KELOWNA – The Okanagan Valley is well known as an entrepreneurial region. Many small businesses located here have faced challenging times due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the recent climate disasters that have occurred. Business owners are actively looking for new ways to make improvements and strengthen their companies. To support these business owners and growth of the Okanagan economy, Accelerate Okanagan and Prospera Credit Union have partnered to provide local businesses with digital guidance and grant funding that covers the cost of technology upgrades.
“Business owners are eager to find and leverage the right technology that can make improvements in their business,” says 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. Supporting unique solutions that make sense for the stage and type of business is something our Business Advisors work very hard to develop alongside the business owners”.
The Level Up Local grant is now available for any small and medium-sized businesses in the Okanagan region from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm. This grant is designed to assist businesses with implementing a digital growth strategy. It can cover a wide range of initiatives like; optimizing SEO, creating social media and digital marketing campaigns, website development, or even software and hardware costs that can enable business growth. Businesses can apply for the Spring 2022 funding which is accepting applications on a rolling intake. Funds are limited so the sooner an application is submitted, the higher likelihood of success. Additional funds will be available this
For Kirsten McElgunn, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Prospera Credit Union, this grant program comes at an opportune time, when many businesses are rebuilding after challenges. “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.”
To learn more about the grant process, local business owners can meet one-on-one with an Accelerate Okanagan Business Advisor. After this connection, eligible businesses can submit a formal application for the grant.
Priority will be given to businesses that have been affected by the pandemic and climate disasters as well as businesses operating in rural communities with populations under 25,000. In addition to the grant opportunity, Accelerate Okanagan and Prospera Credit Union are making their Advisors available to assist any business owner with navigating current economic challenges.