The coronavirus and the drastic measures put in place by government officials to try to control its spread had a severe toll on many small businesses. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The coronavirus and the drastic measures put in place by government officials to try to control its spread had a severe toll on many small businesses. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

B.C. pilot program launches to help small businesses weather COVID

1,000 entrepreneurs across the province will be chosen to receive free help from experts

The federal government is funding a new initiative to help small businesses tackle widespread revenue loss as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

The Digital Economy Rapid Response and Resiliency Program aims to provide B.C. entrepreneurs with a plan for economic resiliency in 2021.

This could include helping shop owners set up e-commerce for their shop, or tourism professionals pivot their sales to a new customer base in wake of current health restrictions.

“Brick-and-mortar businesses were once dependent upon people coming in-store are facing challenges with their traditional business models,” explained Innovate BC communications representative.

READ MORE: 21,000 small businesses in B.C. at risk of closure, says survey

Out of those that apply, 1,000 buesiness owners will be chosen to benefit from free expert advice, financial resources and digital tools.

The pilot program will operate in several B.C. regions including Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands, as well as in the Okanagan, Kootenays and the North.

Applications are now open at innovate bc.ca until mid-March.



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