Perhaps you have documents that should be translated, but you’re not sure how to find the funds to do so…. Did you know that there are a number of different programs providing grants for the professional, qualified translation of your business’s documents?
In Canada’s officially bilingual context, starting a business—a small or medium-sized business, a large corporation, a non-profit organization—comes with its own set of challenges. Federal legislation may require that both official languages, English and French, be used in content targeting the public in general, potential clients, and your employees.
In Quebec, businesses must comply with the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101) and therefore provide all online content, promotional material, and internal and external commercial documentation in French.
For an Anglophone business establishing itself in Quebec or a Quebec company looking to penetrate new markets, the translation process becomes a must, and, with it comes the need for qualified and competent people to make this happen. Fortunately, there are means of retaining the services of professionals in the translation industry who will always focus on your business’s image. This is where government grants come into play to save the day.
French language grants in Quebec
The Office québecois de la langue française (OQLF) offers a program to support the francization of small and medium-sized businesses. This financial aid enables small and medium-sized businesses to seek out professional services to adapt their website, intranet, posters, and commercial documents into French. The program can cover up to 75% of admissible costs, up to a maximum of $50 000 per business. This grant allows some businesses to reach Francophone clientele when they would not have been able to do so otherwise, and enables others to have more content translated than their budget had initially allowed.
In addition to meeting standards regarding the use of French in Quebec, the translation of business content offers many advantages, including a significant increase in visibility to a broader clientele. Most people prefer being able to access information and being served in their mother tongue. Providing content in more than one language also enhances a company’s credibility, demonstrates its proactive approach, and conveys a sense of respect for its clients and its employees.
Federal grants for non-profit organizations
For its part, the Ministry of Canadian Heritage offers the Support for Interpretation and Translation program to non-profit organizations with a desire to encourage participation in both official languages at public events and to increase the number of bilingual documents offered. In this case, the sum allotted for translations cannot surpass 50% of eligible expenses, with a maximum of $5000 per request.
Provincial grants to access new markets
The Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation du Québec has an export program to support businesses that want to explore new markets and increase their business potential. All legally constituted Canadian businesses that have established themselves in the province may submit a request for financial aid to cover various expenses related to their activities, such as professional fees for the adaptation or development of promotional tools for foreign markets. This aid can reach up to 30% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $100 000.
Federal grants to access new markets
In early 2016, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service launched the CanExport Program, which has a 5-year budget of up to $50 000 000 to grant to small and medium-sized Canadian businesses seeking to export their products to new markets. Through this program, the government will share up to 50% of the eligible expenses with a business and will provide a contribution ranging from $10 000 to $99 999. These eligible expenses obviously include contractual fees related to the translation of marketing or legal documents aiming to promote the expansion of international commerce.
Translation, a meticulous task!
Due to budget concerns, some organizations and businesses may be tempted to translate their content without professional help. But, they soon realize that the task is far more arduous than they had anticipated. Through obtainable grants, it is easier to select a professional translation business, like Stevenson & Writers, which guarantees the impeccable and optimal translation of your content, and consequently the greatest profitability for each dollar invested.
This post is not an exhaustive list of available government aid. Consult the following websites for more information on programs covering other activity sectors.
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Applicant Guide – Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Component
- The Canada Council for the Arts – Arts Abroad or International Translation grants
- The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service – Foreign Trade Zone – Marketing Program or Invest Canada – Community Initiatives
- The Programme d’aide à l’exportation et au rayonnement culturel –Guide.