Web Presence Assistance
Web Presence Assistance provides a non-repayable contribution to Prince Edward Island businesses and local not-for-profits to assist with the creation of an online presence or to upgrade an existing website to include e-commerce. The purpose of Web Presence Assistance is to help Island businesses and not-for-profits increase business by creating a website to establish an online presence, reach customers and increase sales.
Who is eligible for Web Presence Assistance?
To be an eligible applicant, a business or a local not-for-profit organization must be located in Prince Edward Island and:
- not have a website, or
- is upgrading an existing website to add e-commerce for the first time.
Ineligible applicants include
- an applicant with an existing e-commerce website that wishes to enhance e-commerce capability;
- a business that has a defaulted outstanding debt obligation on file in the Province’s Central Default Registry;
- a business that received funding from Innovation PEI in the prior two years to support website development, through Web Presence Assistance;
- fishers, farmers, and realty companies (including commercial/residential landlords and developers); and
- banks and financial companies, including pawnbrokers, pay day loan, cheque cashing and white label cash machines.
What activities and costs are supported?
An eligible business can access support for eligible costs related to:
- registration of a domain name;
- design, development, and hosting of a website. Website design may include e-commerce, search engine and mobile optimization, scheduling functions, voice technology, chatbot, social media integration, and other functions that improve the user experience and effectiveness of the website; or
- social media and online advertising to support the launch of the new website may be eligible if requested in the application, and if the maximum contribution level for the applicable tier has not been reached; recurring advertising costs are not eligible.
- H.S.T. payments are not considered an eligible expense item.
What level of assistance is available?
Web Presence Assistance has two tiers. Innovation PEI’s contribution is limited to 50 per cent of the eligible cost to a maximum contribution of $1000 (Tier 1) or $2500 (Tier 2).
- Tier 1: a non-e-commerce site, for a business that does not have an existing website - $1000
- Tier 2: an e-commerce site, for a business that does not have an existing website OR has a website that does not include e-commerce - $2500.
The combined project funding from all non-repayable government sources cannot exceed 75% of eligible costs.
What criteria are used to evaluate funding applications?
Eligible businesses that submit complete applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. An application is considered to be complete and received when all required information has been submitted to Innovation PEI.
Innovation PEI requires acceptance of the full terms and conditions of the assistance at the time of application. The accepted terms and conditions, application, request for payment, and guidelines shall constitute a contract between Innovation PEI and the applicant(s).
How do I apply?
Innovation PEI encourages potential applicants to consult with an Innovation PEI Business Development Officer for guidance on the suitability of the project, other program offerings, and the application process. If the project is not a good candidate for Web Presence Assistance, the Business Development Officer may recommend alternative funding programs.
Once ready, an applicant can apply:
- by requesting a printable application form; or
- by submitting a hard copy application by mail or fax.
An application must be submitted before any financial or legal commitment is made on the project.
What do I need to apply?
To complete the application, you will need detailed business information and the requested supporting documents:
- full business name and contact information;
- HST number, if applicable;
- a detailed description of the project and how it will help the business;
- an electronic or scanned copy of a written quote from an arm’s length web developer, detailing services to be provided; OR
- if the applicant is creating the site rather than hiring an arm’s length web developer, a detailed listing of the expenses that will be incurred must be submitted.
Applicants will not be reimbursed for time – only for direct costs paid. Subscriptions directly related to the business's website and associated tools will be considered, provided they are billed and paid prior to the request for payment.
What are the terms and conditions of the application?
Innovation PEI requires acceptance of the full Terms and conditions, to be agreed upon within the application.
Service Standards for Web Presence
Innovation PEI encourages applicants to contact a Business Development Officer prior to applying for support, as this typically will save the applicant time and result in a better experience. This contact benefits the applicant by:
- assisting the applicant to identify the most appropriate support(s) available from Innovation PEI and other sources, via a review of their business and its associated plans, opportunities, and challenges; and
- providing a review of the application form and process, to ensure the applicant fully understands the information and/or documentation required for application and the associated timelines.
These service standards are applicable under normal conditions; deviations may be necessary under exceptional circumstances.
Acknowledgement of Application
Applicants will receive confirmation that their application has been received, and advised whether their application is complete, within ten business days of receipt by Innovation PEI.
Notification of Decision
Following Innovation PEI’s receipt of a complete application, applicants will be advised of Innovation PEI’s decision within the following timeframes:
Web Presence – ten (10) to twenty (20) business days.