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$50K fund to assist wildfire-affected businesses in North Shuswap

Non-profits may also apply for grant through Shuswap Economic Recovery Taskforce
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A helicopter buckets forested areas over the Bush Creek East wildfire in the North Shuswap in September, 2023. (Rebecca Willson-Salmon Arm Observer)

A new organization has launched a program offering grant funding to assist businesses and non-profit groups in the North Shuswap with recovery from the Bush Creek East wildfire.

The Shuswap Economic Recovery Taskforce (SERT) announced it has $50,000 in funding available to distribute via grants. The initiative is part of an initial phase of SERT’s larger wildfire recovery program for all impacted Shuswap communities, dedicated to helping North Shuswap businesses rebuild and regain their economic footing.

Affected businesses are encouraged to apply for funding by completing a needs assessment form that outlines the extent of their losses and their specific needs for recovery assistance.

“The North Shuswap business community is strong, resilient, and closely connected,” said John Reed, SERT co-chair and the executive director of the Shuswap Economic Development Society, in a Dec. 1 media release.

“We understand the challenges businesses are facing, and the SERT team is dedicated to providing as much support as possible to help them resume operations and rebuild a thriving local economy.”

SERT said it will carefully review applications and allot funding based on a specific set of criteria. For those who do not receive funding from this grant, SERT will be offering several other opportunities for wildfire-impacted businesses to access support, including one-on-one sessions with business recovery advisors through Community Futures Shuswap and the Disaster Recovery Economic Adjustment Initiative.

For more information about the wildfire recovery program, or to access the application form, visit shuswapecdev.ca/our-region/wildfire-relief-and-resources/.

Read more: Donations continue pouring in to aid Shuswap communities impacted by wildfire

Read more: Shuswap Community Foundation offering grants for wildfire recovery

To help increase the amount of available funding to help North Shuswap businesses recover from the 2023 wildfire season, donations can be made out to the Shuswap Community Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund at any SASCU branch. Specify North Shuswap businesses. Alternatively, an e-transfer may be submitted to info@shuswapfoundation.ca. Include the following memo: “North Shuswap Business Recovery.”

SERT was created to support businesses, sole proprietors and non-profits in the Shuswap impacted by the Bush Creek East wildfire, and represents a partnership between the Shuswap Economic Development Society, Shuswap Community Foundation, Community Futures Shuswap, the North Shuswap Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Shuswap, the South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce, Salmon Arm Economic Development, Sicamous Economic Development and North Shuswap Disaster Relief Society.

The task force offers opportunities for funding, education and other economic recovery resources. It is is made up of local business and community leaders from throughout the Shuswap. For more information email John Reed at john.reed@shuswapecdev.ca or Sue McCrae at sue@shuswapecdev.ca.



Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market, and Eagle Valley News. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our readers informed and engaged.
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