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Grants up for grabs to help small Okanagan businesses go digital

Small to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs can now apply for a Level Up Local grant
Accelerate Okanagan has partnered with Prospera Credit Union to offer Level Up Local grants, a new grant program to help small to medium-sized Okanagan businesses embrace technology amid the pandemic. (Submitted photo)

A new grant opportunity is available for small Okanagan businesses and entrepreneurs to help them bounce back from the pandemic.

Accelerate Okanagan and Prospera Credit Union have partnered up to offer the Level Up Local grant, designed to support small businesses and entrepreneurs as they “go digital” by upgrading their technology — a tried and true strategy for growth in the days of the pandemic.

“Business owners are eager to find and leverage the right technology that can make improvements in their business,” said Alex Goodhew, community manager at Accelerate Okanagan. “Collaborating with Prospera Credit Union on the Level Up Local grant allows us to help guide those digital strategy efforts while providing some financial relief for whatever needs to be implemented.”

The Level Up Local grant is now available to any small or medium-sized businesses from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm. The grant aims to help businesses with implementing a digital growth strategy.

Whether it’s search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, website development or software or hardware costs, the grant can be used for a wide range of growth initiatives.

Businesses can apply for spring funding, with Accelerate Okanagan accepting applications on a rolling intake. Funds are limited, so businesses are encouraged to apply soon. More funds will be made available in the fall for anyone who misses out on the first round of funding.

For Kirsten McElgunn, chief product and strategy officer at Prospera Credit Union, the grants come at an opportune time.

“At Prospera, we know our communities are stronger when our local businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems are thriving. The Level Up Local grants initiative provides access to mentorship and funding support for local businesses in the Okanagan area. This is an important step to give our local businesses a helping hand and enable them to thrive in this digital era,” McElgunn said.

Local businesses can meet one-on-one with and Accelerate Okanagan business advisor to learn more about the grant process. They can then submit a formal application for the grant.

Priority will be given to businesses affected by the pandemic and recent climate disasters, as well as businesses in rural communities with populations under 25,000.

Accelerate Okanagan and Prospera are also making their advisors available to assist any business owner with navigating current economic challenges.

Visit Accelerate Okanagan’s website to learn more, or click here to meet a business advisor.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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