Businesses in British Columbia have never experienced an economic crisis like the one brought on by COVID-19. Even seasoned entrepreneurs are struggling with uncertainty as they reassess budgets, redesign marketing strategies and prepare cash-flow projections. Over the past months, the Government of Canada has taken strong action to help these businesses keep employees, pay rent and get access to capital to cover costs. As our economy reopens, the federal government continues to make important investments to support BC’s technology sector.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $2,950,000 in federal support to help businesses in BC. Of the $2,950,000 in federal support, Accelerate Okanagan will be receiving $284,000 from WD through Innovate BC. This support will help to expand existing services for technology companies and create new opportunities for mainstreet businesses looking to enter into the digital economy through the Digital Economy Response Program (DER3).
Originally piloted by Nanaimo’s Innovation Island Technology Association, DER3 provides one-to-one business and technical expertise for companies hoping to improve their digital capacity. Innovate BC will also work with BCAN and other organizations to expand the innovative program across the province. The WD funding will help build an integrated network to provide training, tools, and customized advice to over 900 businesses. This crucial support will help them transition into the digital economy or expand their digital footprint, giving them the tools they need to respond to physical restrictions and expand to new markets.
“This federal funding will enable Innovate BC and our network of provincial partners to provide direct support to local businesses that are dealing with the economic fallout of COVID-19,” says Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO of Innovate BC. “Through this program, B.C. businesses will get access to training, mentorship, and advisory services that will maintain jobs and ensure that companies across the province are set up for resiliency and success.”
To learn how you can benefit from these programs, connect with our team.