The coronavirus and the drastic measures put in place by government officials to try to control its spread had a severe toll on many small businesses. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The coronavirus and the drastic measures put in place by government officials to try to control its spread had a severe toll on many small businesses. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

B.C. pilot program launches to help small businesses weather COVID

1,000 entrepreneurs across the province will be chosen to receive free help from experts

The federal government is funding a new initiative to help small businesses tackle widespread revenue loss as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

The Digital Economy Rapid Response and Resiliency Program aims to provide B.C. entrepreneurs with a plan for economic resiliency in 2021.

This could include helping shop owners set up e-commerce for their shop, or tourism professionals pivot their sales to a new customer base in wake of current health restrictions.

“Brick-and-mortar businesses were once dependent upon people coming in-store are facing challenges with their traditional business models,” explained Innovate BC communications representative.

READ MORE: 21,000 small businesses in B.C. at risk of closure, says survey

Out of those that apply, 1,000 buesiness owners will be chosen to benefit from free expert advice, financial resources and digital tools.

The pilot program will operate in several B.C. regions including Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands, as well as in the Okanagan, Kootenays and the North.

Applications are now open at innovate bc.ca until mid-March.



sarahleonagrochowski@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BusinessCoronavirusSmall Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

School District 8 is considering moving some programs out of Central School to make more room. Photo: Tyler Harper
SD8 considers moving Wildflower classes, REACH program out of Central School

The district says the building is set to operate over capacity in the fall

A emergency response team assisted the RCMP in apprehending a woman in Kaslo who was barricaded in her house on March 1. File photo
RCMP apprehend woman barricaded in Kaslo house

The woman had been writing threatening messages about taking hostages, police say

A byelection will be held on March 27 to fill the council seat vacated by Brittny Anderson, who is now the MLA for Nelson-Creston. File photo
Meet the Nelson byelection candidates at online forum

Event sponsored by Nelson at its Best will take place online March 11

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read