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B.C. GOVERNMENT HAS INVESTED $30 MILLION TO HELP B.C. BUSINESSES MOVE THEIR BUSINESS ONLINE

The Launch Online Grant Program provides funding to B.C.-based business to create an online shop or an online booking system and/or improve their existing online operations to attract new local customers and expand to
new markets. The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business.

ELIGIBILITY
The business is owned by a B.C. resident or residents; the business’s sole or primary operations are located in B.C. The business is currently operating; is registered in B.C.; employs up to 149 B.C. residents; pays taxes in B.C. Maintains a Federal business number; GST number; PST and WorkSafeBC number (where applicable); generated sales of more than $30,000 in the past year (in 2019, or in the year preceding the application)

Program application intake is open until September 30, 2021 or until the funds have been fully subscribed. Funding will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis to small- and medium-sized B.C. businesses. Successful applicants will receive funding within 2-3 weeks of approval and are required to develop or upgrade their online shop or online booking system within 12 weeks of receiving the grant.

HURRY AND APPLY NOW!

How the program works

The Launch Online Grant program provides funding to B.C.-based business to create an online shop or an online booking system and/or improve their existing online operations to attract new local customers and expand to new markets. The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business.

The program supports a rapid response for businesses and is accepting applications from businesses ready to start and finish their online shop within 12 weeks.

◉ Up-to 30% of funds will be reserved for Black, Indigenous and people of color owned businesses and businesses operating outside of the lower mainland and greater Victoria.
◉ The funds must be used to hire B.C.-based company(ies) to do the online store or online booking system development.

The program application has three steps

Step 1:

Develop a grant proposal that explains how you plan to use the funds. Businesses need to show a cost estimate that includes how much funding you need and how the money will be spent.

Step 2:

Complete the online application demonstrating that you meet the eligibility criteria and submit your online shop proposal.

Step 3:

Applicants will be contacted within three weeks with the outcome of their application.

Application deadlines

Program application intake is open until September 30, 2021 or until the funds have been fully subscribed. Funding will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis to small- and medium-sized B.C. businesses.

For the projects to have an immediate benefit, the funds will be given as soon as a business has been approved for the program.

Determine your eligibility

Review the following criteria to determine if your business, including sole proprietors and non-profits, is eligible for the program.

Applicants must meet all of the following general eligibility criteria:

◉ The business is owned by a B.C. resident or residents;
◉ The business’s sole or primary operations are located in B.C.
◉ The business:
      ◉ Is currently operating;
      ◉ Is registered in B.C.
      ◉ Employs up to 149 B.C. residents;
      ◉ Pays taxes in B.C.
      ◉ Maintains a
            ◉ Federal business number
            ◉ GST number
            ◉ PST and WorkSafeBC number (where applicable)
      ◉ Generated sales of more than $30,000 in the past year (in 2019, or in the year preceding the application)
◉ One of the following applies:
      ◉ Does not currently have an online store or has an online store that has no more than three of the five identified online store features optimized
            ◉ Customer registration and information security features
            ◉ Shopping cart and order management capabilities
            ◉ Payment processing options including application of appropriate taxes and shipping costs at time of ordering
            ◉ Product catalogue, search and inventory status
            ◉ Website analytics and reporting capabilities
OR

      ◉ Does not currently have an online booking system or has an online booking system that has no more than three of the five identified online booking features optimized
            ◉ Customer registration and information security features
            ◉ Schedule navigation and reservation management capabilities
            ◉ Payment processing options including application of appropriate taxes at time of ordering, if applicable
            ◉ Automated replies and reminders
            ◉ Website analytics and reporting capabilities

Eligible Expenses

Funding will help cover up to 75% of costs for expenses like:

◉ Service provider costs:
      ◉ Platform, online shop and online booking system development
      ◉ Copy and online content writing
      ◉ Developing an online inventory of goods, products and services
      ◉ Pictures (including hiring a photographer), stock photos or related graphics needed

◉ Digital Customer Acquisition:
      ◉ E-commerce platform subscription (up to 1 year)
      ◉ Online advertising (up to 1 year)
      ◉ Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
      ◉ Creating banners and other embedded advertising
      ◉ Product catalogue, search and inventory status
      ◉ Website analytics and reporting capabilities

◉ Course fees to cover staff training to manage the online shop or an online booking system, learn about digital marketing, etc.

Successful applicants must use one or more B.C.-based service providers to build or improve their online store or online booking system. The only non-B.C.-based eligible expenses include:

◉ Platform subscription costs
◉ Purchase of online photos and graphics
◉ Purchase of online promotional space such as Facebook ads
◉ Online course fees

Mandatory online shop features

At the end of the 12-weeks your online shop will need to have:

◉ Customer registration and information security features
◉ Shopping cart and order management capabilities
◉ Payment processing options including taxes and shipping costs at time of ordering
◉ Product catalogue, search and inventory status
◉ Website analytics and reporting capabilities

Mandatory online booking system features

At the end of the 12-weeks your online booking system will need to have:

◉ Customer registration and information security features
◉ Schedule navigation and reservation management capabilities
◉ Payment processing options including taxes at time of ordering, if applicable
◉ Automated replies and reminders
◉ Website analytics and reporting capabilities

NEED A FREE $7,500 BUSINESS GRANT FROM THE GOVERNMENT?

    Name of Applicant Business
    Website link (if applicable)
    Primary Contact Name
    Position/Title
    Business Phone number
    Email
    Business Address

    For example: 1111 Government St., Victoria BC, A1A 1A1

    Is the business owned by a B.C. resident or residents?
    Are the business’s sole or primary operations located in BC?
    Is the business currently operating?

    Businesses not currently operating due to a public health order affecting their business or sector are not eligible for the program. Businesses that only operate seasonally, but that are ready to open during the appropriate season (and that otherwise meet all other eligibility criteria) will be considered operating.

    What is your Provincial Sales Tax (PST) Number? (optional)

    For example: PST-1234-5678

    What is your B.C. Registration ID?

    To learn more about Registering your Business in BC, please follow this link to the BC Registry website at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/managing-a-business/starting-a-business/starting-a-restaurant-in-bc/register-your-business

    What is your Federal Business Number?
    What is your Goods and Services Tax (GST) Number?

    For example: 123456789 RT 0001

    Have you filed taxes in 2019 or 2020?
    Last year’s revenue (2019 or the year preceding the application)

    Please enter in a numerical value only (no symbols)

    Has your business registered with WorkSafeBC?
    What is your WorkSafeBC registration number (if applicable)?

    This field is required if answering yes

    What is your sector?
    Please specify

    This field is required if answering yes

    Is this business owned by black, Indigenous or person of colour?
    Does the business sell products (goods)?
    Does the business provide services?
    Does your business sell Cannabis products?
    Are your products manufactured and/or produced in BC?
    If no, please specify where
    How many employees does the business have on its payroll?
    Is the business an import/export business?
    Does the business currently have an online store or an online booking system?
    If Yes, please provide a link to the online store or booking system
    If the business has an existing online store, please select all that apply
    If the business has an existing online booking system, please select all that apply
    If approved, are you able to utilize the grant funds and complete your online store or online booking system proposal in twelve weeks?
    Has your business received funding from other provincial or federal COVID-19 recovery programs?
    If yes, please list all programs

    After submitting the information, we will contact you regarding your application.

    The Launch Online Grant Program is part of StrongerBC, B.C.'s economic recovery plan. The program is administered by Alacrity Canada. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. Web Works Digital Marketing is a Full Service Agency that can provide these services to help you and your business benefit from these government grants.