The BC Government has launched a Launch Online Grant Program to provide BC businesses with up to $7500 to create or improve an ecommerce store. The accepting applications from businesses ready to start and finish their online shop within 12 weeks. As we’ve seen in our work with clients on applying for the Small and Medium Business Size Business Recovery Plan, setting up an online presence is top of mind for all businesses.

What is this Grant?

If you’re a BC-based business looking to sell existing physical products online, this grant will provide $7500 to create or improve an online store.

Funding will help cover up to 75% of costs for expenses such as:

  • Service provider costs:

    • Platform and website development

    • Copy and online content writing

    • Developing an online inventory of goods and products

    • Pictures (including hiring a photographer), stock photos or related graphics needed

  • Digital customer costs:

    • E-commerce platform subscription (up to 1 year)

    • Online advertising (up to 1 year)

    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    • Creating banners and other embedded advertising

  • Staff training to manage the online shop, learn about digital marketing, etc.

Successful applicants must use one or more B.C.-based service provider(s) to build or improve their online store. The only non-B.C.-based eligible expenses include:

  • Platform subscription costs

  • Purchase of online photos and graphics

  • Purchase of online promotional space such as Facebook ads

What are the criteria?

The business is owned by a B.C. resident or residents;

  • The business’s sole or primary operations are located in B.C.

  • The business:

    • Is currently operating;

    • Is registered in B.C.;

    • Employs less than 149 B.C. residents;

    • Pays taxes in B.C.

    • Maintains a

      • Business number

      • GST number

      • PST and WorkSafeBC number (where applicable)

    • Generated sales of more than $30,000 in the past year (in 2019, or in the year preceding the application)

    • Has repeatable products (goods), or in the case of artists and jewellers, individual items that have slight differences (i.e. paintings or rings)

    • Does not currently have an online store or has an online store that has no more than three of the five identified online store features

      • Customer registration and information security features

      • Shopping cart and order management capabilities

      • Payment processing options including application of appropriate taxes and shipping costs at time of ordering

      • Product catalogue, search and inventory status

      • Website analytics and reporting capabilities

Why Work with Purpose CPA?

As part of the eligibility, you will need a few accounting items:

  • Filed income taxes along with more than $30,000 sales in 2019 (or year preceding application)

  • GST, PST, and Worksafe BC Number (where applicable)

  • Grant Proposal outlining how you plan to use the grant funds along with estimated total costs for service provides, digital marketing and training. Remember, the online shop must be completed with 12 weeks.

    We have an established partnership with a Digital Marketer, Graphic Designer, and Website Developer to hit the ground running.

While subsidized funding is great, you need an functional store built in a reasonable timeframe along with an ongoing store support and marketing plan. Take this proposal as a chance to develop a executable plan because you don’t want to expend your efforts only to have no one purchase from you online neither.

Stay tuned as we are developing a templated project proposals to help submit your grant application.

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