Access essential business resources for small businesses in B.C.
Click on one of the topics below to jump to the corresponding section and learn more:
Essential Small Business Resources
Resources for All Small Businesses
The BC Government Small Business Branch aims to provide resources and information to support small business startup and growth, highlighting services for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Small Business Branch provides access to online publications, including resources in different languages.
Examples of resources available from the Small Business Branch include:
- Small Business Resources Handouts
- Starting a Small Business Guide
Small Business BC helps British Columbia’s entrepreneurs grow successful and sustainable businesses through expert business advisors, educational services, easy-to-use free resources and engaging community events.
If you're looking to start, grow, or exit a business, Small Business BC has a wide selection of free business checklists, how-to guides, and resources, to help you achieve your business goals.
The University of British Columbia's (UBC) Small Business Accelerator (SBA) offers online access to business information and tools for secondary market research for BC Business owners.
In addition, the UBC SBA also has a BC Business Support Directory, which enables small business owners to connect with experts for support. This directory is led by UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.
Resources for Black-Owned Businesses and Entrepreneurs
The Black Entrepreneur Start-up Program (BESP) for Black entrepreneurs (ages 18-39) provides startup loan financing and up to two years of mentorship, plus access to resources and networking opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs across Canada.
This program is funded by RBC, with additional loan financing from BDC.
The Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) is a partnership between the Government of Canada, Black-led business organizations, and financial institutions.
With an investment of up to $350.8 million over four years, it will help Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses and succeed now and into the future.
Resources for Immigrant Small Businesses
The Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre (SIIC) serves as an online and in-person resource centre with valuable resources to assist newcomers to:
- Find information on job searching
- Exploring careers
- Start a business
Featured SIIC resources for small business owners include:
- Starting a BC Business for Newcomers
- Financing Your Small Business
- Market Research & Business Plan: Resources for Your Small Business
- Managing Your Small Business During COVID-19
Resources for Indigenous Small Businesses
Resources for Women Entrepreneurs
Business Planning Resources
Futurpreneur Canada offers an interactive Business Plan Writer, which has been designed to simplify the business planning process.
Not only is this tool dynamic, allowing for user customizations, but Futurpreneur Canada has also provided plenty of examples, tips, and tricks, to guide the business planner along as they put together their business plans.
Financial Relief Resources
COVID-19 Financial Support for Small Businesses
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. In addition to offering financing options for businesses, BDC has also compiled a list of financial relief available for entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Government of BC has put together a comprehensive list of available COVID-19 supports for small businesses in BC .
The Launch Online Grant Program provides funding to BC-based businesses to create an online shop or an online booking system and/or improve their existing online operations to attract new local customers and expand to new markets.
The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business. The funds received must be used to hire BC-based companies to do the online store or online booking system development.
Program application intake is open until September 30, 2021, or until the funds have been fully subscribed. Funding will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis to small- and medium-sized BC businesses.
Resources for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. In addition to offering financing options for businesses, BDC has also created a list of resources and options to access to support and credit for businesses and entrepreneurs across Canada from BDC
Featured resources include:
Innovation Canada has put together an interactive Business Benefits Finder to help entrepreneurs and small businesses owners find the right programs and services, whether they're starting out or scaling up.
Through the use of this tool, individuals are able to generate a personalized list of federal and provincial government programs and benefits that aim to support Canadian businesses
Financial Support Programs
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) offers a special loan program for Canadian-based businesses, who have been in operation for at least 24 months, with a good credit history.
BDC's Small Business Loan is designed to help businesses quickly, and easily, access the funds that they need, with flexible terms that they can afford. There are no application fees and approved businesses can receive up to $100,000 by applying online.
The Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation is investing $15 million in the Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) Program, delivered through B.C.’s Crown agency.
As part of this investment, the ISI program is being expanded to be more accessible and inclusive, making it easier for businesses and workers to use the program.
