The BC government is giving $7,500 to businesses to build an eCommerce website.
As part of British Columbia’s (B.C.) Economic Recovery Plan, the Launch Online Grant Program is providing $12 million to help businesses get their operations online to spur business growth, drive economic development, and provide support for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), including regional and Indigenous businesses.
The funding helps businesses sell their products online. With an ecommerce website, businesses will be able to service local customers and access new customers beyond their geographic area.
The Launch Online Grant program is funded by the B.C. government and administered by Alacrity Canada. Grant funding is available for at least 1,500 eligible BC-based businesses.
A business can launch an e-commerce website in 3 months for $2,500. The Launch Online grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business. The Launch Online grant recipient must cover 25% of the cost, which can be covered from other programs or directly by the businesses.
What can a business use the Launch Online grant for? Funds can be used for 3 areas:
- Website Development:
- Platform and website development
- Copy and online content writing
- Developing an online inventory of goods and products
- Pictures (including hiring a photographer), stock photos or related graphics
- Digital Marketing:
- E-commerce platform subscription (up to 1 year)
- Online advertising (up to 1 year)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO in Vancouver)
- Creating banners and other embedded advertising
When does a business receive the Launch Online grant? Approved businesses can expect to receive funds to be received in approximately 3 weeks of approval.
What are the deliverables? At the end of the 12-weeks your online shop will need to have:
The Launch Online grant provide funding exclusively to B.C. businesses
Government grants are meant to stimulate the economy by allowing businesses to increase trade. Funds from the Launch Online grant are intended to help B.C. businesses reach new online customers whilst collaborating with local technology service providers.
Notable eligibility criteria includes (but not limited to):
There are 3 steps to secure funding:
Step 1: Grant Proposal
Develop a grant proposal that indicates 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: Apply
The application involves 33 straightforward questions about your business to establish eligibility. The majority of the questions are basic (e.g. name, contact details, etc.), but a few questions require specific details (e.g. Notice of assessment (2019) or First section of T2 return or first section of owner’s tax return (form 5010-R) (2019 or 2020)), which may require digging.
Step 3: Approval
Applicants will be notified within 3 weeks with the outcome of their application. If the application is approved, funding will be provided in 2-3 weeks.
In short, it will take about a month and a half to receive funding once your application is submitted. But funding is limited and is distributed on a first come, first serve basis.
Go for Launch
For full details of the Launch Online program guide, click here. By summer of 2021, you will have a fresh new website to serve customers near & far. The Launch Online grant program is a great way to generate another revenue stream quickly and cost effectively.