Overwhelming demand for provincial funding to support online sales activities has led the province to add $250,000 to e-commerce grants provided as part of the Buy BC program.
The program reached capacity in just two business days after applications began being accepted on May 15. Applications continued to pour in, however, as the original deadline was May 29.
“The demand was so great that it was clear we needed to help more businesses move online so they can sell their products direct to consumers across the province,” said agriculture minister Lana Popham in announcing the additional funding, which boosts total program funding to $550,000.
She says the top-up is final and no new applications will be accepted to the program, which requires recipients to spend grants between June 8 and September 30.
The funding will support development of websites that allow for online sales and will cover the cost of publicizing the option and shipping costs. Grants will cover up to $2,000 in packaging costs associated with online shipments and advertising costs to a maximum of $1,000.
Successful applicants can receive up to $5,000 apiece, meaning the program will support at least 110 agri-food businesses across BC. Recipients were notified by June 7, according to program information.
Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, which is administering the program, received a total of 304 applications, 140 of which arrived in the first hour. Funding was approved for 109 applicants, including 44 producers and 65 processors, on a first come, first served basis.[Updated June 11]