community news

REN launches e-commerce fund to support local businesses

COVID-19 Featured

The Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network (PCREN) is launching an e-commerce fund to help small businesses create or enhance their digital presence. New online tools will enable local businesses to increase their visibility and competitiveness while minimizing the impact of COVID-19.

“We have heard from many local businesses over the last number of months about their interest in, and need to expand, their online presence,” says Sarah MacIntosh-Wiseman, CEO of the PCREN. “Experts have identified that businesses that have a combination of bricks and mortar and e-commerce platforms for purchasing products and services are more resilient now and into the future.”

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is supporting the project with a non-repayable contribution of $40,000 from the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). PCREN has committed $20,000 to the e-commerce fund for a total of $60,000. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need for businesses to offer their products and services online in order to succeed in today’s economy. The announcement today will help dozens of local businesses create or grow an online presence, allowing them to take part in the digital economy, which will help create good paying jobs in our community,” said Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

Businesses can apply to this one-time fund to develop a new website, enhance their current website, and/or to improve or implement an e-commerce site. All applications will be reviewed by the PCREN review committee.

The amount awarded to each business will depend on the number of applications. Businesses can apply on the PCREN website at pictoucounty.com/ecommerce-fund/ by October 24, 2020. 

The non-profit PCREN was established in 2018 and is a partnership between all six municipalities in Pictou County, the Pictou Landing First Nation, and the Province of Nova Scotia.