The new Launch Online Grant program is designed to help eligible small- and medium-sized BC businesses adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and pivot to market their products online.
People have increased their reliance on online shopping with over $305 billion in e-commerce sales in Canada in 2019. E-commerce sales are projected to have doubled through 2020 and are expected to increase further in 2021. Launch Online provides funding to BC-based business to create an online shop and/or improve their e-commerce experience 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. Grant recipients can use the funding for a variety of online-related expenses, including pictures, creating an online inventory system, advertising costs, subscription costs of an e-commerce platform and training staff to manage the website. The funds must be used to hire B.C.-based companies to do the online store development.
The program supports a rapid response for businesses ready to start and finish their online shop within 12 weeks. Intake is open now, and funding will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis until fully subscribed.
For details on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://launchonline.ca/.