There is much we can learn from listening to other people’s stories, exploring professions and paths different than our own. This post is the next in a series of spotlights on entrepreneurship and small businesses. This month we spoke with Jon Irwin, Director at Leyton, and learned how businesses can benefit by connecting with experts to improve their business performance.


Jon is a Director at Leyton, which is an international consulting firm that is dedicated to the economic, ecological and social development of all types of organizations. Founded in 1997, they have over 1,500 employees (including over 40% women) and they operate in 12 different countries that all have an established Research and Development (R&D) tax credit. 

Government Grants for Eligible Businesses 

In Canada, the key R&D tax credit is the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED – pronounced “shred”) Program. These tax incentives come in three forms: an income tax deduction, an investment tax credit (ITC), and, in certain circumstances, a refund. SR&ED is one of the most lucrative tax incentive programs in the world; however, it’s also one of the most difficult to successfully get, even for eligible companies. The application is very complex, so businesses can connect with consultants and innovation experts to recover SR&ED credits from eligible work they are doing and demonstrate required compliance.  In this way, businesses can maximize their business potential while keeping their focus on actually performing their core services. 

In addition to SR&ED, there could be several other government grant programs that businesses may be eligible for that they do not even realize. By connecting with specialists in this area, businesses can be sure to access all the grant funding they can, and even receive help accessing loan opportunities if needed. 

Tax Recoveries 

Another key service line that businesses may tap into is sales and property tax recoveries. Experts can help a business correct prior year entries to how their sales taxes have been recorded and see if businesses have paid too much tax in previous years. Similarly, these experts can help businesses try to have their property tax reassessed, and achieve savings on future taxes. Depending on a business’ specific circumstances, services can be tailored and customized. 

Why Connect with an Expert to Pursue these Programs?

Navigating these complex programs and successfully demonstrating exactly what the Canada Revenue Agency is looking for can be difficult and time-consuming. Having someone help you understand the program eligibility, how to demonstrate compliance and minimize audit risk, all results in you receiving the maximum benefit with the lowest amount of time away from operating your business. Similarly, for grant programs where only a select number of applicants receive funding, writing the best proposal is critical for your business’ success. 

Low-Risk for Businesses

Many times, consultants in this space work on a success fee or contingent fee structure. This means that that they only pay the consultant a percentage of the amount they receive from the government. A benefit of this structure is that a business does not need to give up any of their valuable working capital while applying for these programs. 

Maximizing your business’ financial options can be a critical component of your business plan. However, exploring these government programs and incentives can be tricky. Connecting with an expert can be a great way to help you achieve your goals.