Atlantic Growth Strategy

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What Is the Atlantic Growth Strategy?

The Atlantic Growth Strategy (AGS) is about accelerating the growth of Atlantic Canada's economy. Launched in July 2016 by the Government of Canada and the Atlantic provincial governments, the strategy has created well-paying middle class jobs, strengthened local communities and grown innovative companies in the region. The AGS Leadership Committee is meeting for the first time post-pandemic in July 2022.


How can the Atlantic Growth Strategy help you?

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Hire skilled workers

    Are you an employer who needs help attracting and keeping skilled workers in Atlantic Canada? Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy advice and support below that may be available to you.

  • Hire skilled workers

    Hire job candidates who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents for jobs you're having trouble filling locally.

    Get the details
Grow my business

    Are you looking to grow your Atlantic Canadian business? Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy funding, advice and support that may be available to you.

  • Business counselling in Atlantic Canada

    Get business counselling and advice to help you start or improve your business.

    Get the details
  • Business expansion loan

    Loans of over $100,000 to help you realize projects that are key to your growth and success, without putting your cash flow at risk.

    Get the details
  • Business training and planning funding for agri-businesses in Prince Edward Island

    Cost-shared funding up to $15,000 for business planning consulting fees, up to $60,000 for training (amounts vary by type of training), and up to $15,000 for benchmarking and risk management that will help small and medium-sized agri-businesses expand their domestic and international markets.

    Get the details
  • Financial help for Prince Edward Island businesses

    Infrastructure support of up to 25% for businesses at all levels, from local start-ups to international exporters.

    Get the details
  • Financial support for Indigenous entrepreneurs

    Non-repayable contribution of up to $99,999 for business planning, acquisitions, expansion, domestic or export marketing, new product or process development, introducing new technologies and more.

    Get the details
  • Financing, advisory support, export and innovation services for high growth companies

    Get help to expand your growth-oriented Canadian business through access to key government support such as financing and innovation, export and business advice.

    Get the details
  • Financing for agribusiness and agri-food

    Term lending, syndicated lending and inventory financing to help grow or improve your agri-food or agri-business by investing in equipment, buying inventory and more.

    Get the details
  • Financing to accelerate growth in Atlantic Canada

    Get a financial contribution to help you scale up and expand, adopt and commercialize innovative technologies and processes, or diversify your markets.

    Get the details
  • Funds for agri-food sustainability in New Brunswick

    Access varying amounts of funding, up to $50,000, for environmental management planning, waste-management systems, environmental beneficial management practices and agro-environmental club coordinators.

    Get the details
  • Funding for Prince Edward Island to commercialize new food products

    Funding to cover up to 85% of the costs of projects that accelerate the development and successful commercialization of food products.

    Get the details
  • Funding for professional help to improve a food product or process in Prince Edward Island

    Get a contribution of up to $50,000 to cover up to 50% of the costs of professional and technical help when creating a new food product or process.

    Get the details
  • Funding for women-owned and women-led businesses

    Get a financial contribution of up to $100,000 to pursue new markets, scale-up, expand and grow.

    Get the details
  • Funding to help Prince Edward Island organic businesses increase market share

    Up to $30,000 to cover 50% of the costs related to implementing technologies to meet organic market requirements, improve efficiency or modify a facility to meet certified organic requirements.

    Get the details
  • Funding to implement new technologies and processes in Prince Edward Island's agri-industry

    Funding up to $15,000 to cover 35% to 70% of consultancy fees, process improvements, and eligible sensors and monitoring tools.

    Get the details
  • Help navigating clean-tech programs

    Get advice from a team of experts from across government that can help you find and understand what programs and services may be right for you.

    Get the details
  • Loans for Indigenous entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada

    Get a loan of up to $250,000 to start, expand or improve an Indigenous-owned business in Atlantic Canada.

    Get the details
  • Marketing funds for New Brunswick agri-food businesses

    Up to $10,000 to cover 50% of the costs of market research, new product development, marketing and promotion, trade shows, farmers' market development, agri-tourism and more.

    Get the details
  • Money for start-up and expansion in Atlantic Canada

    Get an interest-free repayable contribution of up to 75% of eligible costs to start up, expand, commercialize a new product or service or improve competitiveness.

    Get the details
  • Money to support business growth in Atlantic Canada

    Your non-profit could get a financial contribution to assist businesses at all stages of development in scaling up and becoming more globally competitive. Investments will focus on enhancing business support networks for under-represented groups — including women, Indigenous peoples and young entrepreneurs — and supporting regional strategic clusters, accelerators and incubators, and projects that attract foreign investments.

    Get the details
  • New Brunswick agri-food product development funding

    Financial assistance of up to $100,000 to cover 50% of the costs of conception and development of new agri-food products or making the production of existing products more efficient and competitive.

