Traditional Grants & Programs

Bank and Credit Union Loans

Many financial institutions and traditional lenders are providing customized business recovery financing right now. If you have not already done so, contact your financial institution to find out what they can offer you.

Locally, Sunshine Coast Credit Union is offering business loan options to their members. For more information, click here.

BC Employer Training Grant Program

The BC Employer Training Grant Program(ETG) support skills training and aims 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 (WDA).

The goal of the ETG is to help British Columbians access the skills training needed to adapt to the changing requirements of jobs and the labour market while encouraging employer involvement in providing these opportunities for the training of their employees.

How it Works:

  • Reimbursement amounts vary between 60% and 100% depending on the training stream.
  • Training must result in a better job once training is completed.
  • Employers must submit their application on their own behalf, using their Business BCeID. Third parties cannot apply on an employer’s behalf.
  • If approved, employers are to pay for all costs in full and, after training has started, submit a reimbursement claim.
  • Participants are not to pay for training or any training-related expenses. Receipts must verify this information.
  • Employers are eligible to receive up to $300,000 per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31).

There are four streams, learn more about each stream, see if you/your employees are eligible and apply today.

Community Futures Loans

Community Futures can provide you with a loan or equity investment to start, purchase, or expand a business on the Sunshine Coast. They are not a conventional lender and are willing to take a higher risk than the traditional financial institutions – In addition to assessing your application from a financial perspective they take into account in the social and environmental benefits of your business, and your personal passion and commitment and ability to execute your business idea.

They lend between $5,000 and $150,000, and can help to arrange loans for more than $150,000. For more information visit the community futures website here.

Digital Economy Response Program (DER3)

The Digital Economy Response Program is an initiative powered by Innovate BC and by Western Economic Diversification (WD) for businesses who want to consider entering or expanding in the digital economy. The DER3 Team meets you where you are at, and at your pace; guiding you to do the right things, in the right order at the right time. Once you apply you will be invited to book with a Digital Engagement Specialist (DES) to discuss how they can support you on your digital journey.

The DER3 program provides one-one-coaching, guidance, resources and, if needed, hands-on support. The program meets the clients where they are at their digital journey. The Program also provides recommendations to Digital Service Providers (where needed and if there is budget).

The program will run from NOW to September 30th, 2021 and be open to service a limited number of new and existing applications (new applications close Sept 17th). This program is completely free for businesses – learn more and apply today!

Get Youth Working! Program

The Get Youth Working! Program offers eligible employers in BC a negotiated Wage Subsidy as an incentive to hire eligible youth aged 17 to 29. The application is easy and you conduct your own recruiting. At any time during the recruiting process you can complete and submit an online application, which can be completed in less than 5 minutes and the approval process is quick and easy. The eligibility criteria is:

  • Youth must be a new hire aged 17 to 29
  • Your business must have been in operation for at least one year
  • Your business must have be in good standing with WorkSafeBC
  • You must employ youth for a minimum of 3 months with preference given to long-term positions over 6 months
  • Employers will NOT qualify if employee is hired prior to signing Get Youth Working Funding Agreement between Employer and Bowman Employment Services Inc.

If you and your proposed new hire meet the program criteria, you are eligible for the funding. Complete an application to gain access and post your position to their Job Board today!

Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) Funding Programs

Island Coastal Economic Trust is a funding body that invests in economic development and community building initiatives for the Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast regions. Funding is served up through two core grant programs: the Economic Infrastructure and Innovation Program which offers up to $300,000 to successful applicants, and the Economic Development Readiness program which offers up to $30,000. In addition, they offer a series of regional bursaries, sponsorships and internships that local businesses may qualify for. Click here for more information on these programs offered by ICET.

Jobs and Growth Fund

The Government of Canada recently announced the Jobs and Growth Fund aimed at creating jobs and fostering economic activity throughout Canada. This new fund provides $700 million to support transition to a green economy, foster an inclusive recovery, enhance competitiveness and create jobs in every corner of the country.

Businesses and organizations that support clean technology, increasing diversity, implementing new digital technologies and strengthening capacity in critical sectors can apply now. Applications are being accepted on a continuous intake basis until March 31, 2024, or until funding is fully committed. Learn more and apply today!

Natural Resources Internships

Natural Resource Internships are aimed at getting young workers–especially Indigenous youth, youth living with disabilities and youth living in Northern, rural and remote communities–started in the green economy. Hire an intern in a position that supports the sustainable development of Canada’s natural resources and give them the chance to apply their skills in a green job.

Up to $25,000 is available for an intern’s salary, and up to $32,000 is available for the salary of Indigenous youth, youth living with disabilities and youth living in Northern, rural and remote communities. In both cases, funding can cover up to 80% of the salary and can also be used towards training expenses.

