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COVID-19 Updates News Business
Funding available for B.C. agriculture businesses to create COVID-19 recovery plans

Agriculture businesses can apply for funding to cover the costs of business planning services to develop an immediate and long-term recovery plan.


May 28, 2020
By Fruit and Vegetable

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Agriculture, seafood, and food processing businesses in British Columbia can begin to access consulting and planning services to help with COVID-19 response and recovery, through a program offered by the federal and provincial governments.

The latest intake of the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is open to applications and has been expanded to include aquaculture and seafood companies in developing COVID-19 business recovery plans.

B.C. agriculture, seafood and food processing business owners are encouraged to apply if their revenues have decreased by at least 30 per cent as a result of COVID-19. Only businesses that have annual gross revenues greater than $30,000 are eligible, but the B.C. government notes that a targeted program support for those with revenues under $30,000 is in development.

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The funding available includes up to $5,000 in business planning services and coaching for individuals, and up to $20,000 for groups, from a qualified business consultant, to develop an immediate and long-term recovery plan. Applications are expected to take up to two weeks to review. Eligible applicants may also apply to the specialized business planning stream of the program to further strengthen their business.

The funding available includes up to $5,000 in business planning services and coaching for individuals, and up to $20,000 for groups, from a qualified business consultant, to develop an immediate and long-term recovery plan.

The type of planning activities range across a spectrum. For example, the program site suggests if you are adapting to changes in one or more of your sales channels because on COVID-19 impacts, you could apply for a business strategy component to your recovery plan to pivot your business. Another example is if you are applying for a loan from a financial institution, you could complete financial recovery plan to model your cash flow and plan the most effective and efficient way to use the additional capital.

Marketing is not an eligible activity, but marketing support is available through the B.C. Agrifood & Seafood Market Development and Buy BC Partnership programs.

“This a difficult time for all Canadians and that includes B.C. farmers, ranchers, seafood and food processors,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s minister of agriculture, in the released announcement. “I have been working with my federal colleague on ways to help people who are experiencing income loss through the pandemic, and the expansion of the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is a result of this commitment. We will continue to look at ways to help our industry grow the high-quality local food that we depend on.”

Funding for the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.