VICTORIA – The B.C. government is supporting innovation and diversification in the province’s manufacturing sector with a $10-million investment in small and medium-sized businesses.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canada has been selected by the Province to deliver the Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant program, which provides funding to eligible businesses to help them adjust to the economic changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare for the future.

Grant applications will be accepted between April 15 and May 31, 2021.

“Innovation is essential for our economic recovery. So much has changed in the last year, and we need to work together to adapt,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This program strengthens small and medium-sized manufacturers and helps them become more globally competitive now and in the years ahead.”

There are more than 11,000 small and medium-sized manufacturing companies in B.C. contributing $17 billion to the economy each year.

The B.C. government is making this investment to strengthen the province’s manufacturing businesses in all sectors to support B.C.’s economic recovery.

The program will provide 75% of project costs to a maximum of $250,000 for individual business projects, or up to $500,000 for projects by a group of businesses.

Projects will support the following activities:

* demonstration or testing for prototypes of new technologies;

* commercialization of new technologies, products or services;

* improving market access or supply-chain competitiveness; and

* identifying and applying operational improvements or increasing sustainability in supply chains.

“Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) has long identified underinvestment in advanced manufacturing machinery and equipment as a major factor in Canada’s lagging productivity,” said Andrew Wynn-Williams, divisional vice-president for B.C., CME. “This program supports exactly the kind of investment needed to alleviate the challenge and promote growth in B.C.’s manufacturing sector.”

The program is led by PwC with financial support from the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.

The Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-up Grants program is part of the B.C. Supply Chain Resiliency and Value-Added Manufacturing Project, which commits more than $16 million in provincial funding to generate new economic opportunities.

The project includes the $6-million Supply Chain Resiliency Program, which supports grants of up to $400,000 to industry and trade associations, or up to $200,000 to groups of businesses collaborating on a single project, to build stronger and more resilient supply chains.

Both programs are part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The plan outlines the latest steps the Government of British Columbia is taking to help people, businesses and communities come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared.