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Accessing Government Funding in Canada - Page 3: Determining the Assessment Criteria

By Sharon Monahan. President, The Business Guide Inc. |

Page 3: Determining the Assessment Criteria

So far you have determined what programs are available (if not see the Business Guide), what ones you are eligible for, and made your initial contact with the department or agency to which you are applying. You have created a good first impression and positively influenced the development officer's predisposition toward your proposed venture.

Next you need to find out what criteria your proposal will be assessed against. In this article we will examine some of these criteria in more detail.

With any government program, there are always two sets of criteria, the eligibility criteria and the assessment criteria. Most people concentrate on the first and don't give any thought whatsoever to the second.

Eligibility criteria are always widely publicized by the departments while assessment criteria never are. It is the assessment criteria that ultimately determines whether or not your application is successful. And it is the criteria which applicants have known very little about, until now.

One of the first criteria any proposal is assessed against is competitive impact or more specifically, the potential for adverse competitive impact on an existing business.

  • You have to realize that government departments are very concerned about receiving bad publicity. Senior bureaucrats are very nervous about embarrassing their political masters.
  • Remember that each department or agency is ultimately responsible to a minister, who is an elected official. The last thing any senior bureaucrat or politician wants to see is a businessperson running to the local media claiming that the government has put him out of business by funding his or her competitor.
  • For this reason each application is examined for its potential of having an adverse impact on an existing business.

Closely related to competitive impact is another criteria called net economic benefit.

  • If funding your proposal creates new jobs and wealth in the local labour market at the expense of an existing business, then there is deemed to be no net economic benefit. Any resultant benefit to the local economy that was achieved by funding you was offset by the loss experienced by the existing operation.
  • If there were no net economic benefit, then why would the government get involved?

As an applicant you must demonstrate that your proposal will not adversely affect any existing operation and that it will result in a net economic benefit to the local economy.

You can do this in one of two ways:

  • You can demonstrate how your business is unique in the products and services it offers having no competitors and therefor no one to adversely affect.

  • If you are not distinct from your competitors, you are better off trying to demonstrate that there is sufficient demand for your products and services to warrant another entrant in the marketplace.

Whatever approach you take, the bottom line here is don't ignore these criteria, address them up front and with confidence.

Next issue we will examine more of these assessment criteria. If you have a question or comment on anything contained in one of my articles, just send me an email @ I'd love to know if you find the information beneficial.

Page 1: Canadian Government grants and loans
Page 2: First Impressions Count
Page 3: Determining the Assessment Criteria
Page 4: Determining the Assessment Criteria (Part 2)
Page 5: More Assessment Criteria
Page 6: Know Your Environment

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