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. B.C. agriculture, seafood and food processing business owners are encouraged to apply if their revenues have decreased by at least 30% as a result of COVID-19.
There are two funding streams:
COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning – 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.
Specialized Business Planning – includes up to $5,000 in business planning and services and coaching for individuals and up to $20,000 for groups, from a qualified business consultant to develop a plan on one or a combination of the following:
- Business structures
- Production economics
- Business strategy
- Cash flow and financial analysis
- Value added ventures
- Risk assessment and mitigation
- Human resources
- Succession / Transition planning
Eligible primary agriculture must produce products that are entirely grown in B.C. with total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year.
“The Government of Canada is working around the clock, along with the provinces and territories, to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on farmers and food businesses,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will help B.C. farmers and processors who are experiencing income loss steer the course to recovery and continue to put high-quality food on our grocery store shelves and kitchen tables for years to come.”
“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. “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. The partnership is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial agreement that includes $2 billion in cost-shared strategic initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories, and $1 billion for federal programs and services through March 2023.
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