Why some business owners can’t get government funding

In a time of pandemics, economic uncertainty and financial duress, many small, medium and even large businesses are applying for the various government funding options available to them.

From federal funding like CERB to provincial programs like business adaptation grants, and even before COVID, there were many funding opportunities that businesses could apply for. Except if you had a learning disability.

One of the biggest challenges for business owners with disabilities is the application process. The paperwork (digital too) requires a lot of written expression, calculations, and communication. If you have dyslexia, Aspergers or some other cognitive disability, applying is hard.

In fact, even without a learning disability, even most small businesses find the application processes daunting. What can be done to improve access to government funding opportunities for those with disabilities?

First: Move the application online.

Second: Accept video applications.

Third: Consider oral interviews.

Fourth: Make an accountant available to help them setup the numbers/financials.

At a minimum, these methods will make the application process more inclusive, and actually more user centric. They will also, as a starting point, improve someone’s likelihood at applying and chances of getting approved for funding.

And isn’t that the purpose of these government funding opportunities? To help Canadian businesses grow and be successful? With some creative changes to the application process, all business owners can at least try.

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