British Columbia (B.C.) has a strong reputation for high-quality goods and a talented workforce. With great resources and a stable governance, the province provides a friendly business environment to attract investment across different industry sectors.
Every year, there are $17 billion contribution to our economy from over 11,000 small and medium sized manufacturing B.C. companies. Since the pandemic, the importance of resilient and reliable supply chains was highlighted. In 2021, the Government of British Columbia announced the B.C. Supply Chain Resiliency and Value-Added Manufacturing Project, with a funding of $16.25 million to support economic recovery in B.C.’s manufacturing sector. The province recognized this investment would boost the supply chain in all sectors, while improving manufacturers’ productivity and protect jobs people and communities rely on.
The Supply Chain Resiliency Grant (SCRG) program, as part of StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan, helps eligible small and medium sized businesses to recover from the pandemic by providing individual grants. Organizations could receive up to $400,000 to strengthen supply chain resilience in the manufacturing sector. The program funding was increased from $4 million to $6 million to allow more business groups to receive the benefit. Twenty-four B.C.-based organizations and companies received grants, with the value ranging from $85,300 to $400,000.
Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA), founded in 2002 with over 400 members across Canada, is a not-for-profit organization that provides leadership, education, marketing, networking and advocacy to members to expand their businesses. There are currently six main programs available:
Last year, SSFPA received the SCRG to create and implement an online marketplace website that would support B.C. food and beverage producers, processors and institutional buyers to market, sell, purchase and distribute their products within the local food supply chain.
The BuyBCFoodandDrink.com website was launched in 2021. This new e-commerce platform allows vendors, who own and operate their food production and managing businesses within the province, to present B.C. products and goods. Started with 25 vendors onboard, now there’re more than 55 vendors, with over 1,000 products available. Vendors can include businesses that sell a product or promote a service.
SSFPA provides hands-on training to new vendors, vendor support, vendor financial management, and a sustainable marketing plan for the resulting website. In addition, the “Buy BC Food & Drink” app is available on both Google and Apple stores, which enhances the users’ shopping experience while shopping for B.C. food and beverages. Shoppers can search for specific items within a radius distance, with the option to receive the delivery directly from vendors through Canada Post, FedEx or UPS. Moreover, products can be also picked up from the vendor’s location, or at a local farmer’s market where available. Besides business-to-consumer sales, vendors can offer their products on the wholesale market, trading alone or as part of a commodity group, while access to this area is restricted to qualified wholesale and commercial buyers.
Small Scale Food Processor Association is just one of 24 recipients of the SCRG, there are more success stories from the other 23 grant recipients. Want to know who they are?
Through the grant program and support from the Government of British Columbia on building up supply chains, B.C.’s small and medium sized manufacturers can better participate in the global market. With strong and measurable environmental, social and governance commitments, British Columbia offers a stable economic climate to start, invest or expand a business across many industry sectors.
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