Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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Business Start-ups, Expansions and Modernizations

How can the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) help?

ACOA’s interest-free repayable assistance can help cover up to 50 per cent of the eligible start-up, working capital and capital costs of a new establishment, modernization or expansion project. Related operational costs for activities such as training, studies, marketing/trade, productivity improvement, quality assurance and environmental management systems may be eligible for up to 75 per cent financing. Assistance is repayable on a schedule tailored to your circumstances.

What costs are eligible?

Eligible activities include:

Buildings: The cost of acquiring, constructing or expanding buildings necessary for an eligible project is acceptable. Also eligible are the costs associated with related structures such as wharf facilities, on-site cafeterias and buildings to store raw materials, finished goods and other authorized operations.

Leasehold improvements on rented premises are also acceptable costs if they are required for the approved project.

Machinery and equipment: The cost of machinery directly related to the authorized project is acceptable. Other equipment not directly related but necessary for the project may be acceptable. For example: pollution control equipment; power generating equipment; computer equipment including software; and basic stock spare parts for continuous operation of certain machinery.

Product development costs: Costs incurred in designing new or improved devices, processes and services may be eligible for financial assistance.

Infrastructure: Costs for such things as land clearing, paving, sidewalks, rail beds and signs are eligible for financing when these are required for construction or operation of the facility.

Intangible assets: Patents, trademarks and licences may be eligible for financial assistance.

Self-built assets: In some instances, the approved costs of self-built assets, including material and direct labour costs and fringe benefits, may be eligible.

Start-up costs: Interest capitalized during construction, insurance during construction, operation of equipment for adjustment and calibration and other organization costs such as incorporation fees and legal fees may be eligible.

Working capital: May also be eligible as part of an establishment or expansion project.

Environmental Assessment

As part of its project assessment process, ACOA requires that all projects conform with the environmental guidelines set out in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Contact the ACOA office nearest you.

  • New Brunswick: 1-800-561-4030
  • Prince Edward Island: 1-800-871-2596
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 1-800-668-1010
  • Nova Scotia: 1-800-565-1228