Prospera Credit Union partnership supports entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the Okanagan Valley go digital with the new Level Up Local grant.
The Okanagan Valley is well known as an entrepreneurial region. Many of the small businesses located here have faced challenging times due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the recent climate disasters that have occurred. To support the recovery and growth of the Okanagan economy, we have partnered with Prospera Credit Union to provide local businesses throughout the Valley with digital guidance and a new grant opportunity.
“Business owners are eager to find and leverage the right technology that can make improvements in their business,” says Alex Goodhew, Community Manager at Accelerate Okanagan. “Collaborating with Prospera Credit Union on the Level Up Local grant allows us to help guide those digital strategy efforts while providing some financial relief for whatever needs to be implemented. Supporting unique solutions that make sense for the stage and type of business is something we work very hard to develop alongside the business owners”.
The Level Up Local grant is now available for any small and medium-sized businesses in the Okanagan region from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm. This grant is designed to assist businesses with implementing a digital growth strategy. It can cover a wide range of initiatives like; optimizing SEO, creating social media and digital marketing campaigns, website development, or even software and hardware costs that can enable business growth. Businesses can apply for the Spring 2022 funding which is accepting applications on a rolling intake. Funds are limited so the sooner you are able to apply, the higher likelihood of success. Additional funds will be available this upcoming Fall.
For Kirsten McElgunn, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Prospera Credit Union, this grant program comes at an opportune time, when many businesses are rebuilding after challenges. “At Prospera, we know our communities are stronger when our local businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems are thriving. The Level Up Local grants initiative will provide access to mentorship and funding support for local businesses in the Okanagan area. This is an important step to give our local businesses a helping hand and enable them to thrive in this digital era.”
Eligibility criteria is based on a number of factors including:
- Significant revenue impact due to COVID-19 or climate emergency
- Business is located in a community with a population of under 25,000
- Embedding technology is a business priority
- Business has capacity to manage the project or initiative
- Diversity of leadership team
To learn more about the grant process, local business owners can meet one-on-one with an Accelerate Okanagan Business Advisor. After this connection, eligible businesses can submit a formal application for the grant. Priority will be given to businesses that have been affected by the pandemic and climate disasters and businesses opporating in rural communities with populations under 25,000. In addition to the grant opportunity, Accelerate Okanagan and Prospera Credit Union are making their Advisors available to assist any business owner with navigating current economic challenge