Funding, Grants, and Training

2021 is the year for opportunity and growth, but with so many options available where does one start? We've taken care of the guess work for you and short listed some of the key programming that can help you conquer COVID-19 and get your business back on track for 2021 and beyond.


Key Programs


Sector Specific Opportunities




BC Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant

Deadline to apply: March 31, 2021

The Small and Medium Sized Business Recover Grant program provides fully funded grants to businesses to ensure they have the support they need during and beyond COVID-19. Grants of $10,000-$30,000 are available to small and medium sized B.C. businesses impacted by COVID-19. An additional $5,000-$15,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses.

What you need to know:

  • Eligibility criteria changed as of December 18, 2020
  • If you applied to the program prior to December 18, 2020 you will not need to resubmit your application
  • The program runs until March 31, 2021 or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first

Still not sure if you qualify even with the new Eligibility Criteria? Review a breakdown of the latest eligibility changes HERE.

BC Launch Online Grant

The Launch Online Grant program provides funding to BC based businesses to create an online shop and/or improve their e-commerce experience to attract new local customers and expand to new markets. The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business.

What you need to know:

  • Up to 25% of funds will be reserved for Indigenous businesses and businesses operating outside of the lower mainland and greater Victoria
  • The funds must be used to hire BC based company(ies) to do the online store development
  • Program application intake is open until the funds have been fully subscribed. Funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • Accommodation partners are ineligible 



Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Deadline to apply: March 31, 2021

This $55 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33% (up to $20,000).

What you need to know:

  • As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses will increase from $40,000 to $60,000
  • Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion
  • All applicants have until March 31, 2021 to apply for the $60,000 CEBA loan of the $20,000 expansion


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The Government of Canada has announced an additional $500 million in support through RRRF for small businesses that continue to suffer from COVID-19 related loses.

To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges resulting from COVID-19, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will provide eligible businesses with interest-free repayable funding up to $1,000,000.

What you need to know:

  • RRRF is intended to support all of Western Canada's economic sectors. Priority consideration will be given to businesses in the tourism sector in support of the Federal Government's announcement that 25% of RRRF funding would be used to support tourism businesses.
  • RRRF may support eligible operating costs up to a maximum of 12 consecutive months
  • RRRF is intended for businesses that do not qualify for funding resources such as CEBA, BCAP, HASCAP or other federal funding COVID-19 relief programs.


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - Community Futures Stream

This $2-billion Government of Canada fund is to support small and medium sized businesses that have been negitively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These businesses can now apply for loans of up to $60,000 through RRRF.

As the financing terms of RRRF and CEBA are similar, rural businesses can choose which program to apply for funding. Applicants can only apply for ONE of these federal programs.

What you need to know:

  • Community Futures offices are supporting rural businesses requesting $60,0000 or less. These businesses should apply through their local community futures office if they are eligible
  • If you are a rural business requesting more than $60,000, you should apply through Western Economic Diversification Canada


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - Women's Enterprise Initiative Stream

The RRFP was announced by the Government of Canada to provide financial support directly to small and medium sized women-owned or women-led businesses. Loans up to $60,000 are available through Women's Enterprise Initiative (WEI) organizations across Western Canada to address COVID-19 impacts on short-term stability.

This access to financing will support small enterprises that are unable to access larger federal relief funding programs, or unable to obtain a loan/credit from traditional institutions, and that are struggling with working capital needs.

Women-owned or women-led businesses requesting over $60,000 must apply through Western Economic Diversification Canada.


Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Deadline to apply: June 30, 2021

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenue decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.

What you need to know:

  • Benefit of a 4% interest rate and a repayment tern of up to 10 years
  • Up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan
  • Deadline to apply is June 30, 2021



Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This subsidy will enable you to -rehire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.


Sector Specific Opportunities


Employment & Training 


Small Business BC - Business Advice Program

Small Business BC provides independent, expert and tailored small business advice for business owners in British Columbia. They offer a range of business advisory services in: business registration, business plan, market research, and import/export. Alternatively, get the answer to your specific business questions by talking to one of our experts in Accounting, Branding, Business Broker, Customers & Logistics, Lawyer, HR, Insurance, Technology, and Website.

What you need to know:

  • Through a partnership between Destination BC and Small Business BC, this program is currently being offered for FREE using the discount code: DBC3034


Small Business BC - Business Education

Small Business BC provides practical business seminars and online education to develop your business skills and strategy to run a successful business. Whether you need help starting your business, hiring employees, managing operations, or anything else, Small Business BC has a business education seminar for you.

What you need to know:

  • Through a partnership between Destination BC and Small Business BC, this program is currently being offered for FREE using the discount code: DBC3034
  • To see all available Education at Small Business BC from Jan-March 2021, download the catalogue.


