Photo credit: Paul Falardeau Flickr: http://bit.ly/drN6PW

Whether you are starting a new business or purchasing an existing business, securing finances for your business can be difficult and frustrating.

In this blog post we have identified key Federal and Provincial loan and grant programs that you may be eligible for and might help ease your financial frustrations.

Getting started

The most important step you can do, prior to seeking out financial assistance for your business, is to develop a business plan. It may seem like a tedious task, but many lenders and grant programs will only award financial assistance to businesses that have a well thought out business plan. To assist you in designing and developing a business plan here are two online resources:

Provincial, Federal, and Community Options

There are a number of provincial initiatives, local community loan funds, and other financing opportunities across Canada.

Locally, there is your local HRDC office. HRDC can direct you to various local funding options that might not be available in the provincial context.

To search for federal programs only: www.cbsc.org/english/finance/searchfinance.cfm 

To search for programs by province: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/so01884e.html 

In Western Canada, the Western Economic Diversification Fund assists businesses in securing funding and financing: http://www.wd.gc.ca/eng/home.asp 

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Calmeadow are two common financing sources for entrepreneurs.

BDC http://www.bdc.ca/

Further, the BDC has an excellent resource on Demystifying your Bank when it comes to Business Loans. This resource will help you identify key questions to ask your bank in relation to your prospective loan. http://www.bdc.ca/en/advice_centre/articles/Pages/demystify_your_banker.aspx 

Calmeadow http://www.calmeadow.com/ 

There are many other financing options, but start with the links above. As you research your financial options, be sure to read all of the small print. Many grants have reporting requirements and many loans have high interest rates.

About the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan®:

Comprehensive Coverage.
Competitively Priced.

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan® was created to meet the needs of small businesses who historically found it difficult to provide group benefits for their employees. Even today, after 35 years, there are still few alternatives for the small business owner and worker. The Chambers Plan is the largest plan of its kind in Canada covering over 25,000 small businesses from coast to coast. On these pages we’re sure you’ll discover the same combination of value, benefits and peace of mind that Chambers Plan members currently enjoy.

Click here to learn more.

This article originally appeared in “Small Business Tips”, a blog brought to you by the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan.

Click here to access the blog.