Small businesses in B.C. will soon begin to apply for provincial grants to help pay for repairs caused by vandalism, or to implement deterrents.
The province’s “Securing Small Business Rebate Program” opens on Nov. 22, months after the it was first announced this summer.
Some $10.5 million has been earmarked for the rebates.
Small businesses across the province can apply for grants up to $2,000 per business to cover the costs of repair for vandalism, and up to $1,000 to implement prevention vandalism measures, like installing security cameras or gates.
The grant program comes as small businesses in B.C. continue to recover from the pandemic, when foot traffic plummeted and vandalism cases shot up.
Last year, the City of Victoria launched its own program to help businesses cope with vandalism.
In 2022, the city reserved $65,000 to help cover up to 50 per cent of business’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $1,000.
The program is set to return this year, and in February the Business Improvement Areas of BC said it was considering launching a similar program as well.
“Small businesses are the foundation of B.C.’s economy, and we are taking action to maintain a thriving business community,” said B.C. Jobs Minister Brenda Bailey in a release Sunday.
“Supporting small businesses with this rebate helps provide some relief for the costs they’ve taken on through no fault of their own,” she said.
The program will run on a first come, first serve basis.
Applications can be for damage that occurred retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023, to help cover any damages that occurred this year.
Applications can be sent to the BC Chamber of Commerce website between Nov. 22 and Jan. 31, 2025.