Applications are not yet open for summer 2021, and updates will be made soon regarding application dates and eligibility. The program is expected to start accepting applications this summer.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. In addition to offering financing options for businesses, BDC also has a comprehensive selection of resources available for business owners online, on a wide variety of topics including marketing.
BDC offers marketing resources on the following topics:
- Branding and Positioning Your Business
- Choosing the Right Distribution Channels
- Conducting Market Research
- Creating Your Marketing Budget
- Defining Your Target Market
- Developing Your Marketing Plan
- Implementing Digital Marketing Strategies
- Implementing Traditional Marketing Strategies
- Improving Customer Loyalty
- Measuring ROI
- Optimizing Your Strategies and Tactics
With a good marketing plan, business owners can expand their reach, set attainable objectives and launch their new products with success. Base your marketing strategies on knowledge of your target market and the competition and choose the right marketing mix to highlight your competitive advantage.
Small Business BC has put together an Effective Marketing and Sales Guide for small businesses owners to create their own marketing strategy that best fit their businesses or organizations.
This comprehensive resource will enable small business owners to have a better understanding of the four P’s of Marketing:
The guide will explain the outside factors that small business owners need to consider, what tools are at their disposal, and which markets to target as they create their marketing and sales strategy.
As a small business owner, whether you need to research your target market, define your brand, develop a sales forecast, close sales or develop your customer service, this guide from Small Business BC can help you get started.
The University of British Columbia's (UBC) Small Business Accelerator (SBA) Program has put together a comprehensive list of free or low-cost tools to support a small business' digital marketing efforts.
Build your website, design surveys, or manage your social media accounts with various easy-to-use tools, as listed by UBC SBA. The list includes information on the following marketing topics:
- Analytics and Usability
- Blogging / Website
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Management
- Video Creation
Coquitlam Public Library Digital Resources
The Coquitlam Public Library (CPL) has many digital resources available to support small businesses.
Please note that a CPL card number and pin are needed to access the CPL’s digital resources. If you do not already have an account, Tri-Cities residents are able to apply for free library membership.
Hoopla is a digital media service, offered through the CPL, that allows members to gain access to a wide variety of digital resources.
In addition to offering audiobooks, e-comics, movies, music, television shows, and more, Hoopla also offers non-fiction ebooks that may be of interest to Tri-Cities business owners.
Recommended topics include, but are not limited to:
- Home-Based Businesses
- Human Resources and Personnel Management
- Small Business
Learn More >
* Please note that, due to the current licensing agreement, this resource may only be accessed by Coquitlam residents.
LinkedIn Learning for Library (formerly Lynda.com) provides CPL members with access to thousands of comprehensive online courses and videos.
There is a wide scope of available topics to study, including but not limited to:
- Creative Skills
- Language (English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, etc.)
- Software and Technology
Recommended online courses, learning paths, and videos include, but are not limited to:
- Human Resources:
- Human Resources: Managing Employee Problems Managing High Potentials Strategic Human Resources
- Delivering an Authentic Elevator Pitch
- Digital Marketing Trends
- Learning Personal Branding
- Social Media Marketing for Small Business
- The Step-by-Step Guide to Building your Thought Leadership on LinkedIn
- Marketing for Small Businesses:
- Small Business Secrets
- Social Media Marketing for Small Business
- Social Media Marketing: Strategy and Optimization
- Writing a Marketing Plan
- Small Business and Entrepreneurship:
- Becoming a Small Business Owner
- Becoming a Digital Marketing Specialist
- Creating a Business Plan
- Entrepreneurship Foundations
- Finance & Accounting Tips
- Financial Modeling and Forecasting Financial Statements
- Guy Kawasaki on Turning Life Wisdom into Business Success
- SEO Foundations
OverDrive provides CPL members with access to audiobooks, ebooks, and eMagazines, spanning a variety of genres and subjects.
Home to many business resources that may be of interest to Tri-Cities business owners, OverDrive is also accessible as an app on your mobile device through Libby.
Recommended business topics include, but are not limited to:
- Business and Finance