The grant program will run until Mar. 31 or as long as the funds last. (Unsplash photo/Houston Today)

The grant program will run until Mar. 31 or as long as the funds last. (Unsplash photo/Houston Today)

Province launches new grant program to take businesses online

Will help businesses hit hard due to COVID-19 to cater to online customers

In light of the pandemic, with in-person shopping hit hard, province is launching a new grant program called the Launch Online grant program, to help pivot businesses online.

According to a news release issued by the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, people’s reliance on online shopping has increased in the past two years with over $305 billion in e-commerce sales in Canada in 2019 and for 2020, the e-commerce sales are projected to have doubled due to the pandemic-related restrictions. This upwards trend in online shopping is expected to continue in 2021.

Through the grant program, over 1,500 eligible small- and medium-sized B.C. businesses, including those in hard-hit sectors such as retail, tourism and restaurants, will get up to $7,500 to build or improve their online store and promote BuyBC at a local, national and international level.

“Businesses need access to the tools and supports that will help them adapt and pivot during this uniquely challenging time,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation. “This program will provide business owners with the ability to expand their online presence and create a customized e-commerce site that will give them the boost they need to keep moving forward.”

The province is hoping to help businesses launch or upgrade an online store that will provide the platform they need to increase their sales revenues, become more competitive and grow. Up to 25 per cent of the program funds will be reserved for regional and Indigenous businesses.

Grant recipients can use the funding for a variety of online-related expenses, including pictures, creating an online inventory system, advertising costs, subscription costs of an e-commerce platform and training staff to manage the website.

As part of the program, successful applicants must use one or more local B.C. service providers to complete their online store. Through this model, the grant funding can be reinvested in B.C.-based marketing and technology companies to generate revenues for local companies and help secure and grow jobs.

The Launch Online Grant program is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response and will be administered by Alacrity Canada. Small- and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to apply online: www.launchonline.ca

The program will run until Mar. 31 or as long as the funds last.


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The village is hoping for a start date in early April with completion as soon as possible. (Granisle Village website photo/Houston Today)
Granisle’s curling rink to receive a facelift

Receives a $362,148 provincial grant

A huge milestone for Granisle to reach 50 years, said Mayor. (Village of Granisle photo/Lakes District News)
Granisle’s 50 years anniversary celebration postponed

The celebrations are now set to be held in 2022

Topley is part of the 10 projects funded in the north. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)
Topley to receive economic funding

Part of province’s $20.7 million Climate Adaptation Program

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Most Read