Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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Related ACOA Programs – Business Development Program

The Business Development Program (BDP) provides funding for several business activities, including:

For the Technology Adoption portion of the BDP:

  • The objectives are to assist companies in becoming more productive, efficient and ultimately more competitive and to improve the viability of operations; 
  • Eligible costs include costs related to purchasing and installing new technology (mainly capital costs);
  • Assistance is available for up to 50% of those eligible costs (to a maximum of $500,000).

For the Market Development portion of the BDP:

  • The objectives are to assist companies in developing national and export markets, increasing sales, and securing additional marketing expertise;
  • Eligible costs include the hiring of a marketing manager, the development of a marketing plan and the implementation of a marketing plan which includes the development and production of new packaging and marketing, the development and production of marketing material, exhibiting products for trade shows, advertising and product demonstrations, among others;
  • Assistance for domestic and international marketing activities is available for up to 75% of eligible costs (to a maximum of $500,000).

For the Innovation portion of the BDP:

  • The objectives are to assist companies in the development of a new or improved product/service, process or piece of equipment, where there is a good prospect for commercial exploitation;
  • Eligible costs include the wages and salaries considered essential for the project (i.e. technical expertise such as engineers, scientists, technologists, etc.), direct materials required and consumed in carrying out the project, special purpose equipment acquired exclusively for use in the project (not for operations), sub-contracts and consultants fees, studies, testing services and patent costs, among others;
  • Assistance is available for up to 75% of the eligible costs (to a maximum of $500,000).

The Productivity and Business Skills Initiative (PBSI):

  • Provides direct financial assistance to Atlantic Canadian small and medium sized businesses to improve competitiveness, acquire new technical or business skills that will be beneficial to the company, and develop and implement plans to improve the production efficiency, product quality or environmental management of the company, including certifications. 
  • Eligible costs include:
    • the cost of training existing employees, including tuition fees, training materials, the cost of transportation and the travel of the trainer/trainee;
    • hiring new employees, including salary, related benefits and recruitment costs; and
    • engaging a suitable consultant or firm to provide the expertise required to develop and implement a Productivity Improvement/Quality Assurance program.
  • Assistance is available for up to 75% of the eligible costs (to a maximum of $50,000 on a non-repayable basis; for assistance over $50,000, the full contribution will be repayable.)

Important Information about the PBSI:

  • No company is eligible for more than $100,000 in non-repayable assistance over its lifetime under the PBSI
  • No company is eligible for more than one non-repayable project at any given time
  • Companies are not eligible for funding through the PBSI for a second project aimed at the same objective (i.e. same skills area).

For more information, please contact your local ACOA representative.