What is the Atlantic Growth Strategy?

The Atlantic Growth Strategy is about accelerating the growth of Atlantic Canada’s economy. Launched in July 2016 by the Government of Canada and the Atlantic provincial governments, the Strategy is creating well-paying middle class jobs, strengthening local communities and growing innovative companies in the region


How can the Atlantic Growth Strategy help you?

Tell us more about what you’d like to do.

I want to...

Hire skilled
workers

    Are you an employer who needs help attracting and keeping skilled workers in Atlantic Canada? Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy advice and support below that may be available to you.

  • Hire skilled workers

    Hire job candidates who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents for jobs you’re having troubling filling locally.

Grow my
Business

    Are you looking to grow your Atlantic Canadian business? Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy funding, advice and support below that may be available to you.

  • Business counselling in Atlantic Canada

    Get business counselling and advice to help you start or improve your business.

  • Business expansion loan

    Loans of over $100,000 to help you realize projects that are key to your growth and success, without putting your cash flow at risk.

  • Business training and planning funding for agri-businesses in Prince Edward Island

    Cost-shared funding up to $15,000 for business planning consulting fees, up to $60,000 for training (amounts vary by type of training), and up to $15,000 for benchmarking and risk management that will help small and medium-sized agri-businesses expand their domestic and international markets.

  • Financial help for Prince Edward Island businesses

    Infrastructure support of up to 25% for businesses at all levels, from local start-ups to international exporters.

  • Financial support for Aboriginal entrepreneurs

    Non-repayable contribution of up to $99,999 for business planning, acquisitions, expansion, domestic or export marketing, new product or process development, introducing new technologies and more.

  • Financing, advisory support, export and innovation services for high growth companies

    Get help to expand your growth-oriented Canadian business through access to key government support, such as financing and innovation, export and business advice.

  • Financing for agribusiness and agri-food

    Term lending, syndicated lending and inventory financing to help grow or improve your agri-food or agribusiness by investing in equipment, buying inventory and more.

  • Financing to accelerate growth in Atlantic Canada

    Get a financial contribution to help you scale up and expand, adopt and commercialize innovative technologies and processes, or diversify your markets.

  • Funds for agri-food sustainability in New Brunswick

    Access varying amounts of funding, up to $50,000, for environmental management planning, waste management systems, environmental beneficial management practices and agro-environmental club coordinators.

  • Funding for innovation, infrastructure and science projects in the Atlantic

    Funding for projects in the Atlantic fisheries sector, including R&D, pilots and testing, commercialization, partnerships and network creation, adoption of more effective technologies and processes, and scientific research on sustainable harvesting and ecosystem shifts.

  • Funding for Prince Edward Island to commercialize new food products

    Funding to cover up to 85% of the costs of projects that accelerate the development and successful commercialization of food products.

  • Funding for professional help to improve a food product or process in Prince Edward Island

    Get a contribution of up to $50,000 to cover up to 50% of the costs of professional and technical help when creating a new food product or process.

  • Funding for women-owned and women-led businesses

    Get a financial contribution of up to $100,000 to pursue new markets, scale-up, expand and grow.

  • Funding to help Prince Edward Island organic businesses increase market share

    Up to $30,000 to cover 50% of the costs related to implementing technologies to meet organic market requirements, improve efficiency or modify a facility to meet certified organic requirements.

  • Funding to implement new technologies and processes in Prince Edward Island’s agri-industry

    Funding up to $15,000 to cover 35 to 70% of consultancy fees, process improvements, and eligible sensors and monitoring tools.

  • Help navigating clean tech programs

    Get advice from a team of experts from across government that can help you find and understand what programs and services may be right for you.

  • Loans for Aboriginal entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada

    Get a loan of up to $250,000 to start, expand or improve an Aboriginal-owned business in Atlantic Canada.

  • Loans for strategic agriculture projects in New Brunswick

    Loans for projects that fit within the province's agricultural strategies with respect to land, jobs, export sales, markets and more.

