Project submission guide

Are you looking for assistance to carry out your project? Look through this Project Submission Guide to find out how to submit your project, fill out a financial assistance application or learn how an application is routed.

Preparing a financial assistance application

Do you want to submit a project in order to receive financial assistance? Have a look at the following 4 steps:

Step 1 – Look through the information about programs, your region’s action priorities and the eligibility criteria

Read the information on the Agency’s programs and the action priorities of the business office for your region. Then review the eligibility criteria connected with each activity that can be funded by the Quebec Economic Development Program.

This will help you determine whether your project may be eligible for financial assistance, since every project is analyzed primarily on the basis of:

  • the priorities established by the Agency and its business offices
  • the eligibility criteria depending on the nature of the project (e.g. your enterprise’s eligibility, your project's anticipated economic outcomes)
  • the availability of Agency funding

Also, depending on project type, certain laws or regulations may also apply. For example:

  • if your project is likely to have environmental impacts, an environmental assessment report will have to be prepared under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
  • if you receive services from a representative for submitting your project, your representative will have to be registered with the Registry of Lobbyists as set out in the Lobbying Act, and his/her fees cannot be paid using the financial assistance awarded by the Agency
  • if you are an organization under the Quebec government, you will have to enquire with the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes (SAIC) to find out if you must receive authorization from the Quebec government in accordance with the Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (R.S.Q. c. M-30) before signing a financial agreement with the Agency

Step 2 – Contact an advisor from the business office for your region

Before beginning the next steps, contact an advisor from the business office for your region. He/she will answer your questions and be able to point you towards the financial assistance or method appropriate for your project.

In anticipation of the discussions with your advisor, prepare a summary of your project by using, where applicable, existing documents such as a business plan, financial statements, pamphlets, internal financial projections, etc. In particular, succinctly point out the important items from among the following:

  • description of the business
  • project description and objectives
  • list of planned activities and expenditures
  • the project’s financing package
  • recent financial statements and percentage of international sales (outside of Canada)
  • the project’s anticipated start and end dates
  • anticipated benefits of the project

Although this summary is not, in itself, a financial assistance application, it will enable the advisor to determine whether your project can be analyzed and inform you about the next steps to take.

Step 3 – Prepare your financial assistance application for the project

If your project is deemed eligible, the advisor assigned to your file will contact you and send you a financial assistance application form plus the information to be provided for establishing your file.

Note that the information already provided in your project summary could be used as a basis for preparing your application.

Depending on your needs for preparing your application or developing your business plan, your advisor can also direct you to resource people or organizations.

This step is critical because a properly completed form accompanied by all the associated documents will facilitate the processing of your application later.

Step 4 – Submit your financial assistance application

Upon receiving your duly completed form and the associated documents, the advisor will check your application.

If your application is incomplete:

  • the advisor will ask you for additional information for analysis purposes
  • you may be asked for additional information in the acknowledgement
  • when the additional information is received, you will be sent a letter confirming that your file is being analyzed and that, in keeping with our service standards, a decision is expected within 35 to 65 days
  • however, if the requested information is not submitted within a reasonable period, the application will be considered incomplete and will be closed; a new application would have to be submitted

If your application is complete:

  • you will be sent a letter confirming that your file is being analyzed and that, in keeping with our service standards, a decision is expected within 35 to 65 days
Information to be provided with a financial assistance application

