FAQs last updated on May 26, 2021.
June 2 Update: The Program is now closed to new applications. The window was open from April 15 to June 1, 2021 at 6:00 pm PDT.
1. Which industries can apply for this program?
The Program is open to all industries and sectors in the province that manufacture or process value-added products.
The Program is providing priority to specific sectors that have been identified as directly aligned with strategic government objectives. These priority industry sectors include aerospace, shipbuilding, food processing, and forestry.
2. We are a group of businesses wanting to apply jointly, but only one company is based in BC. Are we eligible?
Yes, if one company has its primary operation located in B.C.
3. How much funding can I expect to receive from the Program?
Applicants may apply for funding covering up to 75% of eligible project costs, starting at a minimum of $50,000 and up to a maximum of $250,000. Business must be able to cost-share the project with the Provincial grant. Funding may be provided at the amount requested or at a reduced amount, depending on the merit assessment of the project and funding availability.
For projects delivered by groups in collaboration, the group can apply for a minimum grant of $50,000 and up to a maximum grant of $500,000. However, the group is expected to partake in cost-sharing at a minimum of 25% of the total project costs.
4. How much of my own money do I need to contribute?
Businesses are required to provide at least 25% of the total project costs. The 25% cost-share portion can be from industry or from other government programs.
5. Do I have to pay the funding back?
No, the Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant Program is a grant program and not a loan program. Businesses are only required to pay back money if any of the information submitted was untrue, or if funds provided are used for purposes that are not eligible under the Program.
6. Do I need to bring in additional funding partners?
Consortiums are eligible to apply under the Program guidelines. However, a single business is not required to bring in additional funding partners provided they meet the program eligibility criteria and are able to secure funding for 25% of the total project costs.
7. What project costs are eligible under the Program?
Funding provided through the Program must be used to develop and commercialize innovative ideas or increase supply chain resiliency by manufacturing critical goods currently being relied on through international markets.
Costs are only eligible if incurred after the project has been approved by the Province and for activities specifically related to the project. Costs must be related to the project activities.
Please see the Eligibility page on this website for further details on eligible costs and activities.
8. What project costs are not covered under the program?
The program does not provide funding for costs which are not related to the project or incurred prior to project approval. Please see the ineligible activities and costs section in the program guidelines for further details on which costs are not covered.
9. How long will the program run?
The program will run until February 2022. Completed proposals must be submitted in the application portal prior to 6pm PDT on June 1, 2021. Approved projects must be implemented and completed by January 31, 2022.
10. Will my business be audited at the end of the project?
All approved projects are subject to spot audits.
11. Will the funding be disbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis, until all funds are allocated, or will proposals submitted at the end of the application window have an equal chance of receiving funding?
All applications will undergo a merit-based evaluation. Therefore, the Program intake is not based on a first-come, first-serve approach. Proposals must be submitted in the application portal before 6pm PDT on June 1, 2021.
12. Can a not-for-profit organization (e.g. industry association) apply for funding to support its members in accelerating their manufacturing programs (e.g. redesigning some of their product lines)?
No, a not-for-profit organization is not eligible to apply under the Program. It is exclusively aimed at small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses. Please review the Eligibility tab for further details.
13. A potential applicant has identified more than one product/ production line that they would like to scale up. Should the potential applicant consider consolidating these within one proposal, even though some products are distinctly different within their operation?
It's up to the applicant to make this call depending on the proposed project and associated activities. However, applicants are allowed to submit multiple proposals but the total funding a successful applicant receives may not exceed the maximum funding amount of $250,000 for an individual business or $500,000 for a group in collaboration.
14. Are partnerships or sole proprietorships eligible to apply?
Yes, applicants applying as an individual business that are legally registered as partnerships or sole proprietorships are eligible to apply provided they meet all other eligibility criteria.
15. What is the definition of "food and beverage processing" for the purposes of the Program?
Food and beverage processing includes three general activities: General physical alteration, extending shelf life, and combining ingredients to make a new product. Food and beverage processing does not include cleaning, washing, bagging, packaging or wrapping of raw products.
16. Can an applicant submit multiple proposals under the Program?
Yes, applicants are allowed to submit multiple proposals but the total funding a successful applicant receives may not exceed the maximum funding amount of $250,000 for an individual business or $500,000 for a group in collaboration (see also #13).
17. Can the grant funding be used to purchase the necessary equipment to scale up production of a product?
Proponents can apply for funding for equipment under the “prototype, pilot or demonstration of new technology” category or under the “manufacturing diagnostic” category.
