Launch Online Grant Program

by John Doe

Grants of up to $7,500 per business to help cover the costs of launching or upgrading an online store during the pandemic.

What is the Launch Online Grant Program?

The Launch Online Grant program funds eligible expenses for launching or upgrading an online store up to a maximum of $7,500 per business. The program reflects the fact that people in Canada shop online more than ever. Ecommerce sales are projected to have doubled through 2020 and are expected to increase further in 2021.

The B.C. government is investing $12 million in the program to help businesses launch or upgrade an online store to provide a platform to increase sales revenues, become more competitive, and grow. Up to 25% of the program funds will be reserved for regional and Indigenous businesses.

The program is based on a first come, first-served basis, until all funds are distributed. Businesses that apply must be ready to start and finish their online shop within 12 weeks.

Who is Eligible?

Eligible B.C.-registered businesses must:

  • Have generated sales of more than $30,000 in the past year (in 2019, or in the year preceding the application)
  • Not currently have an online store or has an online store that has no more than three of these 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

View the full eligibility criteria.

Eligible Expenses

Applicants must develop a grant proposal that indicates how you plan to use the funds. This should include a cost estimate that states how much funding you need and how the money will be spent for each of these cost groupings:

  • 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

See all eligible expenses. Businesses that apply must be ready to start and finish their online shop within 12 weeks.

Important Dates

  • Applications open: February 3rd, 2021