In June 2021, Prince George Driving For Life Academy Ltd. (PG Driving For Life) completed a 12-month project that included the production of 49 video modules, development and pricing of six courses and three bundles, a new online training website and brand adjustment. Northern Development helped PG Driving For Life shift gears and get the project rolling with a $25,000 rebate through its Small Business Recovery Consulting Rebate program.
This project was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw ICBC halt driver testing and forced PG Driving For Life to close and lay off employees as they were entering the busiest time of the year and booking into June 2020. Prior to the pandemic, the driving school delivered both in-class and in-car instruction to students.
“This funding allowed us to pivot our business while we were not earning any revenue due to the pandemic,” said Christopher Schulz, chief executive officer, PG Driving For Life. “In-person instruction was the basis of our business and with physical distancing restrictions, we were no longer able to do that. Now, we have an e-learning platform that is easily adaptable and allows us to educate students in a new way. It gives us the flexibility to continue to grow our course topics and better serve the specific needs of our varied customer-base while creating a sustainable, passive revenue model.”
Beyond expanding their offerings, the creation of the online driver training platform will allow PG Driving For Life to grow by serving customers throughout Northern B.C. and beyond without physical expansion, especially in communities that do not have a licensed graduated licensing program provider.
The Small Business Recovery Consulting Rebate program supports projects that focus on ways to sustain businesses during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A rebate of up to 85 per cent, to a maximum of $25,000, is available to small and medium sized businesses to help recover the costs of hiring a consultant to assist with business efforts.