Top 6 reasons you might need a wage subsidy, not a grant.

4 min read

Three people collaborating at a desk in an office space.

Businesses often come to our Innovation Advisors looking for financial support. And the first question the advisor asks is always the same:

What do you want to do with the money?

It’s a key question. Because getting project funding from the government takes time and has strings attached. So, it’s a good idea to ask yourself: can I achieve my goal by hiring someone instead?

If the answer is yes, you should definitely consider a wage subsidy, first. Here’s why:

1. Less competition

Many wage subsidy programs are first-come, first-served.

So, if you have a reasonable proposal and you get that proposal in before the deadline, you stand an excellent chance of being successful.

Many funding programs, on the other hand, are highly competitive or over-subscribed. So you might have a great proposal, but another business might just have a better one.

2. Faster results

Applying for a wage subsidy can be lightning fast in comparison to a funding program. We’ve heard of some wage subsidies that can be finalized (from application to hiring) in weeks, not months. That’s because the due diligence process is not as complex or detailed.

3. Simpler application

Applying for government funding often requires proposals, documentation, due diligence and even lawyers. Applying for a wage subsidy can be much simpler, we’ve seen some applications that ask around 20 questions that you can answer pretty easily.

4. Hiring help

Some wage subsidy programs will connect you with universities and colleges that have qualified candidates just waiting for the kind of work that you have on offer. So, not only do you get the money to hire talent, but you get the help you need to find the right person for the job. The Clean Foundation is a perfect example.

5. Keep the money

Most funding agreements between the government and the private sector require all or some of the money to be repaid. Not so for wage subsidies. You might have to pay for a portion of a salary, but you typically don’t have to pay back the rest.

6. Stack them up

Some wage subsidies are even “stackable” which means that you could be eligible for two incentives for the same employee. A great example is the Student Work Placement Program funding, which can be combined with the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit.

Back to First Things First


Our Innovation Advisors can help. Get connected through our contact centre at 1‑833‑201‑4358 |TTY: 1‑866‑694‑8389, or send us details about your business. We’re committed to prompt and reliable service standards, and can respond to most inquiries within 24 hours.