In the scenario that someone was applying for funding for equipment to scale up production of a product they would need to demonstrate how the product either relates to:
18. Is approved funding being provided only after the completion of the project i.e. is this a reimbursement program paying funds out in January 2022?
No. Once approved, you will need to create a detailed project plan with milestones including start and end dates. As you progress with your project and complete your milestones, you will be able to submit your claims and receive payment. In other words, you will not need to wait until after January 2022 to make claims for completed works and receive payment.
19. If I've already submitted my proposal but have noticed an error, is there a possibility to correct it?
Yes, if you have already submitted your proposal but need to make changes, please contact the program team to assist you. Please note that the final proposal must be submitted prior to 6PM PDT on June 1, 2021 to be considered.
20. Would an individual business that was incorporated within the last 12 months and that has yet to file a tax return qualify to apply?
No, this business doesn't meet the eligibility criteria. If a business has not been operating in B.C. for at least 12 months and has not yet filed a tax return then this business would not be eligible for the Program.
21. The Program requires applicants to provide a proof of manufacturing capability. What if neither my T2 nor schedule 125 indicate that I'm operating a manufacturing business?
The Program website requests a T2 including Schedule 125 allowing us to assess if the applicant has proof of their manufacturing capability. If the applicant’s T2 or T2125 form doesn't include a NAICS manufacturing code, an applicant may still be eligible. However, they must be able to provide proof through other means indicating that they meet the eligibility requirements of manufacturing in the province for the past 12 months. We will assess these projects on a case by case basis and determine if the applicant has provided sufficient evidence to meet the eligibility requirements in accordance with the definition of manufacturing and value-added under the Program.
22. Would the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system be eligible under the "Diagnostic to identify areas of productivity improvements" activity?
The manufacturing diagnostic category applies to technology assessments or the implementation of activities outlined in a completed technology assessment that will make process and operational improvements that can increase production and make a business more profitable and competitive. As such, enterprise resource planning would not be considered an eligible activity under this project activity area.
23. What happens if the project goes past January 31, 2022 due to material delays and/ or other unforeseen circumstances? Would the Program only provide funding for the expenses incurred prior to January, 31 2022 regardless of the total amount approved? If the project is still in process, would the applicant be able to claim costs incurred to that date with the applicant completing the balance at their cost or does the prototype need to be complete?
All projects must be completed by January 31, 2022. Applicants should identify any potential risks and mitigation strategies in their application form. It is the funding recipient's responsibility to ensure they mitigate any risks that arise during the project period, and that they work with PwC to ensure the project is completed by January 31, 2022.
24. What do you mean by transformational nature of product?
The transformational nature of the project is how the project demonstrates material change in meeting program objectives, including how activities that support innovative practice or technology advancement for your business improve operational results.
25. Does the Program define any minimum financial contribution a partner business needs to contribute for a 'Group in Collaboration' project? For example, a minimum amount they need to contribute to be considered 'invested' in the project?
Applicants are required to provide at least 25% of the total cost of purchased material, equipment and labour (PMEL) from other sources (i.e. industry, revenue, other government funding). There is no minimum financial contribution between partners for 'Group in Collaboration' projects.
26. How is purchased material defined?
Purchased materials include all consumable (project specific) operating materials and supplies used to prepare, schedule, and perform approved project activities. In contrast, equipment costs should be captured under 'Equipment charges' in the proposal in the application portal.
27. We've recently taken ownership of a company, which was in business for many years before recently going into receivership. Is there any chance we might qualify as a successor in interest if we can show that the company is substantially the same in terms of management, production facilities and customer base?
Based on the information provided, the proposed applicant would not be eligible if they have not operated the company for at least 12 months. In order to be eligible under the program an applicant's business must have been operating in B.C. for at least 12 months, filed incomes taxes in either 2019 or 2020, have proof of manufacturing capabilities, and employ between 2 and 149 people in B.C.
28. In a group application, must the purchased material, equipment and labour (PMEL) be purchased exclusively from third party suppliers? Is there any possibility for one group member to purchase some PMEL from one of the other group members? Is a third-party contractor that one of the group members works with regularly able to be included in the PMEL?
All suppliers from which goods or services are purchased must be at arm's length from the lead entity or project partner(s), meaning not related, affiliated, or controlled in any way.
29. Can the project take place outside of BC, either in another province or in another country?
No, all projects must take place and must be completed in British Columbia.
30. Can applicants applying as a 'Group in Collaboration' sell services or products to one another and claim those as a project expense?
