In response to a high number of applications, the B.C. government is investing an additional $30 million in the Launch Online Grant program.
The Launch Online Grant program provides up to $7,500 to businesses to help build or expand an e-commerce site to reach more customers and to sustain and grow their business.
An online presence is integral for businesses that want to adapt their operations to better reach customers in their community, throughout B.C. and beyond. These changes will help approximately 4,000 more businesses market their products and services online.
“Many small businesses have had to change the way they operate as more and more people shifted to online purchasing during the pandemic. Our government has been there to help these businesses adapt,” said Premier John Horgan. “By expanding eligibility to our successful launch online program, more B.C. small businesses from the hardest hit sectors will have access to the tools they need to boost their online presence, grow their e-commerce capacity and become more resilient as we build toward a brighter future.”
The new funding is in addition to the February 2021 announcement of $12 million to support 1,500 businesses to enhance or establish their online presence. Currently, over 3,500 businesses from around the province have applied, demonstrating the need for these supports.
Businesses in the hard-hit tourism sector, like tour operators or hotels, and businesses in the service industry, such as massage therapists, personal trainers or hair stylists, can now access the grants to build or improve their online booking systems.
As part of the eligibility enhancements, 30% of the grant funds will now be reserved for Black, Indigenous and people of colour-owned (BIPOC) businesses, as well as rural businesses. This is expanded from the original 25% of grant funds that were reserved for Indigenous and rural businesses.
The program is administered by Alacrity Canada. Small and medium-sized businesses can apply online: www.launchonline.ca