Business Support

 

Business Networking

The Comox Valley has a number of Business Networking groups, each with its own focus and mandate. The groups listed below have established formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with Comox Valley Economic Development to collaborate on specific projects and initiatives annually.

Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce

The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce exists to be the voice of business in the Comox Valley. Their mission is community and business leadership through excellence, innovation and sustainability.

 

Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association

DCBIA provides leadership in the business community to ensure that the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Area continues to be vibrant and responsive, meeting the needs of its members and the public and remaining on the leading edge of change.

 

Comox Business in Action Association

Comox By the Sea

The Comox BIA promotes trade, commerce and an enhanced business and social environment.

  • The purpose of the Society is to promote trade and commerce within the downtown core of the Town of Comox.
  • To sponsor, promote and organize special events in order to attract people to the downtown core of the Town of Comox
  • To create a more viable, accessible, business friendly atmosphere in the Town of Comox in order to attract new businesses

Business Networking Groups

 

Labour Market

The Comox Valley has a strong and more educated labour market to support businesses looking to expand or relocate to the region. Sources for employment access and information include:

Labour Market Information

  • Labour Force Statistics – Data on the local area labour force.
  • Service Canada – The Labour Market Information (LMI) Service helps Canadians find information about occupations and labour market trends and outlooks, including skill or labour shortages and surpluses, and statistics on unemployment rates and the working-age population.
  • Job Bank – Find additional labour market information here.
  • Work BC – Learn all about the economy of B.C., including vital labour market outlooks, monthly employment trends and information on the province’s green economy. You’ll also find other sources and a guide to making labour market information work for you.

Employer Resources

  • Work BC
  • The Job Shop – Delivers the Work BC Employment Program of British Columbia. You can post a job for local employment, find out more about the wage subsidy work experience program, or sign up for a job fair.
  • Skilled Worker Immigration – PNP – The Skills Immigration and Express Entry British Columbia streams of the BC PNP are employer-driven and are designed to help B.C. businesses attract and retain international workers and students to meet B.C.’s labour market needs.

Employee Training

  • North Island College – Training Programs
  • Canada – B.C. Job Grant – The Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG) is an employer-driven, cost-sharing program that helps employers invest in training for their current or future employees. The CJG assists eligible employers to offset the cost of training up to a maximum of $10,000 per participant per fiscal year.

 

Business Licenses

City of Courtenay

A Business Licence is required if you plan to carry out business within the City of Courtenay.

Town of Comox

All businesses, including home-based businesses, operating within the Town of Comox require a business licence. Business licences are valid for each calendar year period, and can be applied for at any time throughout the year. For more information on operating a business in the Town of Comox, click here.

Comox Valley Regional District

A business license is not necessary to operate in the regional district.

 

Buying and Selling a Business

Buying a Business

  • Visit Small Business BC: Buying a Business to find articles to help you make the decision on whether to start your own business or buy an existing one, legal steps to buying a business, and some tips to help the process.
  • Canada Business has some questions to ask yourself when thinking about buying an existing business.
  • Visit the Business Development Bank of Canada page on the decision of starting or buying a business.
  • Find current opportunities using Trade and Invest British Columbia’s opportunity database. Use the ‘Vancouver Island & Coast region’ and ‘Comox Valley Regional District’ to focus your search.
  • Find a Business, Sell your Business – Find businesses for sale or list your own business on the Opportunities BC network.

Selling a Business

 

Business Financing / Grants

Find more programs / grants here:

Click to expand list of financing & grant programs

Advance Payments Program

Are you a farmer looking to meet your financial obligations?

You could access up to $1,000,000 in cash advances per program year based on up to 50% of the anticipated value of eligible agricultural product(s) you are producing. The first $100,000 is interest-free.

You must repay the advance within 18 months (up to 24 months for cattle and bison), as you sell the agricultural product.

Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

AgriStability

If you are a B.C. agricultural producer, you could get payments to help cover the loss if your current year margin falls more than 30% below your reference margin.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have income from the primary production of agricultural commodities
  • Have carried on the business of farming in Canada and reported farming income (or loss) for income tax purposes
  • Have completed a minimum of six consecutive months farming activity
  • Have completed a production cycle that includes one or more of the following:
    • The growing and harvesting of a crop
    • The process of rearing livestock
    • The purchase and sale of livestock within a program year in the case of feeding or finishing enterprises

Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program

By collaborating with government researchers, you could increase your business’ scientific capacity for R&D projects relating to fish health and environmental performance.

Eligible industry applicants must be:

  • Aquaculture producers operating within Canada who are directly involved in producing marine aquatic species for pre-commercial or commercial purposes. Aquaculture production is defined as growing an aquatic species and further, that the aquaculture producer has ownership of the product or has an aquaculture license or lease to culture the product.
  • Producers undertaking commercial or developmental production activities on existing or new aquaculture species.
  • Aquaculture companies or associations involved with sea ranching mariculture operations.
  • Industry producer associations or consortia of producers are also eligible to apply.
  • Provide a minimum of 30% of the program amount requested, at least 7.5% of which must be a cash contribution

Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

BC Venture Acceleration Program

Starting out as an entrepreneur in the British Columbia technology sector? You can get help to build your business and accelerate your growth with their BC-wide network.

