Looking for funding that will work for YOUR business? Read this.

If you’re a little tired of wading through the sheer number of funding programs out there to find one for which you are eligible, but that also meet your business’ needs, we’ve got your back. With so many funding programs available, we understand that finding the right one can be a bit like trying to find Waldo with one eye closed.

The good news is that whether it’s at the federal, provincial, or regional level, there are a wealth of opportunities out there to help your business during the pandemic. Funding in 2021 covers everything from small business loans to capital investments, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), business modifications, and everything in between.

Here are a few tips when looking at or applying for funding programs this year.

Keep an Eye Out for NEW Funding

If you’ve checked all the funding applications as they’ve been released and haven’t found anything that fits your business needs, don’t worry, there are more coming your way. In fact, OHTO’s Tourism Recovery Innovation Program (TRIP) – Capital Projects funding stream was just released on Jan. 15, 2021 to provide tourism-dependent small businesses with up to 80 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $20,000 in non-repayable funding. This program was created to offset capital expenses related to one-time modifications and/or re-opening costs, along with the implementation of health and safety protocols and digitization measures.

In the world of government funding, a program like TRIP – Capital Projects that covers capital expenses is a rarity. This program would be good for businesses wanting to build or expand a patio, build a curbside pick-up space or install a window for contact-less pick-ups, and more. Read about this funding here and apply today.

Think About What You REALLY Need

This is actually the most important part of applying for funding – you need a clear understanding of what will make a difference for your business before you even sit down to find a funding program that will work for you. Completing a funding application is like doing a mini sales pitch, you need to be able to identify what you are selling before you can make a sale.

Ask yourself: What will make a difference for my business, long term? What will make the difference between surviving and thriving in a COVID world? Think about the possible changes that are coming down the line, and what would come in really handy to have when they do. Then brainstorm how you can make that work for YOU and still fall within the parameters of the program you are applying for.

Check Your Eligibility

It’s not 2020 any longer, you’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to completing funding applications, and the first thing you need to consider when looking at a new program is: Am I eligible? Don’t assume because you aren’t eligible for one type of grant that you won’t be for another. Every funding program is different, and deliberately so, the better to ensure every business is covered.

Gather What You Need – BEFORE You Start

Funding applications are very similar, and once you’ve completed one you’ll have a pretty good understanding of what you need to complete another. You’ll need to have your financial records on hand, along with information about your business like your HST number, legal business name, and possibly even bank account information.

Having all that information on hand before you sit down to get started will make it that much easier to finish and hit the “Submit” button to send your application off into the world.

Find the Right Program for YOUR Business

Not all funding programs are equal. In fact, they are so unequal that we created this handy funding chart to help you sort out the vastness of funds available to you. Naturally, these are all different, but with so much choice you should be able to find the perfect funding for your business.

If you are looking for reimbursement for capital expenses made between June 1, 2020 and today, the TRIP – Capital Projects is for you. If you have an idea for a way to grow your business while partnering with another organization or business in your community, then OHTO’s TRIP – Partnership Projects can be your go-to.

Hydro reductions and reimbursements, business loans with a portion that’s forgivable, rent reductions, PPE reimbursements…if you can identify a need there is a good chance there is a funding program out there that will meet it. See what we mean? The funding is out there, you just need to find it.

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