Last week, the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) enacted a series of changes to the Export Market Access (EMA) program, which provides funding for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ontario looking to develop export sales in foreign markets. Companies that have taken advantage of this program in the past or are looking to do so in the future should review these changes to see which, if any, impact their business.

  • Previously, the EMA grant allowed applicants to apply for 2 trade shows per application, with a maximum possible claim of $30,000 (up to 50%) of eligible costs. While the maximum possible claim remains $30,000, applicants may now apply for 3 trade shows per application.
  • Applicants no longer have to wait until their first application is finalized to begin another, but can submit a second application while the first is ongoing.
  • Lifetime eligible expenses have been increased to $150,000 per applicant from $100,000.
  • Airfare costs can now be expensed prior to project approval.
  • The OCC will now cover up to $5,000 for short-term (less than one year) in-market office rental.
  • In addition to all previous eligibility requirements, applicants must have capacity to meet foreign market demand and have market-ready products to be sold in export markets.
  • There is a renewed focus on applicants having $2,000,000 commercial liability insurance and being able to submit financial statements (Notice to Reader, Review Engagement, or Full Audited) for the previous two fiscal years.
  • Previous payments were made 50% on acceptance and 50% on full reconciliation. This has been changed to 40% up front and 60% after reconciliation.

NorthBridge Consultants has experience with the EMA process and will provide the necessary guidance for your application. If you have any questions regarding these changes or any other aspect of the EMA program, contact our team of business analysts and technical writers today.