Briefing

Liberals promise new funding program for startups

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Under the three-year pilot project, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) would give up to 2,000 new firms a year a maximum of $50,000 in funding. The party is also proposing that BDC, Export Development Canada and Farm Credit Canada stop charging companies for mentorship and training programming provided, as well as stopping credit card companies from charging their “swipe fee” on the sales-tax portion of purchases. (The Logic)

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Talking point: In June 2018, The Logic reported that BDC was worried about a decline in the number of new companies being created in Canada. The Liberals’ proposed pilot addresses that concern. That’s a change of focus for this government. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has said he wants to create “10 Shopifys,” and the Liberal government’s funding programs have primarily focused on scale-up companies. Ottawa’s flagship Strategic Innovation Fund has an average award size of $31 million, while agencies like Sustainable Development Technology Canada have focused on growth-stage firms, particularly on their international expansions. And, $350 million of the $450-million Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative—a program designed to increase the amount of money available to Canadian firms—was allocated to funds of funds focused on late-stage investments.