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Small business benefits to support steel and aluminum industries

As a result of the U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, the federal government has announced $100 million in funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises. This new initiative will provide non-repayable contributions to SMEs within the steel and aluminum industries for innovative projects that will enhance productivity and/or competitiveness. 

Contributions will range from $150,000 to $1 million, to support up to a maximum of 45 percent of eligible project costs. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis, beginning on March 11, 2019, until all funding has been fully allocated, and project activities must be completed by March 31, 2020 Applications must be made through your regional development agency (see table below in the section on Detailed information by region).


Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Employ between 10 and 499 individuals on a full-time basis in Canada;
  • Be intensive users of steel or aluminum (i.e., steel and/or aluminum expenditures are equal to or greater than 20 percent of total input costs); and
  • Demonstrate plans for projects pursuing productivity enhancements, and/or innovations to augment firm competiveness.
Eligible Costs
  • Activities that support and accelerate business growth and competitiveness are eligible for funding. Priority will be given to project activities that are defined as product and process improvements linked to productivity-enhancing investments or operations.
  • All costs must be reasonable and directly related to the eligible project activities. Costs that are deemed unreasonable, or not directly related to project activities, will be ineligible for reimbursement. (See application guide in section on Detailed information by region)
Disbursement of funding
  • If you are successful in obtaining funding for your project, you will be reimbursed for the approved portion of eligible project costs that you have incurred and paid. 
  • Since successful applicants must submit a claim for reimbursement, there will be a delay between the time costs are incurred, and when reimbursement is made. You will therefore need to plan your project cash flow accordingly.
Detailed information by region

Western Economic Diversification

  • Deadline: April 8th, 2019
  • Application Forms:Form Western
  • Application Guides: Guide Western
  • Total amount to be distributed:$24.99 million

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

  • Deadline: April 8th, 2019
  • Application Forms:Form Atlantic
  • Application Guides: Guide Atlantic
  • Total amount to be distributed:$6.80 million

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Region

  • Deadline: April 8th, 2019
  • Application Forms: Form Quebec
  • Application Guides:Guide Quebec
  • Total amount to be distributed:$26.17 million

Fedev Ontario

Fednor Ontario    

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