Canadian Real Estate Market Facts

1-Canada suffered a short, steep drop in home prices as the recession hit late in 2008. Fortunately, this was immediately followed by a steep rebound as it became obvious that the record low interest rates offered by the financial institutions presented an historic chance to buy a home cheaply.

2-just as experienced analysts had predicted, the rebound is being replaced by a more stable price environment. The number of homes sold in May fell by 9.5 per cent, while year-over-year price gains moderated to 8.4 per cent, off from the peak gain of 16 per cent in March. Our real estate rebound was possible because Canada’s banking system remained in good health, unlike in the U.S. which has suffered deep scars. Historically low mortgage rates helped repair the relatively modest damage to prices inflicted by the downturn. Now a more stodgy, almost boring outlook actually comes into sight: a market where predictable market forces affect the sales and prices.

3- As a result of rising prices, the supply of new listings is growing. At the same time, overheated demand of the first 4 months of 2010 is ending. Fewer buyers are anxious to snap up property fast now that their window of opportunity is closing. Interest rates are rising, albeit slowly and by minimal amounts. The HST on new homes will come into effect shortly in Ontario and British Columbia, the country’s hottest markets. In fact, the biggest price gains driving national averages came from Vancouver and Toronto. In Montreal and most of Canada’s other big cities, prices rose modestly so there won’t be much excess to work off.

How to Open Business in Canada

1. Know your terminology.
The phrase “small business grants” is rare on Canadian government Web sites, perhaps because pure small business grant programs are so rare. Besides the generic term “small business financing”, look for awards, contributions, shared costs, subsidies, rebates, tax credits (or tax rebates) or non-repayable loans. All of these terms may refer to funding that your business does not have to pay back – and that’s a small business grant, isn’t it?
2. Know where your business falls on the grant priority scale.

Some businesses are in a grant-rich industry or area. Some industries fit well with government objectives and are targeted for funding. Others don’t and aren’t. For instance, small business grants for retail businesses are notoriously scarce. And there are many more assistance programs for small businesses in Northern Ontario than in Southern Ontario.

3. Use hub sites to search.

Government hub sites, such as the Industry Canada website, come the closest to providing a full listing of government assistance, including small business grants. From the Government Assistance page, you can search for government business financing available in your province.

The Canada Business Network is another convenient hub of sites to help you access information on small business grants and government programs. Click on the Financing a Business link to get started. And the website of your provincial Business Service Centre is well worth a visit. My favourite is the Canada Business Services for Entrepreneurs site which lets you search for grants, loans and financing for your small business by purpose, location and industry.
4. Look within your particular industry.

There are many small business grants and assistance programs that are specific to particular industry sectors, so looking within your industry can narrow your search. You can Search by Industry on the Industry Canada website, for instance to find government assistance programs available for that particular industry.

You may also search via search engine, of course.

5. Position your business to take advantage of the small business grants and/or programs that do exist.

For instance, participating in the SR&ED Tax Credit Program will get you access to “free money” in the form of tax credits – funding just as good as a small business grant in my opinion. And the great thing about the SR&ED Tax Credit Program is that you don’t have to prepare a proposal and wait for approval of your project to get involved in it; you can just design and carry out your project and then make your tax claim (assuming you follow all the rules). Yet many businesses are unaware that they can participate in the program.

What other areas of business development is the government particularly keen on funding? Exporting and alternative energy, just to name two. By getting involved in business activities such as research and development, exporting, or environmental improvements, for instance, you can greatly increase your business’s chances of finding a small business grant.

Small business grants for Canadian businesses are out there. Applying the tips above will give your small business a better chance of finding one – or more.