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May, 2010

Issue 19

This Issue Welcome, Allan! | Testimonial | Missed Opportunities | Tips & Tricks | Vision & Mission Statements
On the Blog | Northbridge Events | In the News | Grant and Loan Guide | Ask the Experts

Welcome, Allan!

Sol AlgrantiCurrent VP Operations, Allan Hrynyshyn, with former VP Operations, Ajay Sinha

After a year and a half working with Northbridge, Ajay Sinha has decided to step down as the Vice President Operations. He is taking this opportunity to spend more quality time with his wife and his two young children, and we wish him the best with his future endeavors.

With every parting of company, however, comes the chance of new beginnings, and so it is with great excitement that the Northbridge team offers a warm welcome to Allan Hrynyshyn, P.Eng, who has joined us as our new Vice President Operations. We’re looking forward to working with Allan, and to all of the positive changes that he will bring about.

Allan was previously the president of HTECH Inc, a manufacturer of material handling equipment, refrigeration, food production and process automation machinery. HTECH was not only a Canadian leader in the industry, but Profit Magazine also recognized the company as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in Canada in 2007. In his role at HTECH, Allan worked with the Northbridge team to claim for the SR&ED program for four consecutive years. With this background, Allan knows not only what to expect from the SR&ED program, but also what you, as a client, expect from us while we are working with you to put together your SR&ED claim.

Allan attended Dalhousie University for Engineering before specializing in Industrial Engineering at the Technical University of Nova Scotia. He has held leadership roles in the manufacturing industry for nearly 25 years, with experience in the CPG, Food, Dairy, Packaging and Material Handling sectors. This experience has permitted Allan to acquire a real deep hands-on knowledge in these sectors. This will both compliment and add to our team’s core knowledge base so we can better understand your business and help you to maximize your SR&ED claims.

The first thing that people will notice about Allan is his passion. He is a natural leader and is comfortable providing direction both in the office and on the sports field. In addition to his tenured business career, he has coached soccer and managed organized football leagues. He spends his weekends with family and playing ball hockey and football with neighborhood friends.

On the family front, Allan and his wife, Donna, have been happily married for over twenty-one years. They have a daughter, Holli, who is currently studying Building Engineering at Concordia, and a dog named Winnie, who by Allan’s testament is “the friendliest Chow Chow on the planet.”

When not busy with work and sports, Allan is also involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton. He and his wife have raised thousands of dollars in funding and gifts in the past number of years, working to make Christmas a special time for those who may not be as fortunate as others.

The Northbridge team is very excited to have Allan join us. His background and experience make him a vital asset to Northbridge, and we expect many positive things to come out of this addition to our team. Welcome, Allan!


“Before working with Northbridge Consultants for our 2008 claim, we had not fully understood how we could qualify for the SR&ED program, or to how it could benefit us; the Northbridge team made us aware of how much value we could create by utilizing the program. We were able to better weather the recent economic recession with the money that we received for our 2008 and 2009 claims, and were able to take on more challenging jobs that we would not have done before claiming under the SR&ED program.”

— Michael Finch, President of Task Custom Metal Fabricators

Established in 1989, Task Custom Metal Fabricators specializes in custom aluminum, copper and brass fabrication, with a team of highly skilled fabricators and welders.

Missed Opportunities and Misconceptions

Manufacturing companies should know by now that the Federal and Provincial levels of government are ushering in a new era of innovation support which directly targets and favours small to medium enterprises in Canada. The SR&ED program administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is touted as one of the most successful funding programs but still only sees 14% of eligible companies applying for their entitled funds! During potential client visits we see many misconceptions which lead to this missed opportunity, one of which is the identity and perceived persona of the CRA and the programs and regulations offered.

The SR&ED entitlement fund (Scientific Research and Experimental Development) assists companies in shouldering the burden of advancing the state of technology in Canada. The monies are paid to companies after work is completed to improve operations and develop new products and technologies either as cash or tax credits, depending on the taxable income of the business. The incentives are generous but not easily accessible, which makes for a double edged sword: complex filing procedures mixed with dealing with the CRA (a big bad dog in most business owners' minds).

One of the primary reasons companies are not filing for these entitled funds is the fact that the CRA is synonymous with the term "audit" – a very scary word! Accountants, CFO's, controllers and business owners know that once the taxman calls for corporate info, it causes a huge drain on resources company-wide and can be extremely frustrating. The fact of the matter is, the corporate side of the CRA has no bearing on the SR&ED division and vice-versa; the entities are completely autonomous.

When we explain the program details and benefits to companies which are legally owed these funds, and the term CRA is mentioned, it immediately raises red flags with owners when it should be seen as a pot of gold. Since the program is so successful and critical to our nations' growth the government has made changes to how it manages and effectively communicates program details. The CRA wants business and industry to know that this program is available to everyone and will not affect the corporate side of financial operations.

Subsequently, the term "audit" has been removed from all documents pertaining to the SR&ED program and replaced with "review" in an attempt to ease concerns that the process will cause a business undue stresses and, will in fact, boost revenues on an annual basis. The CRA has also gone as far as re-titling CRA employees as "reviewers" instead of "auditors" to show they are not out for another money-grab but that they are attempting to give back to established and critical businesses and just want to ensure monies are going to credible operations.

While the Canadian government has a long and uphill battle in trying to put a positive face on beneficial programs like SR&ED, we know that its focus is in the right place: giving back to the hard working businesses that drive the engine that is Canada’s lifeline – small and medium sized enterprises.

