To say it’s been one heck of a year for Kootenay businesses is an understatement. Some businesses tragically went under, others had to pivot their bricks and mortar businesses and get online in a hurry, and other businesses have been busier than ever. 

In KAST’s Digital Economy: Rapid Response & Resilience (DER3) program, developed by Innovate BC, we’ve seen over 200 businesses impacted by COVID-19 come through the program to increase their online presence and enter or expand their business in the digital realm. We offer support at no cost or obligation to Kootenay businesses in any sector. 

The KAST DER3 team is made up of four local business advisors and digital aficionados: Clee Roy, John Leishman, Andrew Zwicker and Shane Hainsworth. They’ve been working around the clock to support businesses in the areas of digital marketing, ecommerce, business development, sales, strategy and more. The team has also been connecting businesses with local digital service providers from around the Kootenays to help them get the work done. 

Not everyone has the budget to accomplish their goals which is where funding comes in. Grants and loans are out there for you and our DER3 Digital Business Advisor, Clee Roy, has come up with the team’s top 5 funding options for Kootenay businesses.

Clee goes into these funding options in a video he made just for you:

Note: The following top 5 funding options have been identified by the KAST DER3 team.  As always, the eligibility criteria vary, depending on the option. Most of these apply to existing businesses, not startups. Feel free to reach out to the DER3 team for further information, or for assistance in assessing your eligibility.



CEBA LOAN – $40K + $20K for a TOTAL of $60K.  

Only $40k of $60K is repayable by December 2022 interest free, i.e. $20k free to businesses. Apply at your business financial institution.


Up to $30k grants for small businesses and up to $45k grants for tourism businesses (prorated on annual sales). Eligibility criteria are fairly extensive, and grants are contingent on positive cash flow in the prior year before February 1, 2020.

CUSBRF ECOMMERCE GRANT $5K – for digital transition.  Eligibility criteria include at least $150k in prior year sales, plus at least $1 million commercial liability insurance.

CBT WORKING CAPITAL LOAN ($5K-$40K) – Eligibility criteria include sustainability, a 2-year operating history, $150k to $1.5M sales, adequate commercial insurance, and accountant prepared financial statements.


The program assists professional artists, cultural practitioners, and arts administrators to adapt and transition their practice in response to changes in the arts and culture sector or undertake learning activities to sustain or advance their career.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *