By Émile Audet
February 07, 2024

The first component of ESSOR: Support for the realization of investment projects

What is the ESSOR program?

ESSOR is a program managed by the Economic Development Fund (FDE), whose main objective is to improve the productivity and competitiveness of businesses in Quebec. It aims to support and encourage investment projects in the province, with a particular focus on digital transformation. The ESSOR program comprises four main components, each with its own eligibility criteria and terms of assistance. ESSOR thus offers a range of tools and measures to support Quebec companies in their quest for competitiveness and adaptation to the challenges of digital transformation.

What projects are included in the first part of the program?

The first part of the program includes several projects designed to support companies in their development and digital transformation. These projects include the various steps involved in project implementation, such as market analysis to identify market opportunities and needs. Process or technology assessments are also included in the program, enabling companies to identify possible improvements in their production processes. Regulatory and legal analyses are also part of the first stage projects, to ensure that companies comply with current standards. In addition, the program also provides for the revision of companies' business models to increase productivity or accelerate their digital transformation. This can include setting up digital diagnostics, digital plans and implementation plans. It's important to note that the project must start no later than three months after authorization, which guarantees rapid and effective project implementation. In conclusion, the first part of the program offers comprehensive support to companies in their digital transformation initiatives, addressing aspects such as market analysis, process evaluation, regulatory analysis, business model review and rapid project implementation.

Which companies are eligible?

Companies eligible to benefit from the ESSOR program must be for-profit and established and operating in Quebec. All sectors are eligible for the implementation of a digital plan, which means that all companies, whether they belong to the manufacturing, service, retail or other sectors, can benefit from these programs and can also benefit from the other projects covered by the component after completing a digital plan. However, for all other projects that are not preceded by a digital plan, the following sectors are not eligible: primary sector (agriculture, fishing, forestry), mining, real estate, construction, utilities, health, education, public administration, finance, insurance, arts and leisure, telecommunications, broadcasting and catering. Outside these sectors, all other companies can take advantage of the ESSOR program to improve their competitiveness and online visibility.

What help is available?

In terms of available assistance, it's important to mention the subsidy for certain eligible expenses. This grant covers 50% of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $100,000. This means that if you have specific expenses or projects for which you need financial assistance, you can benefit from a grant that will cover half the costs up to this amount. In addition, for digital plans, there is also assistance available in the form of a grant. This assistance is 50% of eligible expenses, but this time capped at $20,000. So, if you want to set up digital projects or invest in digital technologies, you can take advantage of this grant, which will cover half the expenses up to this amount. All in all, these various forms of financial assistance are a real opportunity for individuals or companies with specific projects and financial needs. They help reduce costs and facilitate the realization of these projects by providing valuable financial assistance.

How to participate

To participate in the program, it is essential to first check that your company is eligible. This means making sure your company meets the criteria set by the program. Once this verification has been carried out, it's time to decide on the type of project you want to carry out. This could be an expansion, innovation or equipment modernization project, for example. Once the type of project has been determined, it's time to fill in the pre-qualification form. This form will enable program managers to better assess the relevance of the project and the company's needs. It is important to provide all the necessary documents, such as financial statements or building permits, to complete the application file. Once the application has been submitted, all that's left to do is wait for ESSOR to analyze it. This analysis will determine whether the project is eligible for financing, and to what extent.

Take advantage of the first phase of the ESSOR program

In conclusion, the ESSOR program plays a crucial role in supporting the competitiveness of businesses in Quebec by focusing on digital transformation. Here are five key points to remember about this program:
  1. Main objective: The ESSOR program aims to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Quebec businesses, with a strong focus on digital transformation as a key element of their success.
  2. Four components: ESSOR comprises four main components, each with its own eligibility criteria and specific terms and conditions of assistance, offering a range of tools to meet the diverse needs of businesses.
  3. Component 1 projects: The first component of the program supports various projects related to digital transformation, such as market analysis, process evaluation, regulatory analysis, business model review and rapid project implementation.
  4. Eligibility: Eligible companies must be for-profit, established and operating in Quebec, while certain sectors, such as agriculture, healthcare, public administration, etc., are not eligible for certain types of projects.
  5. Financial assistance: The program offers financial assistance in the form of grants to cover up to 50% of eligible expenses, with specific ceilings depending on the type of project, making it easier to carry out digital transformation projects.
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Related Tags
Business aid
Digital transformation
Government aid

About the author

Émile Audet - Canadian grants specialist

Émile Audet

Canadian grants specialist
Working at helloDarwin for some time now, I'm in charge of providing you with the information you need on government aid. Dedicated to helping companies in Quebec and Canada reach their full potential, I write on the helloDarwin blog about the various programs, allowances and funding available to enable organizations to make their digital transformation through access to federal and provincial support.

Frequently asked questions about ESSOR

What is the ESSOR program?

Who is eligible for ESSOR?

What kind of project are covered by ESSOR?

What type of help is offered by ESSOR

Why take part of the ESSOR program?

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