(Pixabay)

(Pixabay)

‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

More help is on the way for small to medium businesses as local economies try to recover from the effects of COVID-19.

Innovate BC’s president and CEO Raghwa Gopal said the organization is mainly involved in the tech sector but as the pandemic hit, they realized they needed to do more than support tech entrepreneurs.

“Throughout COVID-19, we’ve realized that small businesses are the backbone of our communities and our overall economy,” he said.

“With the shutdowns, they got affected tremendously and so many of them were closed and the brick and mortar shops couldn’t do business at all.”

Innovation Island came up with the idea for Digital Economy Rapid Response and Recovery, DER3 for short, which connects business owners with coaches who will then help them navigate e-commerce and digital marketing.

“The idea is to put these businesses into the digital age. That means having an online presence, whether a website or being on social media platforms and giving them the resources to do online marketing and advertising,” Gopal said.

The program is available to local businesses in the Lower Mainland, Okanagan Valley, Kootenays, Central Interior, Vancouver Island, as well as North Central B.C. Businesses can apply and participate in the program, free of charge.

Local restaurants, artisans, hotels, equipment rentals, trades workers, as well as farmers are among some businesses that Innovate BC is encouraging to participate in DER3.

Once a business has applied, Gopal said Innovate BC will work with them to create a roadmap to recovering from the effects of the pandemic and get them back on track.

He added that in this way, small and medium business owners can get access to newly-developed technologies that can help them grow through their partners such as Accelerate Okanagan or the Kamloops Innovation.

Gopal said at the end of the day, the goal is to have the tech sector step in and help small businesses, which will revitalize local economies and soon, the province as a whole.

For more information on DER3 and how you can participate, visit Innovate BC’s website.

READ: Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Most Read