The province of British Columbia, alongside the Red Cross, are launching a program to help small businesses affected by the wildfire.
The Red Cross will be issuing $1,500 grants for small businesses who fall under the guidelines and complete the application.
The emergency financial assistance will be coming from the one million dollars the Government set aside for wildfire disaster relief, which is the same pot of money the assistance program is coming from.
Forest and Rural Development minister Doug Donaldson, joined BC Wildfire Services says small businesses are a community’s economic lifeblood and are one of the hardest hit areas impacted by the wildfires.
Eligibility has also been extended to areas directly impacted by closures along:
- Highway 20;
- Highway 97, south of Prince George to areas covered by evacuation alerts;
- Highway 26 to Barkerville; and,
- eastern Cariboo Regional District communities of Horsefly and Likely.
Road closures and lack of tourism throughout this fire year, along with evacuations, have impacted these businesses.
“This is an unprecedented wildfire season that has been very challenging for all those involved, including small businesses in the impacted areas,” Donaldson said. “Coming from a rural area and as minister responsible for rural development, I know the important role small businesses play in rural communities. As a government, we’ll ensure we have the necessary programs in place to support recovery.”
Applicants must have:
- 50 employees or less,
- been in operation on or before July 7, 2017,
- been financially impacted as a result of the 2017 B.C. wildfires,
- a net income of less than $250,000 per year,
- resumed or are intending to resume operations as soon as possible.
Applications and criteria are available on the Red Cross website. The applications are open until the end of October.
Red Cross Support for Small Business Helpline: The Helpline can be reached at 1-855-999-3345 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday to Friday.
To apply online please visit: https://marsh.az1.qualtrics.
Red Cross B.C. wildfires support for small businesses: http://www.redcross.ca/
Keep up-to-date on the provincial wildfire situation, including information on evacuation and alerts and orders: www.bcwildfire.ca
For information on small business emergency preparedness: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/