Tips & Tricks

  • File your claim with your taxes (within six months of your year end). This ensures it is reviewed in a timely manner, along with your taxes, and you will get the money faster. If you file after six months but before the deadline of 18 months, claims take longer.
  • Make sure you keep hard copies of all important e-mails and documents. Many companies store e-mail on servers for less than a year.

Vision Statement

To be the premier consulting partner for Canadian businesses by offering personalized services that support client and corporate goals. Our top priority is to fulfill the client's needs through the delivery of service excellence, professional expertise and reliability, the preservation of the utmost integrity, and the passionate encouragement of teamwork and employee development.

Mission Statement

Northbridge provides results oriented consulting services through the development of adaptable and innovative business solutions for firms operating in Canada.

On the Blog

Northbridge continues to bring you the latest updates and hot topics that are important to our clients. See below for April highlights and stay tuned for more business buzz.

Read about these topics and more on our blog.

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Northbridge Events

Dates to Remember

May 31: November 2008 FYE claims due

EMC National Conference: Advantage Through Excellence

May 10-12 • Hamilton, ON

Canadian Institute of Food Science Technologists 2010 Conference

May 30-June 1• Winnipeg, MB

Canadian Association of Recycling Industries 2010 Annual Convention

June 10-12 • Charlottetown, PEI

In the News

Canada’s Ranking in the Race for Green Solutions

It has been predicted that clean energy will be the third largest global sector by 2020. Technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions have been rapidly growing, yet Canada has been slow to take advantage of the opportunities that are presenting themselves as new solutions are being demanded. Canada’s exports for climate-friendly technologies saw no growth between 2002 and 2008. In fact, once inflation is taken into account, exports actually fell by 2% on an annual basis in that sector, unlike World trade which grew by 10% annually!

That said, there are individuals and corporations that have taken the initial steps towards leading technologies within the clean energy sector in Canada, and we wanted to highlight some of the efforts behind these innovative creations.

A company in Saskatchewan has developed a way to restore landscapes that have been damaged from the oil sands. After the boreal forest is stripped away, the oil sands are mixed with a combination of water, steam and hazardous chemicals to separate bitumen from the sand, leaving mounds of chemical-laced sand behind. It is believed the solution lies in tiny fungi found in dandelions and sow thistles - two of few plants that can survive in the oil sands conditions.

Three hundred million scrap tires are produced annually in North America and the uses for recycled rubber are limited. Through a process called vulcanization, the rubber gets treated with sulphur once it is extracted from the trees - this process makes the rubber difficult to recycle. A way has been found to devulcanize the rubber. It’s a patented process by an Ontario-based company that essentially turns scrap tires into a recycled rubber product with properties and strength similar to virgin rubber.

Green computing and energy efficiency has become very popular as corporations increase their spending for green IT systems. There is a huge demand for advanced energy auditing tools, a better understanding of carbon footprints, improved engineering and design, and a developing ecosystem for managing equipment. IT companies have been taking advantage of the push for corporate Canada to reduce their carbon footprints.

An American company with an Ontario branch produces 178 items all made from drink, snack, and candy pouches. The pouches are collected, washed, and then stitched together by 3rd party manufacturers to make products such as pencil cases, backpacks and tote bags. Nothing gets wasted – even torn or damaged pouches get ground up and formed into things like planting pots and waste baskets.

Although Canada has been slow to import and adopt green energy technologies, the examples above show that there have been positive movements on the horizon as businesses and individuals begin the push towards finding solutions that will lead to a greener and healthier environment for all.

Grant and Loan Guide

Some of our clients have been approaching us for information on other grants and loans they can take advantage of for additional funding. While we can provide some general information, we are not experts in claiming for these other grants and loans, and do not necessarily assist companies in applying for these programs. In the upcoming issues, we will be highlighting some of these other grant and loan programs.

ecoENERGY Retrofit Incentive for Industry

Industrial businesses working on reducing pollution and saving energy can apply for the ecoENERGY Retrofit Incentive. Companies can receive up to $50,000 per project; projects must be finished by March 31, 2012.

Canadian Small Business Funding

This funding opportunity is to help small businesses with an annual revenue of $5 million or less (excluding: farming, not-for-profit, charities, and religious organizations) to get started, or to make improvements and expand existing businesses; applicants can receive up to $500,000 for any one business. http://

This is information of a general nature only; Northbridge does not necessarily assisst companies applying for the grants and loans listed above. Projects may not be eligible for more than one grant or loan; receiving funding from one grant or loan may disqualify that project from others, including the SR&ED program. Please speak with your Account Manager for more information.

Ask the Experts

Dear Northbridge;

Our proprietary information is essential to the continuation of our business’ success. How do I know our information will be kept confidential when claiming for SR&ED?

     – A Concerned Business Owner


Dear Concerned Business Owner,

We, at Northbridge Consultants, recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our clients to remain competitive in the marketplace. This is why we pride ourselves on maintaining the highest level of client confidentiality. Our account managers follow strict policies & procedures to ensure your information is kept confidential.

CRA reviewers are also bound by strict rules of confidentiality. As outlined in the Income Tax Act, legislative provisions and rules have been put into place for protecting the confidentiality of all claimants’ records. Formal policies also exist to avoid conflict of interest within the auditing personnel.

In the course of a normal review, it is not typical for a CRA reviewer to look beyond what is necessary in order to establish the presence of technological uncertainty, advancement and systematic investigation (the 3 SR&ED criteria). It is not often necessary for a claimant to divulge the fundamental principles of its technological advancement in order to successfully claim for SR&ED.

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While we endeavor to ensure accurate information through this newsletter, it is not a definitive analysis of legislation, or a substitute for professional advice. Please seek professional advice if attempting to relate specific situations to the information disclosed within.