TOTA - Digital Support & Literacy Services Program

The Digital Support & Literacy Services Program has been developed to provide tourism businesses with one-on-one guidance in determining where you currently are digitally and where your business needs to be.

As part of this program, a digital marketing expert will offer complimentary services to:

  • Make urgent updates to your website, such as changes to your operations and the addition of your COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Claim your Google My Business listing
  • Set up your TripAdvisor listing (linked to the HelloBC listing)
  • Set up a social media account (Facebook, Instagram)
  • Provide recommendations on where your efforts should be focused now and into the coming weeks
  • Get support on onboarding onto an eCommerce platform and have fees covered for one year (up to a certain amount)

Now is the time to make sure your business is competitive and easily accessible to consumers as we move toward a time in the near future when our visitors are coming back.


Student Work Placement Program

Work placements are a win-win for employers and students, Through the Student Work Placement program, employers can apply for wage subsidies to help them hire post-secondary students across Canada. You could get up to $5,000 for every student you hire through the program, and up to $7,000 for every student you hire that is in their first year or is from an under-represented group.


BC Employer Training Grant

The BC Employer Training Grant program (ETG) supports skills training to address provincial labour market needs. The program is delivered by the Province of British Columbia and is funded by the Government of Canada through the Workforce Development Agreement.

What you need to know:

  • Due to high demand for limited funds, applications are prioritized and not assessed solely on a first-come, first-serve basis. Priority is given to: first-time applicants, small businesses, applicants from disadvantaged regions, and applicants from industries facing the greatest challenges acquiring skilled workers


Digital Marketing Bootcamp

The Alacrity Canada Digital Marketing Bootcamp is a virtual skills-training program that aims to prepare you for the digital marketplace. This intensive Bootcamp involves daily experiential learning as well as mentorship sessions with marketing experts to help equip you with the knowledge, tools, and resources you need to thrive as a marketer. By the end of the Bootcamp, you will be ready to jump into a marketing role or help grow your business with a real understanding of how your work can contribute to and shape the marketing process.


Community Futures - Taking Care of Business Program

Taking Care of Business is a program offered through Community Futures providing funding for training and one-on-one support for businesses in the participating Community Futures regions thought Northern BC. With your FREE membership your business team will have to access to FREE online workshops, webinars, and professional business support.


Destination Canada - Marketing Tips & Tricks Video Series

This video series is designed to help Canadian tourism businesses get the most out of their marketing efforts, reach travelers and remain competitive. These quick tutorials feature Destination Canada team members sharing their expertise.

Episodes Include:

  • Creating Video for Youtube
  • On Page SEO
  • Instagram
  • Making Paid Media Work
  • Public Relations 101
  • Good Data Matters


TIABC & BC Hotel Association - BC Accommodations: Keeping Guests and Staff Safe During COVID-19

Recognizing that there is a demand for tourism and hospitality businesses to share steps taken to keep residents and visitors safe and healthy, as well as a need to inform visitors about what to expect when they are able to travel to BC, TIABC has invested in a series of videos that will act as public service announcements educating multiple audiences about the province's health and safety protocols, what businesses are doing to ensure their customers, guests, employees, and communities are safe, protected, and ready to reiterate the provincial tourism marketing messaging "Know Before You Go".

Technology and Innovation 


Innovate BC

You need money to grow. Innovate BC can help. We provide funding and connections to ignite innovation in every corner of the province.

Programs include:

  • Digital Skills for Youth - up to $26,000 for digital skills training so youth can successfully transition to the workforce
  • Fast Pilot - up to $200,000 for regional SMEs to design, build, and operate a pilot plant or small demonstration of their technology in real-world conditions
  • Mitacs Innovate  - up to $15,000 to support a joint academic-industry research project at no cost to businesses
  • Tech Co-op Grants - up to $20,000 in funding to hire a co-op student through the program
  • Innovator Skills Initiative - up to $10,000 a year to hire a business or tech student


Kamloops Innovation

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Innovate BC is pleased to offer the Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency Program (DER3) to support small-medium sized businesses, in any sector, to enter or expand in the digital economy.

The program will offer:

  • Personalized advisory services
  • Resource materials, best practices and tools needed to increase business capacity
  • Connections to vetted digital service providers and subject matter experts

Sports, Arts & Culture 


Emergency Funding - Culture, Heritage, and Sport

Learn about the immediate action the Government of Canada is taking to provide support measures and financial relief for the culture, heritage, and sport sectors.


City of Kamloops - Grants & Funding

Supporting sports, arts, and culture in our community continues to be a focus for the City of Kamloops. They currently offer numerous opportunities to apply for grants and funding for each of these sectors.

Additional Resources