B.C. government is investing $12 million to help businesses with online sales

February 4, 2021

With COVID-19, a lot of businesses have had to change the way they do business. A trend that isn’t dying down is a shift to more online sales.  A number of businesses have been able to save, or even in some cases, enhance their business by going online. However, not all businesses have been able to do that becuase of the costs involved.

The good news today from the B.C. government. Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Ravi Kahlon today announced that the provincial government will be offering grants of up to $7500 to businesses to take their business online.

How it works:

The program supports a rapid response for businesses and is accepting applications from businesses ready to start and finish their online shop within 12 weeks.

  • Up-to 25% of funds will be reserved for Indigenous businesses and businesses operating outside of the lower mainland and greater Victoria.
  • The funds must be used to hire B.C.-based company(ies) to do the online store development

You can apply for the grant here: launchonline.ca/

Am I eligible?

Applicants must meet ​all of the following ​general eligibility 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 license 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, 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 the application of appropriate taxes and shipping costs at the time of ordering
      • Product catalogue, search and inventory status
      • Website analytics and reporting capabilities

What Can I use the grant for?

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


This grant is on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED basis so don’t delay.

Contact Kelowna Website Design to get your free quote.


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