B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

The B.C. Agri- Business Planning Program offers two distinct streams of support for agri-businesses:

  • Specialized business planning to enable producers and processors to make more informed decisions and strengthen their business
  • Disaster recovery planning to help producers implement an immediate and long-term disaster recovery plan

Eligible applicants can access up to $5,000 for individuals (Individual Application Form) and up to $30,000 for groups (Group Application Form) for business planning services from a Qualified Business Consultant. Qualified Business Consultants are preapproved by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture. The Program Guide will help you prepare your application.

Application intake is now closed. Application intake will re-open in March 2020.

Eligible Activities

Specialized Business Planning

The B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program supports producers and processors to access the following types of business planning services:

  • Business Structures: identification and evaluation of potential business structures
  • Production Economics: development of production systems and/or strategies
  • Business Strategy: development of a strategic plan
  • Financial Analysis: development of financial analysis
  • Value Added Ventures: development of a business plan for a new value added venture
  • Risk Assessment and Mitigation: assessment and development of a business and financial risk management system or strategy
  • Human Resources: development and implementation of a strategic Human Resource Plan
  • Succession/Transition Planning: development and preparation of a Farm Succession Plan

Your Specialized Business Planning or Disaster Recovery Planning project proposal may include any combination of the above eligible activities. Each eligible activity has a list of minimum deliverables outlined in the Program Guide that the Qualified Business Consultant will deliver.

Successful applicants to the Disaster Recovery Planning stream are also eligible to receive support from Qualified Business Consultants who specialize in debt mediation or have extensive coaching experience. These consultants help producers who have experienced a life altering event, such as a fire or flood, develop and implement a disaster recovery plan.

Please note, this program does not include funding for marketing research or marketing planning. For assistance with marketing funding, check out the B.C. Agrifood & Seafood Market Development and Buy BC Partnership programs.

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for Specialized Business Planning and Disaster Recovery Planning Streams of the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program, all applicants must be:

  • Either:
  1. A Primary Agriculture Producer producing agricultural products that are 100% grown or raised in B.C, and the land where your agricultural products are produced is classified as a farm by the BC Assessment Authority; OR
  2. A food processor selling or marketing a product processed in B.C. (i.e. processing food, beverages or agriculture products that are processed and packaged in B.C. with 51% or more of the direct cost of producing the product in its final form – i.e. the sum of raw materials, direct labour, variable processing, and packaging – originating in B.C.. When raw materials are available in sufficient quantities from B.C. producers, they must be used).
  • You have not received support from the Agri-Business Planning Program for the same eligible activities for which you are now applying since October 1, 2018.
  • If approved, you will not exceed the annual maximum funding contribution of $10,000 per fiscal year (April to March) for eligible individual applicants or eligible applicants with common partners or shareholders.
  • You are presently actively engaged in the farming or processing entity (i.e. participate in the day-to-day operations of the business) and you, as the owner(s) of the business, are a resident(s) of British Columbia.
  • You reported total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency.

For the Disaster Recovery Stream, in addition to the above criteria, you have been living in an area where either:

  • A local government issued an evacuation alert or order due to a disaster, such as fire or flood, since 2017;
  • Where the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or the Chief Veterinary Officer of B.C. has declared an incident whereby the B.C. Foreign Animal Disease Emergency Support Plan (BC FADES Plan) was activated since 2018; OR
  • The Chief Veterinary Officer of B.C. has issued an emergency order under Section 59 of the B.C. Animal Health Act since 2018.

Eligible business entities include sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations or other associations of persons, including agriculture or food cooperatives.

For group applications, all members of the group participating in the group application must individually meet the eligibility criteria above.

Application Instructions

Step 1: Carefully review the Program Guide and Application Form (Individual or Group) for important information on eligibility and program guidelines necessary to prepare your application.

Step 2: Identify and approach a Qualified Business Consultant (updated July 2019) to work with you on your project and application. Note that:

  • Applicants must pay a $100 upfront, non-refundable application fee directly to the Qualified Business Consultant. For group applications, each applicant must pay the $100 application fee. The application fee is waived for eligible applicants to the Disaster Recovery Planning stream.

Step 3: Submit your application to AgriBusiness@gov.bc.ca.

Note: Work started on B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program projects prior to receiving approval from the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture will not be eligible for support under this program.

Project Process

  1. B.C. Ministry of Agriculture staff review the application.
  2. Approved projects must be completed within 90 days as outlined in the project proposal. Ministry staff reserve the right to conduct a mid-project review and request feedback from applicant(s).
  3. Qualified Business Consultant submits a final draft report to the applicant two weeks prior to the project end date. The applicant approves the draft report and signs claim form. Qualified Business Consultant submits an invoice, approved claim form (DOCX) and final report by e-mail.
  4. The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture reviews the submission package and pays Qualified Business Consultant directly.
  5. Consultant and Applicant complete a short on-line survey.