  • Marketing funds for New Brunswick agri-food businesses

    Up to $10,000 to cover 50% of the costs of market research, new product development, marketing and promotion, trade shows, farmer's market development, agri-tourism and more.

  • Money to help agri-businesses in Prince Edward Island grow

    Provincial agriculture industry associations and small and medium-sized agricultural producers, agri-businesses and agri-processors can apply for funding to support growth and expansion.

  • Money for start-up and expansion in Atlantic Canada

    Get an interest-free repayable contribution of up to 75% of eligible costs to start-up, expand, commercialize a new product or service or improve competitiveness.

  • Money to support business growth in Atlantic Canada

    Your non-profit could get a financial contribution to assist businesses at all stages of development in scaling up and becoming more globally competitive. Investments will focus on enhancing business support networks for under-represented groups — including women, Indigenous peoples and young entrepreneurs — and supporting regional strategic clusters, accelerators and incubators, and projects that attract foreign investments.

  • New Brunswick agri-food product development funding

    Financial assistance of up to $100,000 to cover 50% of the costs of conception and development of new agri-food products or making the production of existing products more efficient and competitive.

  • Rural Atlantic Canada business loan

    Get a business loan of up to $150,000 to buy or expand a business, develop new markets or purchase equipment in rural Atlantic Canada.

  • Seed capital for new products, services and technologies in New Brunswick

    Existing companies may access up to $100,000 in funding for a new or improved product, service or technology that meets an unmet market need.

  • Support for Prince Edward Island business growth

    Your business may be eligible for up to $16,000 to pursue trade and export opportunities.

  • Venture capital for high-risk, growth oriented New Brunswick companies

    If you're on the verge of taking your product to market, you may be able to access $50,000 to $1,000,000 in venture capital (pre-revenue investments are capped at $250,000).

 Export

    Do you want to go global with your Atlantic Canadian business? Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy funding, advice and support below that may be available to you.

  • "Product of Canada" branding

    Branding, graphics, photos and other content to help you brand your Canadian food and agriculture products as Canadian.

  • Advice for Nova Scotia exporters

    Group of volunteer influencers and industry experts who share their knowledge, experience and connections with exporters.

  • Build export capacity

    Get expert advice, training and tools to explore new global markets.

  • Business training and planning funding for agri-businesses in Prince Edward Island

    Cost-shared funding up to $15,000 for business planning consulting fees, up to $60,000 for training (amounts vary by type of training), and up to $15,000 for benchmarking and risk management that will help small and medium-sized agri-businesses expand their domestic and international markets.

  • Expert advice and financing for companies who want to grow abroad

    Get insurance and financing for high-risk international projects.

  • Expert advice to help Nova Scotia tourism operators develop and expand

    Advice and assistance from Tourism Nova Scotia’s market development team to help you grow your business.

  • Expert international trade assistance

    Help to prepare your business for international markets, assess your organization’s potential, find contacts and resolve problems.

  • Export and production funding for Prince Edward Island craftspeople

    Up to $1,000 to expand production of quality crafts for local and export markets.

  • Export assistance in New Brunswick

    One-on-one counselling, training, and information on exporting and transporting your goods and services.

  • Export assistance for Prince Edward Island businesses

    Participate in various learning, matchmaking and counselling services to help you take advantage of export market opportunities.

  • Exporting workshops for cleantech and green infrastructure firms

    Attend a workshop to learn about government programs and services that will help you capitalize on growing global market opportunities.

  • Financial support for Aboriginal entrepreneurs

    Non-repayable contribution of up to $99,999 for business planning, acquisitions, expansion, domestic or export marketing, new product or process development, introducing new technologies and more.

  • Financing, advisory support, export and innovation services for high growth companies

    Get help to expand your growth-oriented Canadian business through access to key government support, such as financing and innovation, export and business advice.

  • Financing to accelerate growth in Atlantic Canada

    Get a financial contribution to help you scale up and expand, adopt and commercialize innovative technologies and processes, or diversify your markets.

  • Funding and support programs for doing international business

    Get financial support and expert advice to help you pursue partnership and commercialization opportunities in new markets.

