The Federal government announced some great news for startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs as a part of their new budget yesterday.
Over the past few months, there had been talks of streamlining the $3.6 billion Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit program to support a more direct funding model from the savings created. Although the changes to the SR&ED program weren’t significant, they were sufficient to create several new opportunities.
Here’s how the new budget aims to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in Canada:
• Announcement of a Western Innovation Program which will provide financial support to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in Western Canada
• $400 million for venture capital activities for private sector investments through a structure yet to be determined
• $100 million to the Business Development Bank of Canada to further support venture capital activities
• $110 million per year in additional funding to the NRC-IRAP program which supports research and development projects carried out by small and medium sized businesses
• $205 million to extend the temporary hiring credit for Small Businesses
• $95 million over 3 years, starting in 2013-14, and $40 million per year thereafter for the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program to connect innovative SMEs to federal departments through procurement
• $50 million over 2 years to the Youth Employment Strategy to assist more young people to get skills and experience
• $14 million over 2 years to double the Industrial Research Development Internship Program delivered through Mitacs
• Announcement of a new Business Immigration Vision to attract innovative entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Canada
With innovation at the forefront of the new budget and several successful startup communities around, now is the best time to become a tech entrepreneur in Canada.