With any financial assistance application

  • Your enterprise or organization
    • Provide a brief background on the enterprise or organization
    • Provide a list of shareholders and the allocation of shares (%)
    • Provide a list of members of the Board of Directors and senior officers
    • Provide a list of affiliated companies and partners with their percentage of ownership
    • Describe the enterprise’s products and services or the organization’s activities (including production capacity and the percentage used, if applicable)
  • Your project
    • Describe the project, including the area served (for non-profit organizations), target objectives, anticipated socio-economic spin-offs, schedule of work and, if applicable, the risks (financial, commercial, technological, etc.) associated with your project
    • Specify the equipment to be acquired (type, purpose, size on the ground [m2], installed or mobile equipment, etc.)
    • Specify the number of jobs created, maintained or lost by the project (full-time, part-time and seasonal)
    • Introduce the team or individual responsible for managing the project
  • Costs and funding for the project
    • Detail the project costs
    • State the source of the project’s funding: the contribution from the enterprise, financial institutions and any other confirmed or unconfirmed assistance (federal, provincial, municipal) for carrying out the project (source, type and amount)
  • Financial situation of the enterprise or organization
    • Attach financial statements for the last two years and the most recent interim financial statements
    • Attach the financial statements for any parent and affiliated companies, if applicable
    • Attach financial forecasts for the next three years (income statement, balance sheet, domestic and export sales, working capital, internally generated funds, etc.)
  • Clientele
    • Identify current and target clienteles (domestic sales, sales outside Quebec, sales outside Canada)
    • Describe your main competitors, your product’s position on the markets and your competitive advantages
    • Describe your marketing strategy

Based on the nature of your project

  • Innovation/testing and experimentation
    • Patents and intellectual property rights owned (and/or in the process of being acquired) and tax credit claims
    • Progress made in product development or research and development
    • The next phases of product development prior to commercialization
    • The product’s innovative features
    • The product’s commercial potential
    • Comparable products in the industry
  • Market development
    • Identify target markets
    • Identify the distribution network
    • Provide relevant market studies
    • Submit product patents and registrations
    • State export objectives (sales figures, market share, etc.)
  • Productivity/modernization
    • Productivity diagnosis (information on production capacity, productivity gain, equipment, etc.)
    • Main clients, suppliers and subcontractors
    • The project’s impact on the enterprise’s competitiveness and growth
  • Environmental impacts
    • Is there a waterway within at least 30 metres of the site where the project will be carried out?
    • Is the land served by water supply or sewer services?
    • Does the enterprise have a certificate of authorization from the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec for its industrial operations?
    • Does the project provide for expansion or the construction of a building?

Other useful items, if applicable to your file

  • Submit studies, diagnoses or consultants’ recommendations
  • Attach market studies recently produced in your sector
  • Submit technological opinions for validating product feasibility
  • Provide expert opinions for validating product patentability
How a financial assistance application is routed

What happens after my application is...

What happens after my application is received?

When your application is received, the advisor reviews the application and the information provided. An acknowledgement is then sent to you and, if required, it indicates the main information that is missing.

After that, the advisor determines whether your application can start being analyzed based on the information in the file and based on the prerequisites met, for example, the environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act or registration of the lobbyist under the Lobbying Act.

The analysis is based on the eligibility criteria specific to each program, the action priorities of each business office and the availability of Agency funding. At any time during the analysis, the advisor may ask you for additional information. Therefore, it is important to act on that as quickly as possible in order to move the file forward.

According to our service standards, the final decision for a complete application usually does not exceed 65 days. If your application is turned down, you will be informed of the reasons for the refusal in a timely manner.

What happens after my application is approved?

Funding agreement

Once the final decision is made, you will be informed. A letter will be sent to you within 5 days after the decision is made. The letter of offer serves as the funding agreement and contains all the clauses to comply with pertaining to the financial assistance awarded and repayment of it, if applicable. Your advisor can help you understand the clauses in that agreement as well as the steps to follow for submitting claims for eligible, authorized expenditures. The agreement becomes effective when the Agency receives an original contribution agreement duly signed by the client within sixty (60) days after the Agency sends the contribution agreement. Do not hesitate to contact your advisor at any time for more information.

Payment of the financial assistance

The financial assistance awarded, whether repayable or non-payable, is paid by claim. In fact, quarterly or depending on the progress of your project, you will be required to fill out a form (C1-C2) for claiming eligible, authorized expenditures in order to be reimbursed for expenditures made. The amounts allotted per government fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) must be respected. The final payment is made when the project is completed and all project-related expenditures have been incurred and paid. When your claims are processed, you may be asked for certain documents as supporting documentation or for tracking project progress. All information pertaining to the progress of your project must be kept for the duration of the agreement.

Repayment of the financial assistance

If the financial assistance that you are awarded is a repayable contribution, the signed agreement will contain all the clauses connected with repaying it. Repayment terms are set up on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more, contact an advisor from the business office in your region. He/she will be able to guide you in your actions.

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