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EGDEric

Quebec business grants

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I'm a Quebec citizen, I live in Montreal. I want some funding to make some indie games, and I know the Quebec government is very serious about subsidizing the game's industry (Ubisoft, and Phil Fish got grants, among others), so I googled around and found this: http://www.grants-loans.org/blog/news-and-events/quebec-video-game-developer-to-receive-9-9-million-in-government-funding/ . I followed the instructions on the page, and got on the phone with with someone. Their company charges for access to databases of Quebec grants/subsidy programs to businesses. He said he has 2 big databases, and they'll charge $589 each. If I get my funding, I can get the money repaid if I agree to let them advertise me on their site (thanks to us, he got funded!). He said I could potentially get a wage subsidy of $20,000 per employee.

 

I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about this? Is this advisable? I'm surprised I need to go through them at all, seeing as the Quebec government should be making these grant programs easy to find. But maybe it's worth it, what do you think?

 

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followed the instructions on the page, and got on the phone with with someone. Their company charges for access to databases of Quebec grants/subsidy programs to businesses. He said he has 2 big databases, and they'll charge $589 each.

This sounds pretty dodgy; I would avoid it. Government doesn't have a good website, so we'll sell you access to their information???

 

I'd ask your local IGDA branch first, and the Enterainment Software Association of Canada if they know which grant / loan / tax programs are available to you.

 

Keep in mind that not all government programs will be "video game grants" -- I know many developers in my city (not in Canada) who have gotten generic "small business" grants, from both the state government and local city council level. I also know developers who have gotten grants and loans from government-owned film funding agencies, and ones who have gotten big refunds from the tax office under generic "R&D" rebates.

Or for example, the Canadian "video game tax break" legislation is actually in a section titled "Refundable tax credits for the production of multimedia titles". That bit of law sounds similar to what you've described, with the tax office paying you somewhere in the order of $20k per employee... but this would be part of your tax return at the end of a financial year. You'd still have to pay the employee's wages throughout the year, and then be refunded at the end.

Edited by Hodgman

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That organization is a leach.  Dealing with foreign governments it's OK to have to go through a third party with a "special" business relationship (eg. any dealings with the government of China requires you do so through a specialized private "broker" who both charges a fee and gets paid by the government, then shares some of that with the inside government employees who do the work -- try applying for a visa to travel in China sometime). Dealing with such an "enterprise" in Canada is not OK.  It's a con.

 

Your ministry will have enough information on their website to get you everything you need.  You have Quebec grants and you have Canadian grants you can take advantage of, but the only third-party you should be talking to about this is your business accountant.

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My knowledge of business grants is quite limited but...

 

If you're paying anyone other than a provincial registry agent or someone at Service Canada, you're probably being scammed.

 

The keyword to search for for these kinds of subsidies tends to be "multimedia" and the name of the province. I believe there are federal programs that may be useful as well since Canada has a big thing about producing its own "cultural content".

 

As mentioned, you probably also want to look into various programs available for small business start ups.

 

I haven't read the following sites carefully but they appear tied to the provincial government (you should double check) and might be a place to start:

http://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/entreprises/cycle/demarrer/default.aspx
http://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/salle-de-presse/nouvelles-fiscales/2015/2015-06-29.aspx

http://canadabusiness.ca/programs/tax-credits-for-production-of-multimedia-titles-1/

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