Applications for the fall funding cycle are due September 23, 2021, learn more and apply today!

Stand With Owners Grant Program

The Telus Stand With Owners Grant is championing small business owners with incredible stories of resilience and community impact. Share your business story for a chance to receive funding, local advertising and mentorship. There will be thirty winners selected in total throughout Canada by a panel of judges and winners will receive one of the following prizes: $10,000 in funding; and a personalized local advertising campaign (approximate value = $11,000); and wireless service for a year with TELUS’ Owner’s Advantage Plan (approximate value = $1,440).

The Stand With Owners application period began at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 22, 2021 and ends at 11:59 EDT on October 17, 2021. Learn more and apply today!

The Launch Challenge

The Launch Challenge is a newly-established grant fund from the Sunshine Coast Credit Union & Spring for $10,000 to help entrepreneurs and business owners in various communities in British Columbia, including the Sunshine Coast, to invest in launching: a new business, a new product or service offering or an existing product or service in a new market.

For more information click on this grant click here.

Workplace Accessibility Grant

The Workplace Accessibility Grant provides financial assistance towards decreasing barriers and creating a inclusive work environment for persons with a disability(ies). Find the list of eligible covered services by type of barriers addressed here. This grant is available from June 21, 2021 through April 30, 2022 on a first come first served basis. The maximum allowable grant will be $1000/business.

Find out more and apply now!

COVID-19 Focused Grants & Programs

Canada Emergency Business Accounts (CEBA)

The Canada Emergency Business Accounts (CEBA) application period has been extended to June 30, 2021. This $73 billion program administered by the Government of Canada 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 percent (up to $20,000).

As of October 26, 2020, eligibility for CEBA expanded by removing the previous March 1, 2020 condition for having an active business chequing/operating account. With this removal, eligible businesses can now apply after opening a business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution. For more information about this new criteria or other criteria established since the launch of CEBA we recommend you visit the FAQs below.

As of December 4, 2020 approved CEBA applicants can now receive a $60,000 loan. CEBA applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply the CEBA expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 of financing.

Business owners must apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions; it is available from more than 220 financial institutions across the country. Contact your local financial institution to set-up an account and apply. Sunshine Coast Credit Union is offering support with the process to its members if you do not yet have a local institution.

Visit the federal economic response plan page for more information on this and other federal support programs for more information go here or here.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides a direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses to qualifying businesses, charities and nonprofits.

Qualifying organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority can receive an additional 25% of rent support through the Lockdown Support program.

The combined effect of the rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support is that hard-hit businesses, nonprofits and charities subject to a lockdown can receive rent support of up to 90%.

This support is available directly to tenants until June 2021, however the Government Budget for 2021 proposes to extend the rent subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021.

See here for more information on the CERS subsidy.

Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund

The Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund from the Government of BC provides a one-time grant to event organizers which aims to support the safe restart of events across BC in the coming year. This fund will cover up to 20% of your total event budget, up to a maximum of $250,000 per event. The fund can be used to cover a range of operational expenses.

Sports, arts and culture events, community celebrations, fairs, rodeos and exhibitions are eligible for funding. Organizations may submit more than one application, but each eligible event requires a separate application package and you may be asked to assign priority to their applications.

See if your event qualifies and apply by October 1, 2021. Funds are limited and grants will be awarded through a competitive process.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

HASCAP loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic. HASCAP Loans are for $25,000 to $1,000,000 and the amount eligible will depend on operational costs for the business. In order to qualify for this program your business must meet the below criteria:

  • Your business is Canadian based.
  • Your business must have been financially stable and viable prior to the current economic situation.
  • You must have received payments either from the Canada Emergency Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (there can be some exceptions to this).
  • The loan will be used to continue or resume operations.
  • The loan cannot be used to pay or refinance existing debts.
  • Minimum risk ratings will apply, varying by size of new loan.

You can apply for a loan under the HASCAP Guarantee for each legal entity you own, up to a maximum combined amount of $6.25 million (all legal entities combined).

This program was set to expire on June 30, but has now been extended through December 31, 2021. Click here for more information.

Tourism Relief Fund

The Tourism Relief Fund supports tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products/services to facilitate future growth. With a budget of $500 million over two years, including $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives, this fund can help to enable The Sunshine Coast to be a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again safe.

Eligible applicants include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors, such as: businesses, not-for-profit organizations, such as tourism associations and band councils or other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives.

To be considered eligible for this fund, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience
  • Be part of a defined tourism cluster or a tourism dependent community, including supporting downtown cores
  • Provide an anchor product or service in a tourism destination

This fund will be distributed over 2 years, ending March 31, 2023. Learn more, check your business eligibility and apply today!


Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Call us at 604-747-4696 from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday to speak with one of our local business advisors to help you get started. You can also email us at

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