Open to BC businesses, the BC government-funded Launch Online Grant Program offers ‘free money’ to cover up to $7,500 in costs to shift a business to online selling.
The applicant can be a business that already has a website, but has no (or only underdeveloped) e-commerce elements; or a business with no web presence that can benefit from selling its products online.
Here are examples, from my own world, of businesses that might benefit:
A small boutique florist has a gorgeous website but does not take orders online. Their hours are limited and parking can sometimes be a challenge. Adding an e-commerce element to their existing website could open up the sales opportunities considerably, while saving customers time, and introducing the added level of COVID protection through ‘shopping at home’.
A local café sells baked goods via Door Dash but has no online means of selling whole cakes: a key element of their sales diversification. Currently their process is to take cake orders and payments by phone. Adding an e-commerce ‘whole cake’ element to their basic (and dated!) website would reap efficiencies within the business and attract new customers.
The grant will support 75% of the costs of hiring a BC-based e-commerce specialist of your choice, up to a total grant of $7,500 (on a $10K project cost). The project must be completed within 12 weeks of approval.
The budget for this program has been expanded from $12M to $42M, due to strong demand. Do visit their website now for more information on eligibility and how to apply. The program runs to September 30, 2021 or until the budget is exhausted.
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