  • Funding for agriculture and agri-food SME export activities

    Get up to $100,000 in financial support over two years to pursue new markets abroad.

  • Funding for international business development by national associations

    Get a non-repayable contribution of $20,000 to $400,000 to undertake new or expanded international business development activities, in strategic markets or sectors, for the benefit of an entire industry.

  • Funding for women-owned and women-led businesses

    Get a financial contribution of up to $100,000 to pursue new markets, scale-up, expand and grow.

  • Funding to develop export markets

    Get a contribution of up to $50,000 to reimburse up to 50% of expenses related to developing export opportunities, especially in high-growth emerging markets.

  • Funding to increase international agrimarket opportunities

    Contributions for national industry associations to break down trade barriers, build market success, and develop markets for agricultural and agri-food products.

  • Help Prince Edward Island become export ready

    Get help with marketing, French translation costs and financial assistance to import or export.

  • International trade missions and events for women entrepreneurs

    Achieve success in international markets by participating in women-focused trade missions and accessing trade commissioner assistance to prepare for and follow up on the mission.

  • Loan for young entrepreneurs

    Get a loan of up to $45,000 to get your start-up off the ground.

  • Loan to gain a competitive edge in international markets

    This secured loan is available to Canadian companies (or foreign affiliates) to help build an international presence.

  • Money for export planning for Atlantic Canadian companies

    Get up to $15,000 to cover 65% of the costs relating to export strategy, planning and marketing activities.

  • Money for international commercialization

    Get up to $75,000 to cover up to 75% of eligible expenses associated with commercializing your technology abroad.

  • Money for the New Brunswick agriculture export industry

    Funding to help agriculture producers cover costs related to capturing and/or expanding markets at home and abroad.

  • Money for Nova Scotia agri-business to explore new markets

    Funding of up to $4,500 for outbound missions or investigative travel and inbound missions that allow Nova Scotia farmers and agri-businesses to explore new domestic, U.S. and international market opportunities.

  • Money for Nova Scotia export growth

    Funding of up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $15,000 for businesses looking to increase sales outside of the province.

  • Money for Nova Scotia small-business export growth

    Your small business may be eligible for funding to cover up to 50% of the cost (to a maximum of $15,000) to hire an export consultant and expand your reach.

  • Money for start-up and expansion in Atlantic Canada

    Get an interest-free repayable contribution of up to 75% of eligible costs to start-up, expand, commercialize a new product or service or improve competitiveness.

  • Money to help Atlantic Canadian businesses export

    Get up to $15,000 to cover 65% of the costs related to short-terms projects aimed at developing and adopting electronic tools that can help you get your products and services to international markets more efficiently.

  • Partnerships between Prince Edward Island businesses

    Firms can receive up to $7,500 to hire a business cluster facilitator, who can help local businesses work together in pursuit of global opportunities.

  • Programs to support Newfoundland and Labrador firms’ export goals

    Get financial assistance to hire a graduate to assist with exporting and learn about intellectual property and patents.

  • Support for Prince Edward Island business growth

    Your business may be eligible for up to $16,000 to pursue trade and export opportunities.

  • Tools for Newfoundland and Labrador companies looking to export

    Export diagnostic and preparation tools for companies that are interested in or currently exporting goods and /or services to international markets.

  • Working capital for exporters

    Meet export market needs or invest in foreign markets with this working capital loan for Canadian exporters to increase operational capacity.

  • Resources and tools for New Brunswick companies looking to export

    Get key export market information, Free Trade Agreements and a full listing of the latest Incoterms.

Build my
Tourism Business

    We can help you make Atlantic Canada a top destination. Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy funding, advice and support below that may be available to you.

  • Expert advice to help Nova Scotia tourism operators develop and expand

    Advice and assistance from Tourism Nova Scotia’s market development team to help you grow your business.

  • Financing to accelerate growth in Atlantic Canada

    Get a financial contribution to help you scale up and expand, adopt and commercialize innovative technologies and processes, or diversify your markets.

