British Columbia

Northwest B.C. small businesses hurt by 2018 wildfires eligible for extra funding

Small business owners in northwest B.C. who suffered financial losses in the wake of British Columbia’s 2018 wildfires can now apply for additional assistance of up to $20,000.

Qualifying businesses and not-for-profits can apply for up to an additional $20K from the province

The Dog Creek Trail Wildfire was one of the wildfires that started in the Prince George Fire Centre last year. Small business owners in Dog Creek that suffered losses can now apply for additional funds. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

Small business owners in northwest B.C. who suffered financial losses in the wake of British Columbia's 2018 wildfires can now apply for additional assistance of up to $20,000.

The funding comes from the $10 million the province provided to the Red Cross in November 2018 for wildfire recovery efforts. 

Eligible businesses and not-for-profit organizations with fewer than 50 employees can apply for the funds through the Canadian Red Cross Support for Small Business Program. The Canadian Red Cross will manage the application process to determine the eligibility of businesses based on individual needs. 

Applications for the first phase of this funding stream will be accepted from June 17 until Sept. 30, 2019.

"Small businesses are at the core of our communities in B.C., and it's critical that the province support their recovery from any disaster," said Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth in a news release.  

"This financial assistance is about ensuring small business owners, employees and by extension, their communities, are more resilient to future events."

Covering uninsured losses

The province has identified 72 communities in the northwest region that are eligible for the additional funding, including several First Nation communities that were impacted by the devastating wildfires last year. 

The financial assistance can cover expenses incurred from uninsured losses, cleanup and repair and replacement costs of short-term lease of tools and equipment. 

Business owners can also apply to cover moving and storage expenses, lease payments and other operational costs incurred due to wildfire.

This funding program is based on similar initiatives used to support businesses in the Cariboo and Grand Forks following the wildfires and floods that impacted the regions in 2017 and 2018. 

Business owners can find more information on the Canadian Red Cross website. 

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