Treat yo shelves: Feds investing $32M to help Canadian bookstores

Mar 14 2022, 5:52 pm

There’s a new funding initiative to support bookstores to sell more books online coming to Canada, and it’s a big injection of cash into the industry.

The news comes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to strengthen the sustainability of bookstore operations.

The Government of Canada’s new Support for Booksellers component of the Canada Book Fund will invest $32.1 million in bookstores over two years for expenses related to online book sales and to help these bookstores improve their online business models, which includes logistical operations, technology, and shipping costs.

Speaking on the initiative in the press release issued by Canadian Heritage on March 11, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez said, “During the pandemic, Canadians bought more Canadian books, proving that our authors and publishers are more important than ever in sharing our stories. Our government is proud to provide this important funding for Canadian booksellers to support the growth of their online sales channels, so they can remain competitive in the digital marketplace.”

Who can apply?

The Support for Booksellers fund supports individual Canadian booksellers or affiliated groups of booksellers, providing funding for eligible expenses related to the sale of new print books online. The funding is allocated based on the past sales of Canadian-authored books.

At the time of application and through to the end of your funding agreement with the Canadian Book Fund, a bookseller must meet all the following requirements:

  • be at least 75% owned and controlled by Canadians
  • have its headquarters and at least 75% of its employees based in Canada
  • specialize in the sale of new print books to the public
  • sell Canadian-authored print books
  • have a physical retail store that is open to the public
  • have been in operation since at least January 1, 2019
  • sell books by a minimum of 25 publishers
  • have eligible total book sales of $50,000 between January 1 and December 31, 2019
  • sell new print books online to the public through a transactional website at the time the application is submitted

Further information on program eligibility can be found in the Application Guidelines. Applications must be submitted by email to [email protected].

The deadline for bookstore applications is April 25, 2022.

Sean LoughranSean Loughran

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