B.C. announces funding for small businesses with vandalism-related costs

Small businesses in B.C. will soon be able to apply for funding from the province to help cover vandalism-related expenses.

Starting Nov. 22, businesses will be able to apply for up to $2,000 towards the cost of vandalism-related repairs and up to $1,000 towards vandalism prevention measures, the B.C. government states.

“Small businesses are the foundation of B.C.’s economy, and we are taking action to maintain a thriving business community,” said Brenda Bailey, B.C.’s minister of jobs, economic development and innovation. “Supporting small businesses with this rebate helps provide some relief for the costs they’ve taken on through no fault of their own.”

Prevention measures deemed eligible for provincial funding include security cameras and gates, and eligible vandalism repairs include replacing broken glass or removing graffiti.

Vince Marino, owner of Junction Public House in Vancouver, says this rebate is an important step forward for small businesses in B.C.

“As a business owner, the costs of property damage have been very frustrating and I’m glad to see government support on the way,” Marinon said.

The new $10.5 million Securing Small Business Rebate Program will be administered by the BC Chamber of Commerce and information about the rebate will be available starting Sunday.

“Small businesses in rural and urban communities across B.C. are the backbone of our provincial economy,” said Fiona Famulak, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce.

“This rebate program is an important and welcome step that will help defray expenses that have been incurred by small businesses that have been vandalized, or that want to mitigate the risk of vandalism.”

The province says applications will be retroactive on Jan. 1, 2023, to help businesses recoup costs incurred during this year. It adds this initiative adds to others, such as wholesale liquor pricing and a permanent cap on food-delivery fees, that are being put in place to aid small businesses in B.C.

The rebate will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, the province says.

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