Utilize the launch online grant program to pivot into eCommerce

Good news for everyone who has been looking to launch an eCommerce website and hasn’t had the means to do so. This pandemic has been brutal on everyone’s livelihoods, and it is nice to see something that might help pivot some companies into another revenue stream.

The BC Government has officially announced its Launch Online Grant Program, which covers up to 75% of expenses, with a maximum of $7500 to launch an e-commerce website. It doesn’t matter where you launch it — WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, Etsy, Facebook, Amazon, Weebly or Wix.

Now, some serious requirements will make it difficult for most small businesses to qualify, and they are as follows:

  1. This is a first-come, first-served deal. So, if you’re on the fence, give us a call, and let’s get rolling to see whether you can qualify. The program runs until September 30, 2021.
  2. Must have a Business Number, GST number and be paying tax in BC.
  3. Be between 1 and 150 employees, which includes sole proprietors.
  4. Must have had gross sales of more than $30,000 in 2020 or 2019.
  5. You must submit a grant proposal that talks about how you will use this money.
  6. Must start and finish the entirety of the eCommerce site within a 12 week period.
  7. Must use a BC-based business to create the site (um, hello).
One thing that is unique about this program is that the funds will be released to you immediately upon approval into the program, allowing for a rapid response and launch.

So, now we can get into what the details of this 75% cost can cover:

Service Provider costs (these are the agency and/or freelancer costs):

  1. Working with the e-commerce platform provider and website development itself.
  2. Online copywriting for all of the site and your products.
  3. Develop your entire online product listing of goods.
  4. Photography, whether is stock taken in-person, stock photos or graphics.
Digital platform costs:
 
  1. E-commerce CMS platform annual fees.
  2. Digital advertising (through Facebook, Google, Instagram, etc…)
  3. Search Engine Optimization.
  4. Graphic design for social media profile and banner images.

Then there’s all of the training required to run the site and perhaps even taking a course or two on how to best sell through these platforms. What an unreal offer!

I imagine they claw-back your grant if you do not have the following items in place, so honestly, even if you don’t go through us, MAKE SURE this is in your quote.

  1. Customer registration (membership) and security (HTTPS)
  2. Fully useable shopping cart and an inventory management system.
  3. Needs to fully calculate regional tax and any shipping costs that might be incurred when the order is being made.
  4. A full product catalogue showing all offerings, a search function and an ability to see inventory levels/backorders.
  5. Full trackable Google Analytics and reporting setup.
 For the full details of the program, feel free to grab the Launch Online eCommerce Program PDF by clicking here.
 
Or… jump directly to the application page by clicking the button below: