Funding Alert: Launch Online Grant Program

February 4th

Funding for online shops announced yesterday.

The B.C. government has partnered with Alacrity Canada to support small and medium-sized businesses, including regional and indigenous businesses through the new Launch Online Grant Program. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how businesses operate, increasing their reliance on online marketing and e-commerce to reach their customers. As the demand for accessing products and services online grows, businesses need the ability to develop, maintain and market an online store to remain competitive and grow.

The Launch Online Grant Program supports businesses by providing up to $7,500 to build or enhance an online shop that will help them retain and attract customers and provide a new source of ongoing revenue. With this funding, B.C. businesses will have the opportunity to grow their businesses in domestic and international markets through digital channels.

See News Release from earlier today for information »

Encourage your local business networks to learn more about this one-time funding opportunity. Applications intake is now open and businesses can submit at https://launchonline.ca/.

Attached social media messages and images, should you wish to promote the program through your social channels as well.

Thanks!

Best,
Cheryl McLay

Regional Manager Vancouver Island/Coast
Regional Economic Operations- Rural Development Unit
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
2080 Labieux Road Nanaimo
Phone 250.739.8223
Cell 250.713.5261
Cheryl [dot] McLay [at] gov [dot] bc [dot] ca

Official Community Plan Steering Committee

I am writing to inform you about an exciting opportunity to shape the future of Ladysmith. The Town is undertaking a review of its Official Community Plan (OCP) and is seeking stakeholder representatives for the Official Community Plan Steering Committee. The committee will help guide the review process by providing feedback to staff, consultants and Council.

The Town is seeking representatives for this committee from a diverse range of stakeholder groups, including representatives from the business sector. The committee will meet on an as-needed basis, but not more than twice per month, for a duration of up to 21 months. Please see attached Terms of Reference and application. For further information, please contact Jake Belobaba, Director of Development Services at 250-245-6405 or by email at jbelobaba [at] ladysmith [dot] ca.

Applications may be submitted by:

Thank you in advance for considering this exciting opportunity.

Julie Tierney
Executive Liaison, Town of Ladysmith

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B.C. Recovery Grant Program

I am writing to you today to share some important changes to the B.C. Recovery Grant Program was originally launched in October. As you may be aware this program provides non-repayable grants to small and medium-sized businesses in B.C. who have lost revenue due to the current COVID pandemic. There is a total of $345 million in funding available and the funds are distributed on a first come first serve basis. As of this week, approximately 30% of the funding has already been distributed.

I want to ensure that businesses in our community are taking advantage of this program and would like to request your assistance in sharing this information with businesses in our community.

Since launching BC’s small- and medium-sized Recovery Grant program in October, we have heard from the small business community that the program could be enhanced to help more businesses. Our government listened to that feedback, and I am happy to tell you that we have made a number of changes to the program that will help more businesses get help more quickly.

Overall, the changes have simplified the application process and streamline criteria. Businesses that have already submitted applications do not have to reapply, and their applications will be reviewed under the revised criteria. Key changes include:

  • Lowering the requirement for the amount of time a business had to have been in operation from three years to 18 months.
  • Removing the requirement to list a number of remittance accounts such as GST, PST, and WorkSafeBC registration numbers.
  • Extended the grants to sole proprietors with fixed costs.
  • Expanding the revenue requirements to include businesses that continue to earn 30 percent or less in revenue.
  • Streamlining the required recovery plan to a two-page form.
  • Increasing the total amount of funding to $345M from $300M, which includes a $100M envelope for the tourism sector and a top-up of up to $15,000 for tourism businesses.

The program is already providing targeted financial support for some of the hardest-hit businesses in BC. The program runs until March 31st, 2021, or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first. More information, including the online application, can be found online at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant. I am also attaching a fact sheet for your reference.

B.C. entered the pandemic as an economic leader in Canada, and we are committed to supporting small businesses to reopen, adapt, hire, and grow. I thank you for your hard work and dedication in these difficult times and I hope this program will be of benefit to businesses in our community who have suffered due to COVID-19.

