B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

Applications for the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is now open to support producers and food processors through three business planning streams:

  1. Pilot Business Plan Coaching - Accepting Applications
  2. COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning - Accepting Intake Closed
  3. Specialized Business Planning - Application Intake Closed

Applications for the COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning stream will be prioritized.

What this program offers: up to $2,500 for support from a Qualified Business Consultant to support B.C.'s agricultural entrepreneurs to further develop their business plan and improve business management skills.

Who is eligible: Business entities, including sole proprietors, partnerships or corporations, who meet the following four eligibility criteria:

  1. Reported total annual gross revenues less than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency
  2. A written draft business plan that demonstrates the business has or will generate total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year within the next three years. For new farms such as fruit orchards, berry farms or Christmas tree farms that may take longer than three years to generate revenue, please provide details of production plan and demonstrate when $30,000 will be reached.
  3. Produce fresh food or agricultural products which are 100% grown or raised in British Columbia.
  4. You, as the owner(s) of the business, are a resident(s) of British Columbia.

What this program offers: 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.

Who is eligible: Business entities including sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations or other associations of persons (including cooperatives) who meet the following three eligibility criteria:

1. You have been impacted by an external event such as COVID-19 which reduces your revenue by at least 30%.

2. You are either:

  1. Primary Agriculture and/or Seafood Producers (aquaculture and commercial fisheries) 
    • Producing fresh food, or agricultural and seafood products which are 100% grown, caught, or raised in B.C.
    • You reported total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency
  2. Agriculture, Food and Beverage, and/or Seafood Processors
    • Processing food, beverage, or agricultural and seafood products which 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 the main raw materials are available in sufficient quantities from B.C. producers, they must be used.
    • You reported total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency

3. You, as the owner(s) of the business, are a resident(s) of British Columbia

What this program offers: 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

Find more information about the eligible activities in the Program Guide.

Who is eligible: Business entities including sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations or other associations of persons (including cooperatives) who meet the following three eligibility criteria:

1. You are either:

(a) Primary Agriculture Producers

  • Producing fresh food or agricultural products which are 100% grown or raised in B.C. AND
  • Reported total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency.

(b) Agriculture, Food and Beverage Processors

  • Processing food, beverage, or agricultural products which 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 the main raw materials are available in sufficient quantities from B.C. producers, they must be used AND
  • Reported total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency.

2. You, as the owner(s) of the business, are a resident(s) of British Columbia

Stream 1: Business Plan Coaching Stream

Applicants to the Business Plan Coaching Stream can only apply as an individual business, including sole proprietors, partnerships, or corporations.

Step 1: Identify and approach a Qualified Business Consultant to work with you on your project and application. Consultants not on this list may apply to the program via BC Bid to be considered for approval as a Qualified Business Consultant. The Qualified Business Consultant list is available on the Ministry of Agriculture’s program website.

Step 2: Complete application in collaboration with a Qualified Business Consultant. Include your existing Business Plan and/or completed Business Plan Template.

Step 3: Consultant or applicant submits application to agribusiness@gov.bc.ca.

Stream 2 and 3: COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning And Specialized Business Planning

Applicants can apply for COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning and Specialized Business Planning as an individual business (sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations or other associations of persons, including agriculture or food cooperatives) or as a group where all members of the group participating in the application must meet eligibility criteria.

Step 1: Identify and approach a Qualified Business Consultant to work with you on your project and application. Consultants not on this list may apply to the program to be considered for approval as a Qualified Business Consultant. If you have any questions regarding the selection of a consultant or developing your application, please contact program staff at Agribusiness@gov.bc.ca or 1-888-221-7141.

Step 2: Complete the application in collaboration with Qualified Business Consultant.

Step 3: Consultant submits application to agribusiness@gov.bc.ca.

Note: Work started on projects prior to receiving program approval will not be eligible for support under this program.

 

Consultant List and Application Forms

Frequently Asked Questions

This pilot program supports agricultural entrepreneurs who:

  1. Produce fresh food or agricultural products which are 100% grown or raised in British Columbia; and  
  2. Reported total annual gross revenues less than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency

For NEW food processors and other small businesses who are not eligible, there are other resources available including ​ Innovate B.C., Small Business B.C. and Futurpreneur
Agricultural entrepreneurs who reported total annual gross revenues more than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency, may apply to the Specialized Business Planning or COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning Streams.

A draft business plan allows the applicant and consultant to concentrate their efforts and make the best use of your time with the consultant.

B.C. seafood and food processing business owners may apply to the COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning if they have seen a reduction in revenue by at least 30% as a result of COVID-19. The funding available 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.

You could apply to the Specialized Business Planning steam. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your application, please contact program staff via AgriBusiness@gov.bc.ca or 1-888-221-7141.

The eligible activities are listed here. The program is flexible to focus on different aspects of recovery whether it is financial, strategy, human resources, etc. Possible scenarios include:

  • If you are applying for a loan from a financial institution, you could complete a financial recovery plan to model your cash flow and plan the most effective and efficient way to use the additional capital.
  • If you are adapting to changes in one or more of your sales channels because of COVID-19 impacts, you could apply for a business strategy component to your recovery plan to pivot your business.
  • If you need help with cost of production analysis for new crop and/or livestock choices to pivot your business, mitigate risk and gain access to alternate marketing outlets.
  • If you need help with the development and financial analysis of a value-added venture to process crops and/or livestock that you are not able to market through your previously existing market channels.

The Ministry actively seeks Qualified Business Consultants with extensive experience in the sector. Please contact program staff at Agribusiness@gov.bc.ca or 1-888-221-7141 to discuss further.

Funding for the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is provided through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (the Partnership) Agreement, which is in effect from October 1, 2018 to March 31, 2023. You cannot receive support for the same eligible activities under this program more than once during the Partnership funding cycle.

If approved, you cannot 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.

The goal is to review applications and respond to applicants within two weeks. In some cases, often when more information is needed, a review may require more time.

Individual projects must be completed within 90 days and group projects must be completed within 120 days. All projects started after April 30, 2020 must be completed by February 15, 2021.

Yes. A group project of two eligible group members is eligible for maximum funding of up to $10,000, while a group project of three is eligible for maximum funding of up to $15,000, and a group application with four or more eligible group members is eligible for maximum funding of up to $20,000. Non-eligible members may benefit from the project, but their membership does not increase the maximum funding available.

 

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