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More funding added to help B.C. businesses move online

An additional $30-million from the B.C. Government will be invested in the Launch Online Grant program.

The Province said the grant program provides up to $7,500 to businesses to help build or expand an e-commerce site to reach more customers and grow their business.

“Many small businesses have had to change the way they operate as more and more people shifted to online purchasing during the pandemic. Our government has been there to help these businesses adapt,” said Premier John Horgan. “By expanding eligibility to our successful launch online program, more B.C. small businesses from the hardest-hit sectors will have access to the tools they need to boost their online presence, grow their e-commerce capacity and become more resilient as we build toward a brighter future.”

This investment comes after the program has seen high demand, as the B.C. Government said over 3,500 businesses have applied for the grants so far.

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The grant can be accessed by those in the tourism sector, and businesses in the service industry, such as massage therapists, personal trainers or hair stylists to build their online booking systems.

30% of the grant’s funds will be reserved for Black, Indigenous and people of colour-owned (BIPOC) businesses.

“The Launch Online Grant program responds to the way the pandemic has changed the business world, and the strong demand shows we are filling an untapped need,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “In addition to expanding the program, we are reserving a portion of the funds for BIPOC businesses because our recovery must be inclusive, taking care to not leave people behind.”

Grant recipients will work with local B.C. service providers, reinvesting the money in B.C.-based marketing and technology companies to generate revenues for local companies and help secure jobs.

Businesses can apply until September 30, 2021. Grants are awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis to small and medium-sized businesses.

More: Launch Online application (B.C. Government)

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