CanExport Community Investments: Applicant’s guide
On this page
- Program overview
- Are you eligible?
- Eligible activities
- Expenses we cover
- Activities and expenses we don’t cover
- How we evaluate your application
- How to apply
- After you apply
- Contact us
The CanExport Community Investments program provides financial support to communities for their foreign direct investment (FDI) initiatives and activities. The funding helps communities seeking to improve their capacity to attract, retain and expand FDI in order to create jobs for Canadians, support innovation and increase exports through specific types of activities.
We define an investor as:
- an international business establishing or expanding operations in Canada
- someone with a significant say in the management of local operations (not simply voting through shares and not someone who simply injects funds)
The program does not fund initiatives related to mergers and acquisitions, investments from other parts of Canada, trade or export.
The program supports non-profit partnerships at the local community level.
How the program works:
- You can be reimbursed for up to 50% of the cost of eligible activities
- You can receive between $3,000 and $500,000 in funding
- You don’t need to repay the grants you receive
- Funding agreements are for a one-year period, from April 1 to March 31
- If you get other federal government support, total federal support cannot be more than 50%
Are you eligible?
You can apply if you are:
- a Canadian community or community-level organization
- a non-profit, locally based Canadian organization
You must also meet these criteria:
- have a mandate to attract, expand, or retain greenfield FDI.
- be incorporated (a legal entity)
- be able to enter into legally binding agreements.
We may support giving funding to a community or not-for-profit organization acting as a third party or go-between for a number of eligible communities.
We do not fund departments, agencies, Crown corporations and other federal or provincial organizations.
The program supports activities that will help you attract, expand, or retain greenfield foreign direct investment, such as:
- developing marketing tools aimed at foreign investors
- getting specific foreign direct investment training
- identifying or coordinating with potential investors
- developing and putting in place multi-year strategies to attract and retain international investment
We do not fund initiatives related to mergers and acquisitions, investments from other parts of Canada, trade or export.
Expenses we cover
We cover specific expenses for eligible activities. Please review the following table of expenses that we do and don’t cover before you complete your application form. The table is organized by type of activity.
Expenses that we do and don’t cover
|Activity||Expenses that we cover||Expenses that we don’t cover|
|Doing strategic planning and analysis for foreign direct investment (FDI)|
|Developing FDI tools and materials|
Note: political representatives are not allowed in recorded videos.
|Giving FDI training|
Note: when a low ratio of staff asks for customized training, we encourage you to work with regional partners.
|Generating FDI leads and meetings with potential investors|
Activities and expenses we don’t cover
We do not fund the following types of expenses. Please review this list carefully before completing your application.
|Activity||Expenses we don’t cover|
Note: A contractor or consultant cannot represent an organization that is receiving CanExport Community Investments funding
|Trade show, conference or forum participation|
|Activities or projects related to attracting infrastructure for tourism and motion picture industries|
These include the direct costs of acquisition, construction, expansion, modification, conversion, transportation, installation and insurance (during construction) of fixed assets, as well as the cost of licensing and franchising fees
|Overhead and operating costs|
How we evaluate your application
CanExport Community Investments is a competitive program. The Adjudication Committees led by Global Affairs Canada, one for each region, approve and evaluate all applications. Each committee includes a mix of public sector participants, including representatives from the provincial government and regional development agencies.
We assess applications using the following criteria and questions:
Criteria 1: Strategy
- Is the application consistent with the Canadian FDI attraction objectives including, FDI sectors and markets?
- How well does the project fit into the community's strategic economic development plan?
- How well does the long-term planning principles apply to this project?
- Is there a business retention and expansion (BR&E) program in place in the applicant's jurisdiction?
- How well does the applicant demonstrate the value of the project to the community?
Criteria 2: Project components
- To what extent are the project components consistent with the program’s FDI sectors and markets?
- How well do the project components support the applicant's FDI strategy?
- Is there sufficient focus on the activities?
- Is the budget consistent with the costs for these types of activities?
- Has the applicant provided relevant documentation to support the request?
Criteria 3: Performance measures
- How would you rank the proposed project and their expected outputs/outcomes?
- How well does the application provide valid anticipated outcomes: what will be measured, how these will be measured and which performance indicators will be tracked?
- Do the identified measures suit the overall project?
- Would the community be able to demonstrate success or readjust its strategy based on the measures identified?
Criteria 4: Capacity
- Has the community identified an internal lead on the project?
- Does the community have the matching dollars to complete the project?
- Is the applicant solely responsible for completing the project, or is there a joint model for governing the project?
- Is the applicant likely to use the funding requested?
- Are there sufficient human resources and a credible governance structure in place to maintain and deliver project reports and documentation?
Criteria 5: Workplan
- Has the community established reasonable timelines, a list of key milestones, and identified key deliverables?
- Is a project manager designated and the proper signing authority in place on the application?
Criteria 6: Partnerships
- Is the community working with other organizations on its FDI strategy?
- Is the community incorporating other sources of matching funds into its application?
- Does the community understand the value of partnering on marketing initiatives?
- Is the community part of a larger network of organizations or does it represent a regional approach to investment marketing?
- What is the applicant's recent history of utilizing the program?
How to apply
To register and apply, access the CanExport Communities portal. For a step-by-step guide on how to register your organization consult the tutorial on YouTube.
Registering your organization
For more details on what you’ll need on hand to complete your registration, consult the registration information checklist. It is not possible to save your work until the full completion of the registration process. Your session will time out within 30 minutes of inactivity.
To register you must:
- Access the CanExport Communities portal and select “Login/Registration”
- Choose a secured sign-in method
- After successful login, please continue to the dashboard (note that it may take 10 seconds or more to retrieve your information)
- Upon your first visit, you will be prompted to enter your email address and register your organization
- It may take a few days for your registration to be confirmed, but we will contact you once your registration is complete
Filling out the application form and submitting an application package
Please submit your application as early as possible. To fill out and submit the application form you must:
- Access the CanExport Communities portal
- Choose a secured sign-in method
- Log into the portal and continue to the dashboard
- Start a new proposal
- Follow the instructions to fill out the 10-step online form (remember to save often and use the save draft button if you want to complete it at a later date) and then submit your application
The portal can’t accept applications after the close of the call. You must submit your application through the CanExport Communities portal; mailed, emailed or faxed applications will not be accepted.
After you apply
The adjudication process takes place once per year, after the conclusion of the application period. Our team will contact you with the results. Successful applicants will be notified initially by email, when the project is approved. A second email will be sent that includes the Grant Agreement outlining the approved activities.
If you have questions that this guide does not answer, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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