    Get the details
  • Rural Atlantic Canada business loan

    Get a business loan of up to $150,000 to buy or expand a business, develop new markets or purchase equipment in rural Atlantic Canada.

    Get the details
  • Seed capital for new products, services and technologies in New Brunswick

    Existing companies may access up to $100,000 in funding for a new or improved product, service or technology that meets an unmet market need.

    Get the details
  • Support for Prince Edward Island business growth

    Your business may be eligible for up to $16,000 to pursue trade and export opportunities.

    Get the details
  • Venture capital for high-risk, growth-oriented New Brunswick companies

    If you're on the verge of taking your product to market, you may be able to access $50,000 to $1 million in venture capital (pre-revenue investments are capped at $250,000).

    Get the details
Export

    Do you want to go global with your Atlantic Canadian business? Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy funding, advice and support that may be available to you.

  • Advice for Nova Scotia exporters

    A group of volunteer influencers and industry experts share their knowledge, experience and connections with exporters.

    Get the details
  • Business training and planning funding for agri-businesses in Prince Edward Island

    Cost-shared funding up to $15,000 for business-planning consulting fees, up to $60,000 for training (amounts vary by type of training), and up to $15,000 for benchmarking and risk management that will help small and medium-sized agri-businesses expand their domestic and international markets.

    Get the details
  • Expert advice and financing for companies that want to grow abroad

    Get insurance and financing for high-risk international projects.

    Get the details
  • Expert advice to help Nova Scotia tourism operators develop and expand

    Advice and assistance from Tourism Nova Scotia's market development team to help you grow your business.

    Get the details
  • Expert international trade assistance

    Help to prepare your business for international markets, assess your organization's potential, find contacts and resolve problems.

    Get the details
  • Export and production funding for Prince Edward Island craftspeople

    Up to $1,000 to expand production of quality crafts for local and export markets.

    Get the details
  • Export assistance in New Brunswick

    One-on-one counselling, training, and information on exporting and transporting your goods and services.

    Get the details
  • Exporting workshops for clean-tech and green infrastructure firms

    Attend a workshop to learn about government programs and services that will help you capitalize on growing global market opportunities.

    Get the details
  • Financial support for Indigenous entrepreneurs

    Non-repayable contribution of up to $99,999 for business planning, acquisitions, expansion, domestic or export marketing, new product or process development, introducing new technologies and more.

    Get the details
  • Financing, advisory support, export and innovation services for high-growth companies

    Get help to expand your growth-oriented Canadian business through access to key government support such as financing and innovation, export and business advice.

    Get the details
  • Financing to accelerate growth in Atlantic Canada

    Get a financial contribution to help you scale up and expand, adopt and commercialize innovative technologies and processes, or diversify your markets.

    Get the details
  • Funding to increase international agri-market opportunities
  • Help Prince Edward Island become export ready

    Get help with marketing, French translation costs and financial assistance to import or export.

    Get the details
  • International trade missions and events for women entrepreneurs

    Achieve success in international markets by participating in women-focused trade missions and accessing trade commissioner assistance to prepare for and follow up on the mission.

    Get the details
  • Loans for young entrepreneurs

    Get a loan of up to $45,000 to get your start-up off the ground.

    Get the details
  • Loans to gain a competitive edge in international markets

    This secured loan is available to Canadian companies (or foreign affiliates) to help build an international presence.

    Get the details
  • Money for export planning for Atlantic Canadian companies

    Get up to $15,000 to cover 65% of the costs relating to export strategy, planning and marketing activities.

    Get the details
  • Money for the New Brunswick agriculture export industry

    Funding to help agriculture producers cover costs related to capturing and/or expanding markets at home and abroad.

    Get the details
  • Money for Nova Scotia agri-business to explore new markets

    Funding of up to $4,500 for outbound missions or investigative travel and inbound missions that allow Nova Scotia farmers and agri-businesses to explore new domestic, U.S. and international market opportunities.

    Get the details
  • Money for Nova Scotia export growth

    Funding of up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $15,000 for businesses looking to increase sales outside of the province.

    Get the details
  • Money for Nova Scotia small-business export growth

    Your small business may be eligible for funding to cover up to 50% of the cost (to a maximum of $15,000) to hire an export consultant and expand your reach.

    Get the details
  • Money for start-up and expansion in Atlantic Canada

    Get an interest-free repayable contribution of up to 75% of eligible costs to start up, expand, commercialize a new product or service, or improve competitiveness.

    Get the details
  • Money to help Atlantic Canadian businesses export

    Get up to $15,000 to cover 65% of the costs related to short-terms projects aimed at developing and adopting electronic tools that can help you get your products and services to international markets more efficiently.

    Get the details
  • Programs to support Newfoundland and Labrador firms' export goals

    Get financial assistance to hire a graduate to assist with exporting and learn about intellectual property and patents.

