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Financial aid available for struggling, lost northern B.C. businesses after 2018 wildfires

Province says owners can get up to $20,000 via the Canadian Red Cross
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(via Glacier Media)

Last year was the most devastating wildfire season in B.C. history, burning over 1.35 hectares of land.

In the northwest, several businesses were affected by the raging flames, either struggling to rebuild or were lost completely from Shovel Lake to Telegraph Creek.

Today (June 10), the B.C. government has announced funding is now available for businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the region to begin the recovery process and can apply for up to $20,000 through the Canadian Red Cross and its Small Business Program.

“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 Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth in a release. “This financial assistance is about ensuring small business owners, employees and by extension, their communities, are more resilient to future events.”

There are requirements that need to be met in order to receive financial aid, including a staff of under 50 employees, and the money is designed to help with uninsured losses, cleanup and repair, lease payments, utility bills, and other operational costs related to wildfire impacts.

Eligible applicants will be selected based on individual needs.

“The Red Cross remains committed to supporting wildfire recovery in B.C.,” said Elysia Dempsey in the same statement, Canadian Red Cross Emergency Management Director. “Thanks to this funding from the provincial government, we can provide this program that will further assist people and their communities to recover after this disaster.”

In November 2018, the province provided $10 million to the Canadian Red Cross to help with wildfire recovery efforts.

Businesses and not-for-profits must fill out an application and submit it between next Monday (June 17) and Sept. 30.

More information is available on the Red Cross website.




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Kyle  Balzer

About the Author: Kyle Balzer

Kyle Balzer graduated with distinction from BCIT's Broadcast & Online Journalism program in 2016. Since moving to Prince George, he has covered a variety of stories from education & Indigenous relations, to community interests & sports.
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