We want to help you make sure your idea for a project is eligible to be assessed before you spend your valuable time preparing an application. This FAQ should help you decide if this is the case.
Are you based in British Columbia?
The Buy Local Program is designed to assist the agriculture, agrifood and seafood sectors with implementing eligible projects in British Columbia only. All applicants must have a head office, or be registered in BC.
What products (primary production and processed food and beverage) are eligible?
Processed Food and Beverages (including seafood, baked goods, chocolate and confectionery, sauces, seasonings, cereal preparations, soups, condiments, snack foods, dairy products, eggs, meat products, fruit and vegetable products, natural health products, pet food, fruit juice, wine, beer, cider, spirits, bottled water, etc.)
Note: Statistics Canada defines “Other Livestock” as sheep, horses, ponies, goats, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, bison, elk, farmed deer, wild boars, mink breeding stock, fox, donkeys, mules, chinchillas, wool, and embryos, other poultry (e.g., geese, ducks, roosters, ostriches, game birds, emus, pheasants, quail and pigeons), beeswax, bee pollen, queen bees and nucleus bee colonies.
Is advertising or promotions activities conducted in British Columbia eligible for cost-shared funding?
Yes, on the condition these activities meet the program’s objectives of:
Increasing use of British Columbia’s agriculture, food and seafood sectors in the domestic marketplace; and
Building consumer preference, demand and sales for BC agrifoods sold within the province.
Are in-kind contributions eligible for cost-shared funding?
In-kind contributions can be included as part of the budget, but they are not eligible for matching funding.
Are there any types of projects that are not eligible for funding?
The scope of the Buy Local program is to support projects that increase local consumer demand and sales of BC agrifoods. The following types of projects are NOT eligible for funding under this program:
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter as stand-alone activities are not eligible, using social media to promote Buy Local is an eligible activity;
Awareness building activities with the exception of “new” products introduced to the domestic market;
Repeat activities. All proposed activities must be new to the applicant (i.e. if the applicant has previous advertised in ‘X publication’, activity to advertise in ‘X publication’ again would be ineligibility;
Domestic market research;
Educational events (e.g., producer workshop);
Tradeshows and events targeting commercial, institutional and food service buyers are ineligible. Only consumer-focused activities are eligible for cost-share;
Buying, starting or expanding a farm or business;
Purchasing capital expenses (e.g., land, buildings, fences, equipment, computers, mobile phones, tools, packaging plate costs, seed, livestock);
Basic research (experimental or theoretical work which is undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without a commercial or specific application in view);
Sponsorship. Requesting funds to support or sponsor a third-party activity are ineligible;
Any costs related to providing product samples at a reduced cost or free are treated as in-kind;
Direct income support;
Lobbying or influencing any level of government;
The normal operations of a business or organization (i.e., creating a strategic plan; hiring staff, holding a conference or annual meeting, education or training) which are not intended to address the objectives of this program;
Website/IT systems upgrades. Only the cost for adding specific ‘Buy Local’ elements (i.e. landing page or branding) are eligible for cost-share;
Building and implementing an e-commerce tool/site is not eligible; and
Any activities that may be considered to denigrate other products, commodities or regions (e.g., farmed vs. wild salmon; organic vs. conventional agriculture).
Are translation fees eligible?
Projects where the intended target audience is non-English speaking may qualify for cost-sharing on Certified translation services for approved promotional materials. An estimate from a Certified translation service should be included with your application. The maximum cost-share for translation services is $5,000.
Note: A copy of the English and translated materials may be requested and must be available upon request.
What performance measures do I need to track and report on?
Measures of activities such as dollar value of increased sales, volume of increased sales, number of new sales agreements signed, number of marketing materials and advertising and promotional activities completed, number of new product listings and new partnerships, new jobs, number of website visits, new economic activity, number of website visits and social media traffic, number of participants at a special event and media coverage. It’s best to develop a plan upfront and track these results for final reporting purposes. A complete list is available on the Buy Local application form.
When is my final project report due?
All projects must be completed and the final report submitted within 12 months of the date of project approval.
Are you willing and able to contribute any of your own money to your project OR have you secured cash contributions from industry partners or non-government sources?
Applicants will be required to contribute 50% in cash of the total cost of the project budget.
How much can I apply for?
The minimum amount of cost-shared funding available is $5,000 and the maximum is $75,000.
Is a letter of intent required?
No letter of intent is required. Feel free to contact the IAF to determine the eligibility of your application.
When will I know if my application has been approved?
Clients can usually anticipate a decision within 20 business days for complete applications, from the application deadline date.
What are the funding acknowledgement requirements?
In order to be eligible for cost-share, all funding acknowledgement guidelines must be adhered to. The onus is on the applicant/client to ensure they have met the guidelines and have their communication products and media reviewed and approved by the IAF prior to publishing. For more information on funding acknowledgement: Funding Recognition Requirements
When can I issue a media release to announce the funded project?
The BC government will work with each successful applicant to announce their project as they are approved.
Recipients will not make a public announcement concerning the project funding without the prior consent of the BC Ministry of Agriculture. For more information: Funding Recognition Requirements
Where can I go for more information?
IAF encourages all potential clients for the Buy Local Program to contact the Foundation directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-356-1662.
Can I pay someone to write my application?
There are a number of organizations that may offer to write your application for a fee, or for a percentage of the contribution amount. If you choose to contract with an organization that is offering this service, you should be aware that the consultant fees or commissions are not eligible for reimbursement or cost-share through this program.