Photo of Canadian 100 dollar bills for a blog post about Nova Scotia small business grants

Five Nova Scotia small business grants

As small business owners in Nova Scotia, we all have great ideas, big plans, and business goals on our to-do list. One of the greatest challenges to achieving those goals and expanding into new territory is money. This issue of the Five & Free Series is here to share five Nova Scotia small business grants that are available right now. So if you’re ready to take your small business to new heights, we’re here to fuel fund your dreams with a quick guide to a few solid programs available right here in your backyard.

Nova Scotia small business grants

When we say grant we mean non-repayable contributions to your business through funding and rebate programs. From training support to wage subsidies, energy efficiency rebates and assessments, and funding to help you get your products and services on the market outside of Nova Scotia, these programs are incredible resources designed to empower small businesses like yours. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to expand or a budding startup eager to make your mark, there are small business grants here for just about every one of you, I’m sure.

01. Graduate to Opportunity

With the Graduate to Opportunity (GTO) programs you can hire a recent graduate and the Government of Nova Scotia will cover a portion of their salary. The program helps build a stronger workforce and retain young people in Nova Scotia with a salary incentive that makes it easier to hire recent graduates.

GTO Grow is for employers looking to hire a permanent, full-time position that pays at least $37,500 a year. Employers receive 25% of the first year’s salary and 12.5% of the second year’s salary.

GTO Innovate is for those looking to hire a recent masters or PhD grad for an innovation-focused job that pays at least $60,000 a year. Eligible employers receive 30% of the first year’s salary and 15% of the second year’s salary.

Both GTO Grow and GTO Innovate provide an additional 10% in subsidy in year 1 if the employer hires a graduate that self-identifies as Mi’kmaq or Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, a visible minority, a person with a disability, member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, a woman in an occupation where they are under-represented or an international student.

Learn more: Graduate to Opportunity Program

02. START Program

The START Program helps employers find and attract the people they need while providing employment to unemployed workers who are ready to tackle new challenges. The main form of funding available through this program is a wage subsidy.

Wage incentives help offset some of the costs of hiring a new employee. Preference is given to employers who can offer full-time, sustainable employment. Employment Nova Scotia determines wage incentive amounts on a case-by-case basis, considering the type of employment, wages, employee’s skill level, and how long the employee has been looking for work.

Learn more: START Program

03. Export Development Program

The Export Development Program is for Nova Scotia businesses who are ready to increase sales outside Nova Scotia and improve competitiveness while having a positive impact the Nova Scotia economy. The program provides financial incentives to help a business overcome barriers to export growth. There are two streams:

  • Stream 1: Travel, trade shows, conferences, and trade missions (in-person and virtual); and
  • Stream 2: Hire a consultant or service provider to plan and market export operations

Learn more: Export Development Program

04. Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive

The Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive (WIPSI) is intended to support training activity to help businesses compete outside Nova Scotia. Training should help your business move in a new direction or expand your core operations, and promote growth and profitability. WIPSI primarily provides 100% funding for direct training costs of up to $10,000.

Learn more: WIPSI Program

05. Small Business Energy Solutions

The best way to grab a customer’s attention and get them to see, review, and engage with your Google Business Profile, is to leverage visual elements. Level up with captivating photos (interior, exterior, staff, customers, and products/services), a striking cover image, and your logo. These elements not only catch the eye but also make you memorable, ensuring you stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on potential customers.

Learn more: Small Business Energy Solutions Program

Connect funding with business growth

As we know, money can’t buy you happiness but a thriving business and realizing your dreams might! So if you’re wondering how to turn these programs into business opportunities. That’s where we come in, we can help you build marketing and development strategies that leverage funding to achieve your business goals while … expanding your team, greening your business, leveling up your team’s skills, or reaching new markets.

Boom12 + Nova Scotia Small Business Grants

“When I went back to my partner,” declared a happy client, “with not only a great marketing plan but also the money to make it happen, it was an instant win.” We help small businesses leverage funding, strategies, and financing to grow and succeed. We can even help you complete the forms. Why don’t we level up your business with the power of these and more Nova Scotia small business grants together? Let’s start with a virtual coffee or simply drop us a line with any questions.

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