WEB H1 Subventions numeriques disponibles pour les entreprises au Quebec en 2023 HR

Digital grants available for businesses in Québec in 2023

By Webit Interactive

10 min.

Are you planning major marketing and e-commerce projects in 2023? Are you aware of the government’s various financial grant programs? Some of them reimburse 75% of eligible expenses up to $350,000 per project.

Average SME marketing expenses

In 2019, the BDC conducted a survey of Canadian SMEs to find out their average annual marketing spending. It found that:

  • Companies with 50 or more employees spend about $100,000.
  • Companies with 20 to 49 employees spend about $60,000.
  • Marketing still costs the smallest companies about $30,000.
WEB Digital grants available for businesses in Quebec in 2023 Graphic

Investing in the right marketing strategy

A trusted partnership with an integrated agency to create a 360° business strategy can help you get the most out of your marketing investment. Several experts dedicated to your business will propose solutions based on your priorities, your goals, and most importantly, your budget.

Through this partnership, you’ll be able to determine the grant amount required to actualize your 2023 strategy.

3 digital grants available in 2023

The provincial and federal governments support and encourage the development and growth of Québec and Canadian SMEs through various grants, including several that offer financial support for digital transitions, marketing projects and e-commerce initiatives.

However, the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation and Investissement Québec have suspended application receipt for several grants to guarantee funds are available for projects that have already been accepted.

Consequently, the following grants are on hold:

  • Programme de soutien à la commercialisation et à l'exportation (PSCE)
  • CanExport SMEs

Below are other sources of funding that are still available and specifically geared to digital development.

1. Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)

Like any digital initiative grant, the CDAP program supports technology upgrades to increase online sales and drive business towards growth.

Who can apply for the grant?

Owners of for-profit SMEs incorporated and registered in Canada with at least one employee and in direct contact with consumers (sells goods or services) can apply.

What’s the grant’s purpose?

The CDAP enables businesses to automate processes (inventory, CRM, etc.), develop or upgrade a transactional website, enter e-commerce, invest in digital technologies to improve productivity and finance a digital marketing strategy.

How much is the grant?

It is divided into two subsidies of up to $17,400:

  • Up to $2,400 to develop online business
  • Up to $15,000 to improve technology

For eligibility criteria or additional information, visit the Canadian Digital Adoption Program page or complete their grant assessment tool.

2. Investissement Québec’s ‘Programme Innovation’

Programme Innovation focuses on projects that are innovative or have a high potential of increasing a company's sales. They must have a research and development component and involve a technological risk/uncertainty.

Who can apply for the grant?

Unlike some grants, this one is not limited to the field of activity of companies. Even cooperatives and NPOs are eligible.

What’s the grant’s purpose?

This grant aims to encourage the economic recovery of Québec and Canadian companies by offering them financial assistance from planning to product or process pre-commercialization.

How much is the grant?

The financial assistance table is posted on Investissement Québec’s page and details the maximum subsidy available and the total cumulative government assistance for the three possible grant amounts:

  • Single company: up to $100,000 per project
  • Company with collaborative project: up to $150,000 per company
  • Company at real demo stage or presenting a technology showcase: maximum assistance of $350,000 per project

3. ESSOR program

ESSOR is another Investissement Québec program that will end March 31, 2024. It is divided into four components, two of which provide financing for digital initiatives. In so doing, ESSOR aims to support the growth of Québec companies.

Who can apply for the grant?

Whether you’re an NPO, an SME, or a coop, you may be eligible for this government assistance. That said, many sectors of activity are excluded, including health care and social assistance services, finance and insurance, restaurants, and many others.

Exception to the rule? If you need to implement digital solutions, you can apply.

What’s the grant’s purpose?

Only the first digital component comes in the form of a grant. The second consists of reimbursable funding.

The grant supports technology acquisitions or the technological transition of SMEs, coops, and NPOs, mainly in terms of feasibility studies and digital diagnostics.

How much is the grant?

The amount is two-pronged:

  • A non-repayable investment for up to 50% of approved expenses. The total can be up to $100,000 for each accepted project.
  • A maximum of $20,000 allocated for the duration of the program only.

For full details and contact information, see: ESSOR – Volet 1: Appui à la concrétisation de projets d’investissement (études de faisabilité et diagnostic numérique) (Phase 1: Support for the implementation of investment projects (feasibility studies and digital diagnostics))

Other useful forms of financing for your marketing projects

Maybe you don’t need a grant and interest-free repayable financing, as opposed to bank loans and lines of credit, will suffice. If this is the case, the government can also help. Moreover, in some cases, NPOs aren’t required to repay the financing.

Business development and productivity

This federal program targets economic growth through innovation. It is part of the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program and can be used at different stages of a marketing or digital project.

Who can apply for the grant?

This financial assistance is aimed at both SMEs and NPOs, mainly in the manufacturing, food processing, information technology, communications, and multimedia sectors, as well as in the life sciences.

What’s the grant’s purpose?

REGI funding aims to:

  • Assist in the acquisition of equipment, machinery or digital infrastructure aimed at increasing productivity and innovation.
  • Support marketing and market development, including marketing and advertising activities.
  • Revitalize or introduce automated management processes and systems.

How much is the grant?

The grant covers up to 90% of costs for NPOs and up to 50% of costs for SMEs.

For SMEs, repayment begins two years after the end of the project. For NPOs, it’s a gift from above; they are not required to repay the grant.

Check out the eligibility criteria and get the full details on the Government of Canada’s website.

Ask for a quote to get the grant you need!

It can be challenging to estimate the value of a business strategy that includes the marketing tools you need, the web solutions right for you and the implementation of a strong and distinctive digital brand.

Ask a Webit account manager for help. Not only will they make you aware of other grants, but they'll also guide you to the agency's expert resources to develop a proposal for an effective and profitable digital plan.

In the current inflationary context, it’s essential to adapt your marketing strategy to your new reality to affect a well-planned and robust economic recovery.

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