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Show me the money! But first, how do I find it?

Whether you are starting a new business or purchasing an existing business, securing finances for your business can be difficult and frustrating. In this blog post we have identified key Federal and Provincial loan and grant programs that you may be eligible for and might help ease your financial frustrations.

Photo credit: Paul Falardeau Flickr: http://bit.ly/drN6PW

Getting started The most important step you can do, prior to seeking out financial assistance for your business, is to develop a business plan. It may seem like a tedious task, but many lenders and grant programs will only award financial assistance to businesses that have a well thought out business plan. To assist you in designing and developing a business plan here are two online resources: Canada Business: Developing your business plan Writing an Effective Business Plan Provincial, Federal, and Community Options There are a number of provincial initiatives, local community loan funds, and other financing opportunities across Canada. Locally, there is your local HRDC office. HRDC can direct you to various local funding options that might not be available in the provincial context. To search for federal programs only: www.cbsc.org/english/finance/searchfinance.cfm To search for programs by province: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/home In Western Canada, the Western Economic Diversification Fund assists businesses in securing funding and financing. http://www.wd.gc.ca/eng/home.asp The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Calmeadow are two common financing sources for entrepreneurs. BDC http://www.bdc.ca/

Further, the BDC has an excellent resource on Demystifying your Bank when it comes to Business Loans. This resource will help you identify key questions to ask your bank in relation to your prospective loan. http://www.bdc.ca/en/advice_centre/articles/Pages/demystify_your_banker.aspx

Calmeadow http://www.calmeadow.com/ There are many other financing options, but start with the links above. As you research your financial options, be sure to read all of the small print. Many grants have reporting requirements and many loans have high interest rates.

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