  • Funding for women-owned and women-led businesses

    Get a financial contribution of up to $100,000 to pursue new markets, scale-up, expand and grow.

  • Grants and funding to support your Prince Edward Island tourism business

    Get grants and financing to help you host an event, develop new PEI tourism products, off-set start-up costs and more.

  • How to develop new and better Nova Scotia tourism experiences

    Tools, worksheets and ideas to help you develop new tourist experiences, tips on promoting them and information on provincial marketing activities.

  • International tourism marketing tools

    Get valuable insights on Canadian branding, developing content and working with the media to promote your Canadian tourism products.

  • Loan to finance tourism operating costs in Prince Edward Island

    Support to help tourist facilities cover operating costs during pre-season preparation.

  • Loans for Prince Edward Island tourism businesses

    Financial support to help tourism-related businesses across a range of activities, including acquisition, expansion, debt consolidation, and repairing restaurants, accommodations and equipment.

  • Make your Nova Scotia tourism business a world-class experience

    Get new photography for your tourism business and benefit from inclusion in Tourism Nova Scotia marketing.

  • Market your Nova Scotia tourism business

    Get financial assistance to implement a tailored digital marketing campaign.

  • Marketing funds for New Brunswick agri-food businesses

    Up to $10,000 to cover 50% of the costs of market research, new product development, marketing and promotion, trade shows, farmer's market development, agri-tourism and more.

  • Money for start-up and expansion in Atlantic Canada

    Get an interest-free repayable contribution of up to 75% of eligible costs to start-up, expand, commercialize a new product or service or improve competitiveness.

  • Online resources to help with establishing tourism businesses in Nova Scotia

    Find guides and toolkits for planning festivals/events, marketing, travel trade and operating a restaurant or accommodation business.

  • Online tools and resources to improve your tourism business

    Mentorship, training and advice to grow your Atlantic Canadian tourism business through online technology.

  • Programs to help your Nova Scotia tourism business

    Get your tourism business “Nova Scotia Approved”, find expert advice to help your market your business online and more.

  • Promote your tourism product internationally

    Your tourism business can apply to have a signature experience package promoted around the world.

  • Training for tourism workers

    Find online training focused on the best practices and standards in various roles within the tourism industry.

Work and live
in Atlantic Canada

    Do you want to study or work and live in Atlantic Canada? Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy advice and support below that may be available to you.

  • Study in Atlantic Canada

    Get information about immigrating to Atlantic Canada through the Study and StayTM program.

  • Work in Atlantic Canada

    Get information about immigrating to Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.

Improve my
Community

    The Atlantic Growth Strategy helps communities become more sustainable, modern and innovative. Find possible funding, advice and support below that may be available to you.

  • Financial assistance for Atlantic Canadian non-profit associations

    Loans of up to $225,000 and bridge financing are available for non-profit organizations involved in community development.

  • Funding for economic growth projects in rural Atlantic Canadian communities

    Get a non-repayable financial contribution for strategic projects that build on the existing strengths of your community, leading to long-term employment and enhanced economic capacity.

  • Funding for your promising clean technology project

    Get a non-repayable contribution for pre-commercial clean technology development and demonstration projects.

  • Help navigating clean tech programs

    Get advice from a team of experts from across government that can help you find and understand what programs and services may be right for you.

  • Loan for clean tech in rural Atlantic Canada

    If you are a rural Atlantic Canadian entrepreneur with a clean-tech idea or want to implement clean technology or processes in your business, you can get a loan of up to $150,000.

  • Programs to improve Canada’s infrastructure

    Find programs and information related to the Investing in Canada Plan


Working together: an Atlantic tradition

The region’s natural collaborative spirit helps define who Atlantic Canadians are. The Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces share a common goal of fostering stable and long-term economic prosperity in Atlantic Canada. Now, more than ever, it is time to take action by focusing on the areas that will stimulate economic growth in the region.

Trade and
investment
Trade and investment

The Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy (ATIGS) was launched in 2017. Its purpose is to help companies find export markets, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. Today, more companies are finding success in new and valuable export markets. The strategy also continues to promote foreign investment in the region.

