Wildfire recovery programs aimed at helping businesses move forward have been delivered across the region by Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Community Futures reaches 1,000s with wildfire recovery programs

Programs benefit businesses, not-for-profits and Indigenous organizations affected by the wildfires.

Offering wildfire recovery programming has kept Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin hopping, said manager Karen Eden.

“It’s been a busy couple of years,” Eden told the Tribune.

A business ambassador program started in January 2018 saw the hiring of nine people that went out to work one-on-one with businesses, not-for-profits and Indigenous organizations affected by the wildfires.

“We’ve touched over 4,700 and that ranges from Lillooet and out to Bella Coola, 82 communities in all. We helped them fill out the paper work to access things such as agricultural programs and Red Cross funding that was available.”

About June of 2018, they launched the second phase of funding due to grants from Western Economic Diversification, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Canadian Red Cross community funding and the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition to put on workshops.

“Through the whole region, as of the end of October 2019, we offered over 220 workshops with over 2,400 attendees and we are still doing a few more.”

Self-directed training was also available to business owners to train existing or new employees for anything from certificate training to leadership to HR management. Through the program about $1.1 million of funding was used to reimburse businesses for training and business coaching.

Read more: Wildfire recovery support services continue

“That program is now over, but in total 406 businesses applied for and received funding and about 1,100 applications that have come in to date.”

With the self-directed training businesses determine what kind of training or certification they were lacking or needed to keep their business sustainable or pivot it into the new world.

“We’ve tried not to use the word recovery anymore because it is over used for one and we’ve got to move forward,” Eden said.

“The last big workshop we did we brought in Mo Douglas to facilitate. It was called Change Happens and was held on Nov. 7 at the Pioneer Complex.”

Feedback about the workshop was that it was tremendous and positive, she added.

There was a panel comprised of local business people and the workshop was aimed at looking for opportunities going forward, rather than focusing on the downside of things, Eden said.

Douglas also gave similar workshops in Quesnel and Cache Creek.

During the last two years, there has also been an effort by Community Futures to offer workshops through webinars or online group learning, but the challenge has been reaching more remote communities that have a lack of connectivity in the region.

“Connectivity came up over and over again as a challenge because of the vast geography,” Eden said.

“When you are the sole proprietor and trying to get away to attend a workshop that can be difficult.”

Read more: Canadian Red Cross closes Williams Lake wildfire recovery office


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aubrey Jackson embraces Scottish heritage at Robbie Burns Night this Saturday

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 invites the whole community to attend

Horgan’s caribou liaison quits

Blair Lekstrom was appointed to ease tension between local groups over plan to save threatened herds

Williams Lake RCMP respond to pedestrian-involved collision at Pigeon and Western

Three children aged nine were taken to hospital with what appears to be minor injuries

Water treatment plant for manganese removal price tag at least $14.9 million

City council received a feasibility study at committee of the whole

Smudging ceremony held near 108 Mile after fatal collision

‘We want to be there for her parents and her children as much as possible’

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read