You will be guided by an Executive in Residence at each step:

  • Product validation
  • Market validation
  • Market penetration
  • Market expansion

Your acceptance will be based on product validity, ambition, market opportunity, and team talent.

Learn more

 

BDC Indigenous Entrepreneur Loan

As an Indigenous entrepreneur, you could get up to $350,000 to start or grow your business.

Operations can be on or off reserve.

You can use the loan to:

  • Acquire fixed assets
  • Finance franchise fees
  • Cover start-up costs
  • Start exporting
  • Replenish working capital

Learn more

 

BDC Small Business Loan for existing business

Rather than using the money you need for day-to-day activities, consider applying for additional financing. With the BDC Small Business Loan, you could get up to $100,000.

Are you eligible?

  • Canadian-based business
  • Generating revenues for at least 24 months
  • Good credit history
  • You’ve reached the age of majority in the province or territory where you live

Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

Canada Feature Film Fund

If your film production business is a Canadian-owned and controlled corporation, you may be eligible for financial assistance.

Funding is available through a variety of programs, including the following:

  • Development Program
  • Production Program
  • Theatrical Documentary Program
  • Marketing Program
  • International Marketing and Festival Participation Program

Learn more

 

Canadian Agricultural Loans Act program

If you are an agricultural producer, this program could help you get a loan from a bank, a credit union or a caisse populaire.

Eligibility:

  • Existing farmers
  • Beginning or start-up farmers
  • Farmers taking over the family farm
  • Agricultural co-operatives
  • Part-time farmers

Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

Coast Opportunity Funds — Economic Development Fund

The economic development fund supports environmentally sound and sustainable economic development activities throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Priority will be given to projects that have positive environmental or social impacts, direct or indirect.

Learn more

 

Community Futures British Columbia — Financing programs for entrepreneurs

If you live in rural British Columbia, you could get a loan of up to $150,000 to start or grow a small business. You need to:

  • Have a viable business idea
  • Create a business plan
  • Invest some of your money in the project, in most cases

Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research

Access free cloud-based compute-and-storage resources to reduce the R&D development costs of your small or medium sized high-tech business. If your business has fewer than 500 employees, you could qualify to use this environment to:

  • Design, prototype, validate new products
  • Test product scalability
  • Commercialize your product faster

Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program

This program provides access to business services across Western Canada, including:

  • mentoring and one-on-one counselling services
  • access to business training and development
  • business loans (in some locations)
  • help to identify requirements for specialized equipment

To qualify you must:

  • have been unsuccessful in acquiring sufficient funding for business from other sources;
  • are unable to perform at least one of the basic activities of entrepreneurship or self-employment;
  • are disabled due to physical or mental impairment;
  • have a possible business plan and are a new or current small business owner with a disability; and
  • live in Western Canada.

Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

First Citizens Fund — Business Loan Program

If you are an Aboriginal resident of B.C. you could get support to start or grow your business.

Participating lenders:

  • All Nations Trust Company
  • Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation
  • Tale’awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation
  • Tribal Resource Investment Corporation

Learn more

 

Futurpreneur Canada Newcomer Program

Are you a newcomer to Canada between the ages of 18 and 39, with a limited credit history? If so, you could apply for a repayable loan to start a business.

To qualify you must:

  • Be between 18 – 39 years old.
  • Have lived in Canada for fewer than 60 months (5 years)
  • Limited or no established credit history in Canada.
  • Other conditions apply.

Learn more

 

Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur

Are you a Canadian Armed Forces member, veteran, reservist, or a family member looking to establish yourself as an entrepreneur? Or do you have a business already?

This national bilingual program offers:

  • One-day workshops and seven-day business boot camps
  • Tools and resources to guide business planning and growth
  • Networking opportunities and introductions to local community support resources
  • Short-term one-on-one business coaching for program participants
  • The Canadian Veteran Business Directory, a free online listing of military-owned businesses in Canada. This directory was established both as a marketing tool and to grow the entrepreneur’s personal and professional networks.

Learn more

 

Women’s Enterprise Centre (British Columbia)

Women’s Enterprise Centre’s Business Loans Program offers small business loans up to $150,000 to women-owned businesses in BC that can help you start, enhance or grow your BC business.

To qualify you must:

  • A woman who owns and controls at least 51% of a business that is registered and located in British Columbia
  • A Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Residing in British Columbia
  • Over 19 years old

Other conditions apply

Learn more

 

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Click here to contact us.

Funding + Tax Credit

Innovate BC’s Ignite Program provides up to $300,000 to fund innovation projects in the areas of natural resources, applied science and engineering.

BC Tech Co-op Grant – Need talent? Get up to $10,800 in funding to hire a co-op students through the BC Tech Co-op Grant.

Innovator Skills Initiative Program – Offers up to $10,000 a year to hire a business or tech student.

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) – Provides financial support to qualified small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada to help them undertake technology innovation.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada NSERC – Engage Grants are designed to give innovative companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the knowledge, expertise and capabilities available at Canadian universities and colleges.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program – Federal tax incentive program designed to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada.

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