Toronto Trade Accelerator Program receives $6.7 million from federal government


The Toronto Trade Accelerator Program (TAP Toronto), a program that helps small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) prepare for export, has received two federal government investments, totalling $6.7 million, to help 1,000 Ontario SMEs successfully export goods and services.

“Today’s investment… will help nearly 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses export to 1.5 billion customers.”

The first is a $5 million FedDev Ontario investment to expand TAP to 15 communities across Southern Ontario. The second investment is $1.7 million through Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s (ISED) Mobilizing SMEs to Export initiative under the Export Diversification Strategy to expand TAP into Northern communities across Canada.

“Canada is known as a nation of innovators because our industry-leading firms have seized the opportunity that exporting brings and taken high-quality Canadian goods and services to new markets,” said ISED Minister Navdeep Bains. “I look forward to 1,000 talented small and medium-sized businesses increasing their productivity by harnessing the power of exporting through Toronto’s expanded Trade Accelerator Program.”

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TAP Toronto’s three-step program offers SMEs access to Canadian export advisors, resources, and contacts. Through the initiative, companies work to develop a comprehensive export plan and begin its implementation. The program is a part of the World Trade Centre Toronto, a trade services arm of the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

The first step of the program is export readiness training, to introduce SMEs to the exporting resources available to them and how they can build and implement a new market entry plan. The second step is an export plan workshop, which involves developing an export plan, detailing strategic objectives, supply chain, and operational resources. The final step is a mentoring and validation workshop, where submitted plans are assessed by the TAP team and its export advisors.

“Our Trade Accelerator Program has demonstrably empowered more than 530 businesses across Canada with proven success,” said Jan De Silva, president and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “We are proud to have helped our graduates grow export sales by nearly 50 percent, with 85 percent of those grads reaching new global markets. We thank the federal government for its investment in enabling the export journey and success of 1,000 additional businesses.”

A statement from Ottawa said, although Canadian SMEs have access to 1.5 billion customers through various trade agreements, only 12 percent are exporting. The $1.1 billion Export Diversification Strategy is looking to increase Canada’s international exports by 50 percent by 2025.

“Today’s investment in the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Trade Accelerator Program will help nearly 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses export to 1.5 billion customers made available through Canada’s many trade agreements,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion.

Companies can participate in TAP through a partner nomination or direct application.

Image courtesy Pixabay.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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