All suppliers from which goods or services are purchased must be at arm's length from the lead entity or project partner(s), meaning not related, affiliated, or controlled in any way.
31. Can equipment be ordered and paid for by the January 31, 2022 deadline but not received or installed? As you probably know, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased procurement timelines and decreased availability of technical services.
Projects must be fully completed by the January 31, 2022 deadline. If the purchase and installation of equipment is part of your project then this must be completed by January 31, 2022.
32. In the application portal under the applicant information, you're asking applicants to indicate if the lead applicant identifies as any of the following: Indigenous-owned businesses, Women-owned businesses or Black and people of colour-owned businesses. Why do you ask this and how does this impact the merit-based review?
The purpose of the identification question in the application form to identify as an Indigenous-owned businesses, Women-owned businesses or Black and people of colour-owned businesses is to support in government wide reporting on how current programs and supports are promoting the equity and inclusion of BIPOC. This is a voluntary disclosure and does not impact the merit-based assessment review of the application.
The application form does also include additional questions on whether the lead applicant or partners identify and/or are supporting Indigenous businesses or communities. This question is included in the merit assessment criteria to ensure alignment with the ongoing work committed to in the B.C. Government’s Declaration Act, which aims to support economic reconciliation for Indigenous peoples by supporting the growth and development of Indigenous businesses.
33. Could you please confirm what overhead percentage is allowed for the base labor rate under this Program?
The Program webpage outlines that in-house labour costs are eligible up to a maximum of 25% of the program contribution for the total cost of purchased material, equipment and labour (PMEL), and that administration costs are also eligible up to a maximum of 10% of the program contribution for the total cost of purchased material, equipment and labour (PMEL). Since the program activities vary there is no base labour rate established. However, applicants are expected to provide a fair market labour rate for all costs being claimed under the Program. Note that if your project is successful, all claims will be reviewed and may be subject to an audit by an independent third-party auditor.
34. On the main page, you've indicated that "(...) applications from the shipbuilding, aerospace, forestry, and food processing sectors will be given priority due to their alignment with strategic B.C. government economic priorities." Could you please explain what industrial marine sub-sectors are considered to be part of the shipbuilding sector for the purpose of this Program?
Under the Program, the Shipbuilding priority shall be applied using a broad approach to include any of the industrial marine sub-sectors identified below as they may directly or indirectly support shipbuilding activities:
35. The guidelines indicate that if an applicant's T2 and/or Schedule 125 don't include a NAICS manufacturing code, applicants must provide proof of manufacturing capability in the province of B.C. for the past 12 months through other means. Can you please provide an example of what proof would be accepted?
Yes, applicants need proof of manufacturing capability evidenced either by:
1. For corporations, the T2 return including schedule 125 - Income Statement Information showing a NAICS manufacturing code,
2. If the applicant’s T2 or Schedule 125 form doesn't include a NAICS manufacturing code or the applicant doesn't file corporate taxes, they may still be eligible. However, they must provide proof of manufacturing capability in the province for the past 12 months through other means.
For the second option, we'll leave it up to the applicant to determine how they can best evidence their manufacturing capability given that circumstances vary across the different manufacturing sectors.
36. Could you please confirm if cannabis companies would be eligible to apply for funding under this Program assuming that they meet the eligibility criteria?
Yes, cannabis companies are included in the scope of this grant program if they meet the eligibility criteria.
37. In regard to the technology assessment under the "Manufacturing Diagnostic" that aims to identify opportunities to improve systems, processes, and/or equipment:
38. What tax filing documentation should I upload if my business isn't incorporated because it is, for instances, a sole proprietorship and I don't file corporate income taxes?
If you're running a sole proprietorship and you therefore don't file corporate taxes (e.g. T2), please DO NOT upload your personal tax return (e.g. T4). We CANNOT receive any personal tax returns due the personal data those include. Instead, please upload a statement from either yourself or your accountant confirming that you filed income taxes for your business in either 2019 or 2020.
39. Can you please clarify what you mean by the eligibility criteria "has been operating in B.C. for at least 12 months"? From my understanding this is not equivalent to requiring that a potential applicant has been operating in B.C. in the last 12 months.
The eligibility criteria that requires a small or medium-sized manufacturing business to “be operating in B.C. for at least 12 months” means that the business must be established in B.C. either through registration or incorporation for at least 12 months. As such, if a business was only registered or incorporated 6 months ago they would not meet this particular eligibility criteria.
Please note that the Program is now closed to new applications.
The Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant Program is part of StrongerBC, B.C.’s economic recovery plan. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP administers this Program. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
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