    Get the details
  • Support for Prince Edward Island business growth

    Your business may be eligible for up to $16,000 to pursue trade and export opportunities.

    Get the details
  • Tools for Newfoundland and Labrador companies looking to export

    Export diagnostic and preparation tools for companies that are interested in or currently exporting goods and/or services to international markets.

    Get the details
  • Working capital for exporters

    Meet export market needs or invest in foreign markets with this working capital loan for Canadian exporters to increase operational capacity.

    Get the details
  • Resources and tools for New Brunswick companies looking to export

    Get key export market information, Free Trade Agreements and a full listing of the latest International commerce (INCO) terms

    Get the details
Build my tourism business

    We can help you make Atlantic Canada a top destination. Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy funding, advice and support that may be available to you.

  • Expert advice to help Nova Scotia tourism operators develop and expand

    Advice and assistance from Tourism Nova Scotia's market development team to help you grow your business.

    Get the details
  • Financing to accelerate growth in Atlantic Canada

    Get a financial contribution to help you scale up and expand, adopt and commercialize innovative technologies and processes, or diversify your markets.

    Get the details
  • Funding for women-owned and women-led businesses

    Get a financial contribution of up to $100,000 to pursue new markets, scale up, expand and grow.

    Get the details
  • Grants and funding to support Prince Edward Island tourism businesses

    Get grants and financing to help you host an event, develop new P.E.I. tourism products, offset start-up costs and more.

    Get the details
  • How to develop new and better Nova Scotia tourism experiences

    Tools, worksheets and ideas to help you develop new tourism experiences, tips on promoting them and information on provincial marketing activities.

    Get the details
  • International tourism marketing tools

    Get valuable insights on Canadian branding, developing content and working with the media to promote your Canadian tourism products.

    Get the details
  • Loans to finance tourism operating costs in Prince Edward Island

    Support to help tourist facilities cover operating costs during pre-season preparation.

    Get the details
  • Loans for Prince Edward Island tourism businesses

    Financial support to help tourism-related businesses across a range of activities, including acquisition, expansion, debt consolidation, and repairing restaurants, accommodations and equipment.

    Get the details
  • Make your Nova Scotia tourism business a world-class experience

    Get new photography for your tourism business and benefit from inclusion in Tourism Nova Scotia marketing.

    Get the details
  • Market your Nova Scotia tourism business

    Get financial assistance to implement a tailored digital marketing campaign.

    Get the details
  • Marketing funds for New Brunswick agri-food businesses

    Up to $10,000 to cover 50% of the costs of market research, new product development, marketing and promotion, trade shows, farmers' market development, agri-tourism and more.

    Get the details
  • Money for start up and expansion in Atlantic Canada

    Get an interest-free repayable contribution of up to 75% of eligible costs to start up, expand, commercialize a new product or service, or improve competitiveness.

    Get the details
  • Online resources to help with establishing tourism businesses in Nova Scotia

    Find guides and toolkits for planning festivals/events, marketing, travel trade and operating a restaurant or accommodation business.

    Get the details
  • Online tools and resources to improve your tourism business

    Mentorship, training and advice to grow your Atlantic Canadian tourism business through online technology.

    Get the details
  • Programs to help your Nova Scotia tourism business

    Get your tourism business "Nova Scotia Approved," find expert advice to help you market your business online, and more.

    Get the details
  • Promote your tourism product internationally

    Your tourism business can apply to have a signature experience package promoted around the world.

    Get the details
  • Training for tourism workers

    Find online training focused on the best practices and standards in various roles within the tourism industry.

    Get the details
Work and live in Atlantic Canada

    Do you want to study or work and live in Atlantic Canada? Find possible Atlantic Growth Strategy advice and support that may be available to you.

  • Study & Stay PEI

    Get information about immigrating to Prince Edward Island through the Study and StayTM program.

    Get the details
  • Study & Stay Nova Scotia

    Get information about immigrating to Nova Scotia through the Study and StayTM program.

    Get the details
  • Study & Stay New Brunswick

    A new Study and StayTM program is currently being developed.

  • Study & Stay Newfoundland and Labrador

    A new Study and StayTM program is currently being developed.

  • Work in Atlantic Canada

    Get information about immigrating to Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Immigration Program.

    Get the details
Improve my community

    The Atlantic Growth Strategy helps communities become more sustainable, modern and innovative. Find possible funding, advice and support that may be available to you.

  • Financial assistance for Atlantic Canadian non-profit associations

    Loans of up to $225,000 and bridge financing are available for non-profit organizations involved in community development.

    Get the details
  • Funding for economic growth projects in rural Atlantic Canadian communities

    Get a non-repayable financial contribution for strategic projects that build on the existing strengths of your community, leading to long-term employment and enhanced economic capacity.

