On Feb 3, 2021, the BC government and Etrain4u.com Academy announced the “Launch Online” grant, a provincial grant aimed at helping BC business owners better develop their eCommerce options to assist with the post-COVID economic recovery. The BC government has pledged 12 million dollars for the program, which will go toward helping up to 1,500 small and medium-sized businesses create an online sales portal (or improve an existing one). The grant aims to assist with BC’s economic recovery by helping local companies to reach BC consumers who shop primarily online, thus keeping more BC money in BC.
How Does it Work?
The grant is designed to cover expenses related to:
- ·Building an online shop (including product photography and copywriting)
- ·Improving existing eCommerce platforms (staff training and time spent on substantial enhancements)
- ·Digital customer acquisition (including SEO, keyword research, and Google ads management)
- ·Training employees to manage the online shopping platform
The government will fund up to 75% of eligible expenses for qualifying applicants, up to $7500 per business. Accepted applicants must complete all activities related to building or developing their online shops within 12 weeks of receiving funding.
Who Qualifies for the Grant?
Since the grant aims to keep BC consumer money in BC, it goes without saying that applicants should be based in the province. Specifically, you should meet all of the following eligibility requirements:
- ·The owner of the company must be a BC resident (or residents)
- ·Your business must operate solely or primarily within BC
·You must be currently running and employing BC residents (with employees totaling fewer than 149)
- ·You must be registered in and pay taxes in BC
- ·You must have a business license number and a GST number; plus a PST and WorkSafe BC number if applicable
- ·Have generated sales of more than $30,000 in either 2019 or the year preceding application.
- ·Have repeatable products, or, if you sell handmade art or jewelry, multiple unique products with significant similarities (think: a series of custom necklaces with different pendants or similarly sized paintings of slightly different subjects)
The grant is primarily offered to businesses that don’t currently have an online shop, but you can still be eligible even if you currently do online sales.
If your company does have an online shop, you are still eligible as long as you have no more than 3 of the following attributes:
- 1. Customer registration and information security features (for example, a customer login portal and credit card encryption)
- 2. Shopping cart and order management capabilities
- 3. Payment processing options that automatically apply taxes and shipping costs
- 4. A searchable product catalog with inventory status
- 5. Website analytics and reporting capabilities
How Do I Apply?
Applications for the grant are now open!
The first step for applying is to develop a grant proposal that clearly explains your plan for using the allocated funds including:
online shop development, digital customer acquisition, & employee training.
Once you’ve developed your proposal, fill out the "Launch Online" application form through the Launch Online website.
The application form will stay open until all the funds have been allocated. Etrain4U.com Academy will contact you within three weeks of your submission.
If you meet the qualification criteria, you will be approved & asked to provide supporting documentation — such as tax returns & business registration paperwork — to prove that you meet all of the requirements.
If you are approved, you’ll need to hire a BC based company or service provider to help you set up your online shop and train your employees. You’ll be required to submit regular progress reports explaining your process for eCommerce implementation.
Etrain4u.com academy can help!
We are a BC-based company with over 20 years of combined experience working with various sizes and multiple industries to develop beautiful, secure, functional, and robust online stores.
Our work with thriving eCommerce-based businesses showcases our ability to develop straightforward, highly functional online shops that are scalable and appeal to local & global customer bases. We’ve worked with owners & managers of businesses of all sizes, ranging from large, international eCommerce operations to local B2B providers & neighborhood shops. Whether you’ve been operating your business for decades or are just starting, Etrain4u.com Academy can help you set up your eCommerce website, develop & manage an effective online ad campaign, and create a user experience that’s simple, engaging, and keeps your customers coming back year after year.
let's get started!
Well, what are you waiting for? The "Launch Online" grant is an unprecedented opportunity for BC businesses to gain a foothold in the online marketplace. The pool of funds won’t last long!
Contact Etrain4u.com Academy to get started!