Download the fact sheet (PDF)

Sincerely,
Doug Routley MLA Nanaimo-North Cowichan

Doug Routley

douglas [dot] routley [dot] mla [at] leg [dot] bc [dot] ca

www.dougroutley.ca

Nanaimo | Unit 112- 50 Tenth Street (Southgate Plaza)
P. 250.716.5221 | F. 250.716.5222

Ladysmith | #1-16 High Street
P. 250.245.9375 | F. 250.245.8164

Tourism Cowichan: Discover Your New Getaway

There’s something special about fall. The shorter days, and longer nights have people seeking relaxing experiences, while the crisp, fresh air also makes us want to get outside and soak up the golden autumn sunshine. It’s invigorating and tranquil at the same time.

Fall in Cowichan is no different. The bright reds and golden yellows of the farmland and hillsides seem almost unreal, while the mist that settles along the ocean and in the valley give off a mystical vibe. It truly is a world away from ordinary.

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Source: Tourism Cowichan

Tourism Cowichan: Locally Grown; Locally Made

Fall Spots in Cowichan

There’s something special about fall. The shorter days, and longer nights have people seeking relaxing experiences, while the crisp, fresh air also makes us want to get outside and soak up the golden autumn sunshine.

Fall in Cowichan is no different. The bright reds and golden yellows of the farmland and hillsides glow, while the mist that settles along the ocean and in the valley give off a mystical vibe.

Tourism Cowichan Oct 2020

Ladysmith:

This seaside town is chock full of restored heritage buildings – vestiges of a frontier past financed by coal and lumber.

The downtown core is also home to a wide variety of shops, boutiques, bookstores, antique dealers and more eateries than you can shake a stick at. Spend a Saturday perusing the shops with a coffee and a famous cinnamon bun from Old Town Bakery, or stop for dinner at Plantitude, Ladysmith’s only vegan restaurant, or Maya Norte, a Spanish-Mexican fusion restaurant.

A walking tour of Ladysmith’s heritage route will take you past the heritage artifacts lining First Avenue and then ultimately to the Waterfront Art Gallery and BC’s only floating museum.

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Source: Tourism Cowichan

Ladysmith’s Historic First Avenue Wins National Great Street Title

Ladysmith’s First Avenue wins national Great Places in Canada contest – Great Street!

First Avenue

Ladysmith, November 8, 2017 – Ladysmith’s beautiful and historic First Avenue has been selected by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) as Canada’s 2017 Great Street. The award was decided by a jury of certified planning professionals during the Great Places in Canada contest. CIP’s review of 17 submissions from across Canada was based on a set of criteria of planning best practices that considered social, economic, and accessibility and safety factors, and elements such as design, culture, history, and landscape.

Jury Statement

First Avenue exhibits all of the qualities one would expect from a great street: visually-interesting building facades, generous sidewalks, attractive landscaping and artistic details, places to rest, and places to gather.

This street, with its diverse mixture of local businesses, housing and services, has been a focal point of daily life for community members for more than a century.  Streetscape enhancements, heritage preservation, the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and the many unique and publicly accessible festivals and events held throughout the year, are key ingredients to First Avenue’s success as a Great Street.

The jury acknowledges the community’s commitment to defining and celebrating First Avenue as the heart of Ladysmith’s downtown core.

See website »

First Avenue

“We are absolutely thrilled the Canadian Institute of Planners has chosen First Avenue as Canada’s Great Street. This is an incredible honour for our community and showcases the pivotal role First Avenue has played in helping to shape Ladysmith’s identity as a charming, diverse and vibrant west coast community,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone.

First Avenue

Great Places in Canada contest winners were announced on World Town Planning Day, an internationally celebrated day that recognizes the accomplishments of professional planners and their contributions to communities. Other British Columbia winning communities included Coquitlam, which was awarded Great Public Space for its Town Centre Park, and Main Street in Smithers, which received the People’s Choice: Great Street.

First Avenue

“The last time a B.C. community received the Canada’s Great Street honour was back in 2011. Winning this award for 2017 truly acknowledges our community’s commitment to defining and celebrating First Avenue as the heart of downtown Ladysmith and highlights the significance of this exceptional street and its importance to our community,” said Guillermo Ferrero, Town of Ladysmith City Manager.

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