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Business owners suffering wildfire losses now eligible for additional funding

The announcement by the government opens door for business to recoup some of the losses from the worst wildfire season. — Submitted photo

Small business owners who suffered financial and business losses following British Columbia’s worst wildfire season can now apply for additional financial assistance.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston, and Canadian Red Cross vice-president for B.C. and Yukon Kimberley Nemrava, announced today that additional funds will be distributed through the second phase of the Support to Small Business, Not-for-Profit Organizations and First Nations Cultural Livelihood Program.

“The continued success of local businesses and the people who support them is key to a swift and effective recovery from any disaster,” Farnworth said. “This financial assistance underscores the ongoing commitment of the Province and the Canadian Red Cross to supporting post-wildfire recovery efforts.”

Farnworth also noted that supporting small businesses and First Nations communities will ensure that, “B.C. communities are more resilient to future events.”

“We're committed to helping small businesses get back on their feet with this funding, because when businesses thrive, communities can start to recover,” Donaldson said. 

The Province is partnering with the Canadian Red Cross to provide additional funds, along with other forms of assistance to support First Nations communities and not-for-profit organizations.

Financial assistance is designed to at least partially compensate for uninsured losses, insurance deductibles, minor repairs, clean-up, equipment and occupational training expenses. Eligibility will be based on individual needs and determined based on an application process managed through the Canadian Red Cross.

“Small businesses are a vital part of our communities and B.C.’s economy,” Ralston said. “This second phase of funding for businesses, non-profits and Indigenous entrepreneurs who have suffered losses from this year’s unprecedented wildfire season could provide them with much-needed additional financial support.”

“Although the emergency phase of the wildfires has passed, the road to recovery can be long,” Nemrava said. “Thanks to generous individuals, governments, community groups and corporate partners, the Red Cross can provide this Support to Small Business program that will further assist people and their communities to recover after this disaster.”

Applications for the second phase of the small business program will be accepted until April 6, 2018. For information concerning eligibility requirements, please go to: www.redcross.ca/bcfires/smallbusiness

Quick Facts:

  • Phase 1 of the support to small business program provided $1,500 to each eligible applicant and received more than 2,900 applications.
  • Phase 2 of the program will contribute up to a maximum of $18,500 for eligible businesses.
  • Not-for-profit organizations may also apply for additional financial assistance of up to $8,500. The amounts allocated will be based on individual needs, which will be determined through the application process.