LaunchOnline Grant offers Business Support for Digital Pivots

Photo of masked woman at a restaurant.

The B.C. Government has launched another grant program to help businesses adapt to the pandemic. Administered by Alacrity Canada, with the support of South Island Prosperity Partnership, LaunchOnline is available to small and medium sized businesses across the province.

A media release says the program is designed to help over 1,500 eligible adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and pivot to market their products online. Up to 25% of the program funds will be reserved for regional and Indigenous businesses.

Businesses need access to the tools and supports that will help them adapt and pivot during this uniquely challenging time,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This program will provide business owners with the ability to expand their online presence and create a customized e-commerce site that will give them the boost they need to keep moving forward.”

According to the BC Government, 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.

LaunchOnline grants will provide business owners, including those in hard-hit sectors such as retail, tourism and restaurants, with up to $7,500 to build or improve their online store and promote BuyBC at a local, national and international level.

“We launched an online shop within 48 hours after the lockdown,” said David Nicholls, general manager, Vancouver Island Brewing. “While we were happy to get it off the ground, we soon realized that the online store could not meet all of our needs and the uniqueness of shipping beer. We are excited by the possibility of receiving a grant from this program so we can enhance our website and share our locally crafted beers with customers across B.C.”

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 Launch Online Grant program is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. Funding will be handed out on a first come, first-served basis. The program will run until March 31, 2021, or until all funds are distributed.

Get the details on eligibility and apply here: