Funding to Hire an Export Manager
October 23rd, 2015
Companies that export are better off than those that do not, making more money and staying in business longer. Any business should include exporting as a prominent feature in its growth strategy. No economy is permanently stable, but creating a business with ties to economies around the world helps increase profits while creating durable businesses in the process.
The Ontario Exporter’s Fund (OEF) helps businesses create and develop strategies for international business success, either increasing access or introducing them to export markets. With support from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, this grant provides government funding for businesses in Ontario to help them hire a dedicated export manager.
If you are an SME with employee numbers ranging from 5 to 500 and located in Ontario, you are on your way to success.
The OEF require eligible applicants to have between $3 and $20 million in overall sales. Given the export focus of this grant, they also require export to comprise between 10% and 50% of annual sales. When determining applicant eligibility based on total annual sales, the OEF does not consider export sales to the US if these sales result in the company exceeding the 50% threshold.
The application committee considers a company’s last two years of sales. As long as sales during one of these years meet the criteria, the company is eligible to apply.
Eligible applicants require a reference from the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade, and Employment. They place priority on applicants from the following sectors (excluding distributors and deemed manufacturers):
- Advanced manufacturing
- Building products and construction
- Clean technology (such as smart grid and environmental technologies, and renewable energy)
- Exportable professional services (such as architecture, engineering, and urban planning)
- ICT, including digital media
- Life sciences
These businesses require incorporation of at least two years at the federal or provincial level. The application process also requires a completed and audited financial statement covering the two most recent fiscal years. Businesses should be in full compliance with all pertinent government laws and regulations.
Government funding for businesses under the OEF covers up to half of eligible costs associated with the hiring of a professional export manager. The grant provides up to $80,000 for this new job position. These funds only cover the costs of hiring an export manager for up to twenty-four months, and this manager must be hired in Ontario and work in the province for a minimum of two years.
Each application requires a detailed breakdown of all the costs associated with the new hire, and need to provide this information to the OEF for budget approval.
The OEF deems potential applicants ineligible if they receive public funding towards any activities outlined in the funding application (with the exception of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade, and employment).
The OEF only covers projects for the present and future: it does not provide funding for past projects. You can only apply for expenses taking place after the eligible project approval dates.
If you are looking for any additional information about the Ontario Exporter’s Fund, or any other opportunity to apply for government funding for your business, get in contact with our team of experts at INAC. We have the expertise to help get your application noticed!