This site will be updated regularly as development of the Shop Local BC program progresses. If you have questions, please reference our FAQ document that is updated regularly (Last updated: November 1, 2021). If your question remains unanswered, please contact [email protected].

Funded by the Government of Canada and delivered through provincial and territorial chambers of commerce, the Shop Local initiative provides grants for programs and campaigns that encourage Canadians to shop local to help businesses navigate through and beyond the pandemic.

The federal government is investing $33 million in the initiative across Canada, of which project funds of $5 million are earmarked for British Columbia.

The BC Chamber of Commerce will deliver the Shop Local initiative in B.C., ensuring that the program is inclusive, and funds are distributed equitably across the following seven economic development regions:

• Central-Cariboo
• Kootenay
• Mainland/Southwest
• North Coast/Nechako
• Northeast
• Thompson-Okanagan
• Vancouver Island/Coast

Key program dates

  • The Shop Local BC program will launch November 1, 2021.
  • Applications will be received and assessed on a first-come-first-served basis through December 10, 2021.
  • Funds will be disbursed on an ongoing basis through December 10, 2021, and no later than December 31, 2021.
  • Successful applicants will receive:
    • 80% of the funds requested through December 10, 2021, and no later than December 31, 2021
    • 20% of the funds requested following submission of a satisfactory post-campaign report
  • Applicants must complete their campaign by February 15, 2022
  • Applicants must complete and submit their post-campaign report by February 18, 2022
  • BC Chamber of Commerce will report the outcomes of the Shop Local BC initiative to the federal government by March 31, 2022.
  • NEW – There were two informational webinars that walked through the application process, including the steps to submit an application via the Shop Local BC portal. Click here for the Intro to Shop Local BC (Part 1), or click here for the Application Portal Demo (Part 2).

Program criteria

The Shop Local BC campaign will:

  • Be inclusive, and open to organizations that support business, especially in hard-hit sectors like tourism and hospitality:
    • Chambers of commerce and boards of trade that are members of the BC Chamber of Commerce
    • Chambers of commerce and boards of trade that are not members of the BC Chamber of Commerce
    • Other non-profit organizations and Business Improvement Associations
    • Existing shop/buy local campaigns, that support business 
  • Encourage collaboration across applicants to maximize the benefit of the grant awarded
  • Encourage local supply chain use
  • Encourage youth employment
  • Catalyze the delivery of new Shop Local campaigns or the enhancement/extension of existing campaigns – for businesses, neighbourhoods, communities, regions or the entire province. Example activities that could contribute to a Shop Local campaign are listed here.

Application criteria and process

A) Applicants are required to complete this simple online application form.

B) NEWThe recorded Shop Local BC informational webinars are now available for viewing. Part 1: Intro to Shop Local BC. Click here to watch. Part 2: Application Portal Demo. Click here to watch

C) Here is an application form template intended to assist applicants to prepare their submissions. Fields in the online application portal may be slightly different from this planning document.

D) Here is a Budget Template for your Project Financial Plan.

Submissions must also include information that demonstrates how the Shop Local campaign will:

  • Avoid duplication of effort and overlapping campaigns
  • Align with the needs and priorities of their local community or region and detail how requested funding is complementary to (and does not duplicate) other funding that may have been made available
  • Reflect the diversity of the community/region’s populations and demographics, embrace all local businesses and apply a diversity lens in the development and implementation of activities.

Funds allocation, application and disbursement

i. Funds allocation

The Shop Local BC project funds will be allocated as follows:

Activity($)
Funding to support Shop Local campaigns delivered by chambers of commerce and boards of trade that are members of the BC Chamber (80%) 4,000,000
Funding to support Shop Local campaigns delivered by other organizations (20%)1,000,000
Total project funding5,000,000
Note: If either allotment is not fully utilized funds will be applied based on the discretion of the BC Chamber of Commerce.

Typical grants will range from $20,000 to $100,000, however, higher amounts may be considered based on the following: project rationale, size of the community, strength and reach of partnerships, as well as the scope of the proposal and associated budget.

ii. Funds application

  • Only one application per community will be considered to ensure full geographic representation
  • Regional applications encompassing more than one community and multiple partners will be eligible, encouraged and prioritized
  • Expenses must be part of a dedicated Shop Local campaign and will not be considered if incurred in respect of stand-alone activities
  • Administrative costs cannot be greater than 10% of the total project budget. This includes salaries and wages of existing staff working on project activities. 
  • Eligible and ineligible program expenses are set out below and subject to the discretion of the BC Chamber of Commerce:
Eligible expensesIneligible expenses
• Salary and wages
• Campaign success metrics
• Partnership development
• Advertising/marketing
• Supplies
• Professional fees related to activities
• Contracting costs related to activities
• Business plans / strategic plans / feasibility studies / strategies, etc.
• Inventory costs or existing operating costs
• Laptops, headphones, printers, cables, etc.
• Renovations, rent or capital expenses
• Items purchased for resale
• Recurring subscription fees/services

iii. Funds disbursement

Funds will be:

  • Disbursed equitably to communities across the province
  • Released to successful applicants by the BC Chamber of Commerce in two payments:
    • An initial payment of 80% of the applicant’s approved project value on signing the recipient agreement
    • A second payment that will represent the release of a 20% holdback of the applicant’s project value, provided the applicant has submitted the necessary project reports to the BC Chamber of Commerce during and at the completion of the local campaign

Post-campaign report form

The applicant will be required to complete a simple post-campaign report to capture the following details:

  1. Organization name and contact information
  2. Membership size – if applicable
  3. Reach and population
  4. Partnerships
  5. Shop Local campaign description and goals
  6. Campaign outcomes
  7. Campaign evaluation against pre-set campaign metrics
  8. Lessoned learned
  9. Recommendations for the future
  10. Acknowledgments

Conditions of participation for all eligible applicants

Terms and Conditions of the Shop Local BC program are currently being finalized.

Questions?

This site will be updated regularly as development of the Shop Local BC program progresses. If you have questions, please reference our FAQ document that is updated regularly (Last updated: November 1, 2021).

If your question remains unanswered, please contact [email protected].

NEW – You may also book a 15-min live help session here