Federal and provincial partners plan to invest $20 million by 2022 through the Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Agreement. It’s all about expanding Atlantic Canada's international reach.

What does that mean for you, your company, and your community? Through these investments, we will:

  • Double the number of exporters in Atlantic Canada;
  • Increase the value of Atlantic exports by 30%;
  • Increase to 40% the percentage of Atlantic firms who export into more than one market;
  • Increase foreign investment in Atlantic Canada.

Tourism
Tourism

Tourism contributes more than $5 billion annually to the Atlantic Canadian economy. The Atlantic Growth Strategy offers businesses plenty of tools to develop the tourism industry and includes $24.5 million in investments from the private and public sector.

How are we engaging the world? In 2017, we implemented:

  • the region's largest ever media campaign in China, which builds on the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism;
  • tourism experiences that showcase the history, culture and tradition of East Coast Indigenous communities;
  • an Atlantic chapter of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, to map out future development in the region;
  • a strategic and collaborative approach to tourism; and,
  • support for tourism strategies and products in communities who pursue tourism as an economic driver.

Skilled Workforce/
Immigration
Skilled Workforce/Immigration

Our region’s economy is growing. Employment growth proves it, especially the increase of full-time employment opportunities. More and more people are looking to the Atlantic provinces for work and study opportunities. With our federal and provincial partners, we are attracting talent in the region through the following programs:

  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)
  • Atlantic Canada Study and Stay™ program
  • Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project (AAHP)

In 2017, our region welcomed more than 9,000 permanent residents and their families. Programs like these made this possible. Attracting talented and skilled workers and students to our region – and keeping them here – benefits us all.

Innovation
Innovation

Innovation pays off.

From adopting new technologies to business accelerators – innovation is thriving in Atlantic Canada. We are supporting research and innovation in areas such as:

  • biosciences;
  • aquaculture;
  • ocean technology;
  • renewable energy;
  • fisheries;
  • agriculture and agri-food; and,
  • forestry.

Atlantic Canada has a dynamic start-up culture, with over 400 start-ups across the region. These firms drive innovation activity, promoting long-term economic growth in the Atlantic region.

Food
Food

The food industry is an important part of the Atlantic economy. From small family-owned farming operations to global corporations, food is the top manufactured product in Atlantic Canada.

Food innovation and value-added products help Atlantic Canadian businesses take advantage of opportunities in the food industry, compete in world markets and grow the local economy.

Through a federal-provincial working group on food, the governments of Canada and the Atlantic provinces are working with industry to identify ways to leverage strategic opportunities in our region's food sector.

With support from partners, ACOA is connecting businesses with the tools they need to:

  • commercialize innovative food products;
  • scale up; and,
  • export to global markets.

Together, we are helping to build on Atlantic Canada’s food advantage and grow the local economy.

Clean growth and
climate change
Clean growth and climate change

The worldwide push toward clean growth and green economy is an opportunity for the Atlantic region. The global market for clean technology will reach an estimated $2.5 trillion by 2025. With this in mind, the Atlantic Growth Strategy is helping the region reduce its carbon footprint, reduce climate change and develop clean export products and services.

Our efforts are supported by a major federal government focus:

  • Clean technology and clean growth are key elements of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (developed with the provinces and territories), and the Innovation and Skills Plan.
  • Federal government funding and support is focused on commercialization and scale-up through the Clean Growth Hub, the Oceans Supercluster and the Low Carbon Economy Fund. More recently, the Clean Technology Economic Strategy Table laid out plans for future growth.

Infrastructure
Infrastructure

Infrastructure isn’t just about roads, sewers and electrical grids. Improving infrastructure also includes bringing high-speed Internet to rural Atlantic communities and modernizing post-secondary institutions.

In July 2017, the Government of Canada announced a record level of investment for Atlantic projects. We are building better infrastructure in Atlantic Canada that will support growth, engage and connect people.

Together with the four Atlantic provinces, we are fostering long-term economic growth and inclusive communities.


Testimonials