    Get the details
  • Funding for your promising clean-tech project

    Get a non-repayable contribution for pre-commercial clean-tech development and demonstration projects.

    Get the details
  • Help navigating clean-tech programs

    Get advice from a team of experts from across government that can help you find and understand what programs and services may be right for you.

    Get the details
  • Loan for clean-tech in rural Atlantic Canada

    If you are a rural Atlantic Canadian entrepreneur with a clean-tech idea or want to implement clean-tech or processes in your business, you can get a loan of up to $150,000.

    Get the details
  • Programs to improve Canada's infrastructure

    Find programs and information related to the Investing in Canada Plan.

    Get the details

 

Working Together: an Atlantic Tradition

The region's natural collaborative spirit helps define who Atlantic Canadians are. The Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces share a common goal of fostering stable and long-term economic prosperity in Atlantic Canada. Now, more than ever, it is time to take action by focusing on the areas that will stimulate economic growth in the region.

Trade and investment

 

The Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy (ATIGS) was launched in 2017 and updated in 2022. Its purpose is to help companies find export markets, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. Today, more companies are finding success in new and valuable export markets. The strategy also continues to promote foreign investment in the region.

Federal and provincial partners will invest up to $20 million by 2027 through the Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Agreement. It's all about expanding Atlantic Canada's international reach.

What does that mean for you, your company and your community? Through these investments, the partnership will:

  • increase the number of Atlantic firms engaging in international business activity
  • increase the capacity of Atlantic firms to strategically enter new international markets, and to sustain or increase their activity in those markets
  • strengthen the region's capacity to attract foreign direct investment

 

Tourism

 

Tourism is an important sector for Atlantic Canada. Prior to the pandemic, tourism-dependent industries contributed $4 billion to $5 billion annually to the Atlantic Canadian economy. Since 2020, the pandemic has disproportionately affected the tourism sector, which was the hardest hit sector and is expected to have the longest recovery.

The Atlantic Growth Strategy offers businesses many tools to develop the tourism sector and includes $20 million in provincial and federal government investments through the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism.

The partnership has a strategic and collaborative approach to tourism focused on projects that are innovative, that extend the tourism season, that disperse tourism benefits throughout the region or that will generate higher yield.

The partnership continues to support tourism strategies and products in communities that pursue tourism as an economic driver.

Skilled Workforce/Immigration

 

The Atlantic region's economy is growing. Employment growth proves it, especially the increase of full-time employment opportunities. More and more people are looking to the Atlantic provinces for work and study opportunities. With federal and provincial partners, the partnership is attracting talent in the region through the following programs:

In 2021, the region welcomed more than 15,825 economic immigrants and their families. Programs like these made this possible. Attracting talented and skilled workers and students to our region — and keeping them here — benefits us all.

 

Innovation

 

Innovation pays off.

From adopting new advanced manufacturing technologies to improving business processes to leveraging data intelligence — innovation is thriving in Atlantic Canada. The partnership is supporting research and innovation in areas such as:

  • biosciences
  • aquaculture
  • ocean technology
  • renewable energy
  • fisheries
  • agriculture and agri-food
  • forestry

Atlantic Canada also has a dynamic start-up culture, with over 700 start-ups across the region. Supported by a diverse ecosystem that includes business accelerators and incubators, post-secondary institutions, and various public and private partners, these firms drive innovation activity and promote long-term economic growth in the Atlantic region.

 

Food

 

The food industry is an important part of the Atlantic economy. From small family-owned farming operations to global corporations, food is among the top manufactured products in Atlantic Canada.

Food innovation and value-added products help Atlantic Canadian businesses take advantage of opportunities in the food industry, compete in world markets and grow the local economy.

The governments of Canada and the Atlantic Provinces are working with industry to identify ways to leverage strategic opportunities in our region's food sector.

With support from partners, ACOA is connecting businesses with the tools they need to:

  • commercialize innovative and value-added food products
  • adopt digital tools and automation
  • develop skills and labour capacity
  • incorporate greening initiatives

Together, the partnership is helping to build on Atlantic Canada's food advantage and grow the local economy.

 

Clean growth and climate change

 

The worldwide push toward clean growth and a green economy is an opportunity for the Atlantic region. The global market for clean-tech reached an estimated $2.5 trillion by 2022. With this in mind, the Atlantic Growth Strategy is helping the region reduce its carbon footprint, reduce climate change, and develop clean export products and services.

The partnership's efforts are supported by Canada's strengthened climate plan: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy.

 

Infrastructure

 

Infrastructure isn't just about roads, sewers and electrical grids. Improving infrastructure also includes bringing high-speed internet to rural Atlantic communities and modernizing post-secondary institutions.

The partnership is building better infrastructure in Atlantic Canada that will support growth, and engage and connect people.

Together with the four Atlantic Provinces, the partnership is fostering long-term economic growth and inclusive communities.

 

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