BC Launch Online Grant Program

 

LAUNCH ONLINE GRANT PROGRAM

Additional grant funding and expanded eligibility criteria announced for the Launch Online Grant program.

The B.C. government has invested an additional $30 million to help BC-businesses move their business online. There is now $42 million of grant funding in place to help small- and medium-size businesses across B.C. move their business model online.

Grant eligibility criteria has been expanded. Businesses that want to enhance or build an online booking system are now eligible to apply. The original eligibility criteria for businesses that want to enhance or build an online shop remains in place.

Please see the updated eligibility criteria below to see if your business qualifies.

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.

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.

We can provide you with this at no charge. Simply complete a design brief with as much as detail as you can.

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 

Businesses will be asked to declare access to other programs funded by the provincial or federal government such as Buy BC Partnership Program E-commerce Funding Stream or Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.

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
    • 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 systems features:

    At the end of the 12-weeks your 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

    Submit Your Application

    Before applying

    Businesses that applied previously but did not met the eligibility criteria will be reassessed against the new criteria. The applicant will be contacted if their application meets the new criteria. Your application does not need to be resubmitted, and you will not lose your place in the application queue due to reassessment.

    Please review the eligibility information on this page. If you have any questions, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page for support before submitting your application. Incomplete applications cannot be approved to receive a grant.

    You will be asked to provide:

    • Current year or past fiscal year income statement
    • Federal business number
    • PST and WorkSafeBC registrations, if applicable
    • Income tax return:
      • Notice of assessment (2019); or
      • First section of T2 return or first section of owner’s tax return (form 5010-R) (2019 or 2020)
    • B.C. business registration number and official registered name

    Note: All above mentioned documents must be provided to Alacrity Canada if application is conditionally approved before funds can be disbursed.

     

    For more information on the program or to begin your application, visit the Launch Online Website.

    Let us tell you about our web design process and get some information from you so that we can provide additional information – no obligation!

    Skip to content