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The BC Launch Online Grant Program – What You Need To Know

March 9, 2021

What is the BC Launch Online Grant Program?

The BC Launch Online Grant program provides up to a maximum of $7,500 in funding to businesses based in British Columbia to assist with the creation of an online shop and/or improve their existing e-commerce capabilities in order to help acquire new local customers and expand to new markets. In addition, the Launch Online Grant Program will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500.

This program was launched to help support businesses in BC who are ready to begin and/or finish creating or improving their online shop within a period of twelve weeks.

Key facts:

  • Indigenous businesses and businesses operating outside of the lower mainland and greater Victoria will have up to 25% of funds reserved for them.
  • The funds must be used to hire BC-based companies to develop or improve e-commerce capabilities

Who is eligible for the BC Launch Online Grant Program?

To be eligible for the BC Launch Online Grant Program, businesses must meet specific eligibility criteria, which include:

  • The business must be owned by BC resident(s)
  • The business’s primary operations are in BC
  • The business:
    • Is currently operating
    • Is registered in BC
    • Employs fewer than 149 BC residents
    • Is paying taxes in BC
    • Maintains a business number, GST number, PST number & WorkSafeBC (where applicable) 
  • The business has generated sales of more than $30,000 in the past year (2019, or in the year preceding application)
  • The business has repeatable products or products that differ slightly
  • The business does not currently have an online shop or has an online shop that has no more than 3 of the 5 identified online shop features:
    • Customer registration and information security features
    • Shopping cart and order management capabilities
    • Payment processing options
    • Product catalogue
    • Website analytics and reporting capabilities

How to apply for the BC Launch Online Grant Program?

In order to apply for the BC Launch Online Grant Program, the following steps must be met:

First Step – A business must develop a grant proposal and outline how it plans to use the funds. A cost estimate, which includes how much funding will be needed and how the money will be spent, will need to be included.

Second Step – Businesses must complete an online application demonstrating that they meet all the eligibility requirements and submit their online shop proposal

Third Step – Applicants will be notified within 3 weeks with the result of their application

The program will be accepting applications until the grant funds have been fully utilized. Funding for the Launch Online Grant Program is on a first-come, first-served basis to small and medium (SME) sized businesses in BC.

To learn more about the Launch Online Grant Program, please visit their website linked here.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact a member of the Empire CPA team by filling out the contact form below.

Canadian and foreign tax laws are complex and have a tendency to change on a frequent basis. As such, the content published above is believed to be accurate as of the date of this post. Before implementing any tax planning, please seek professional advice from a qualified tax professional. Empire, Chartered Professional Accountants will not accept any liability for any tax ramifications that may result from acting based on the information contained above.

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