For hundreds of small businesses in dozens of communities across rural British Columbia, the devastating impact of this season’s wildfires are just one more blow to an economy already struggling from the effects of the pandemic. Since the start of the wildfire season on April 1st, more than 557,459 hectares of area have burned, displacing thousands of people and forcing many businesses to curtail their operations.
To help businesses deal with the effects of the wildfires on business stability and continuity, Community Futures British Columbia has launched a dedicated website and toll-free number (1-800-670-9058) to provide businesses with quick and easy access to information, resources, and support. The Community Futures Wildfire Business Support website (https://cfwildfire.ca/) provides a list of links to a range of resources and support available to assist with disaster recovery and mitigation, as well as the latest information on wildfire activity in British Columbia.
Among the resources provided are a Business Continuity Workbook and an Agriculture Emergency Preparedness Workbook, both of which were developed by Community Futures following the 2017 wildfires.
Disaster Readiness 101
Community Futures is also providing free, online workshops outlining the steps businesses can take to prepare for and recover more quickly from disasters. Disaster Readiness 101 covers the seven things your business can do immediately to avoid being caught off guard. Developed by Colin O’Leary, an expert in economic recovery and business planning, the workshop focuses on several key lessons learned following the 2017 wildfires. The following is a schedule of upcoming online workshops with registration available through the Community Futures Wildfire Business Support website:
- Friday, August 20, 2021
- 12 – 1 p.m.
- Tuesday, August 24, 2021
- 12 – 1 p.m.
For more information call toll free, 1-800-670-9058, or visit the Community Futures Wildfire Business Support website at: https://cfwildfire.ca/resources/workshops/
About Community Futures
Established in 1985, Community Futures is a community-based, economic development program designed to help strengthen and diversity rural communities by providing access to financing and other services to support the start-up and growth of small businesses. There are 34 Community Futures organizations across British Columbia. Following the 2017 wildfires, Community Futures offices in British Columbia established the Wildfire Business Transition Program to provide targeted support to affected businesses. For more information and a list of Community Futures offices, visit https://www.communityfutures.ca/