Small businesses impacted by the summer’s wildfires are invited to sign up for free 30-minute accounting and legal sessions being offered by Small Business BC. Angie Mindus photo

Small Businesses BC offering free sessions to businesses impacted by wildfires

Cariboo Region small business owners are invited to set up 30-minute accounting and legal sessions to get advice on recovery steps for the business losses and interruptions that occurred.

Small Business BC is offering free 30-minute accounting and legal sessions for small business owners affected by the summer’s wildfires.

“The sessions are done over the phone or by Skype,” said Aisha Tejani with Small Business BC. “We do sessions regularly in Vancouver, but this is the first time we are offering sessions because of wildfires.”

Space is limited and the free sessions will be available from now until Oct. 25, 2017.

There are 80 ‘Ask a Lawyer’ slots and 100 ‘Ask an Accountant’ slots available and each time slot is offered on a first come, first serve basis.

Tejani said if people are interested in signing up they should register on the Small Business BC website.

The areas of expertise being provided during these weeks include law and accounting, to answer the key questions small business owners have to get back on their feet.

One law firm, Benchmark Law, and 14 accounting firms that belong to the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia are volunteering their services for the event.

City of Williams Lake economic development officer Beth Veenkamp is encouraging business owners to take advantage of the free sessions.

“There are many organizations outside of our community that genuinely want to help us recover from the difficult events of this past summer,” Veenkamp said.

“It is important that businesses take advantage of opportunities such as this, not only to get the support that they need but to also demonstrate that there is need and there has been a hit taken to our local economy in this region. If the calls don’t come in, the assumption is that we don’t need the help.”

Veenkamp is also encouraging small business owners and organizations to apply for the Red Cross Support to Small Business fund.

Grants for $1500 are available, and applicants must apply by the deadline of Tuesday, Oct. 31.

A small business is defined as a company with less than 50 employees, Veenkamp said.

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