Unlike a loan, non repayable grants do not have to be paid back. These grants are usually distributed based on very specific business needs.

Partial contributions

For this type of grant, you provide some of your own money to qualify for the grant. For example, if you need $20,000 for equipment, the government may give you $10,000 if you can generate the other $10,000.

Tax Credits for small businesses in BC

In addition to grants, BC small business can also benefit from specific tax credits. The following tax credits are available to eligible small businesses in BC:

●       BC Logging Tax Credit

●       BC Foreign Tax Credit

●       BC Clean Buildings Tax Credit

●       BC Training Tax Credit

●       BC Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit

●       BC Qualifying Environmental Trust Tax Credit

●       BC Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit

 There are many other tax credits available to small businesses in BC. To find out what they are, search the Government of British Columbia economic development portal or consult a business tax accountant.

Government loans for small businesses in BC

Government loans are easier to obtain than government grants, but they also must be repaid. There are four main types of loans:

1. No Interest Loans

2. Low Interest Loans

3. Conditionally Repayable Loans

4. Government Guaranteed Loans 

Remember, with the right approach to business accounting, using methods like activity based costing, you will be able to evaluate your business needs and make the most of funding opportunities. A business accountant can quickly inform you of whether your venture might qualify for a given local, provincial, or federal loan, and help you decide whether you will be able to pay back any borrowed money while still growing your business.

Find out which BC small business grants you qualify for, with help from T2inc.ca!

It’s important to know your business inside and out before applying for government funding. By knowing exactly what you will spend the money on and why your business needs financial assistance, you will be ready to apply for appropriate grants and loans.

Remember that you can turn to the help of a business accountant to guide you through every aspect of running a small business, from applying for grants to figuring out how to declare your losses.

T2inc.ca offers online small business tax accounting services to companies in BC and across Canada. Contact us today!

Frédéric Roy-Gobeil


As President of T2inc.ca and an entrepreneur at heart, I have founded many start-ups such as delve Labs and T2inc.ca. A former tax specialist at Ernst & Young, I am also a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés CPA and have a master's degree in taxation from the Université de Sherbrooke. With a passion for the world of entrepreneurship and the growth mindset, I have authored numerous articles and videos on the industry and the business world, as well as on accounting, taxation, financial statements and financial independence.

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