Quesnel’s Wildfire Recovery Team is eager to hear from rural and urban business owners and people in our region who run non-profit organizations about the impacts of this summer’s wildfires and what resources they have and need. Team members are, from left: Erin Robinson (recovery manager), Charlene Lawrence (recovery team support), Tracy Bond (urban recovery co-ordinator) and Garry Horley (rural recovery manager). CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Quesnel’s new Wildfire Economic Recovery Team eager to hear from businesses and non-profits

Team to assess wildfire effects in North Cariboo, find resources, gaps for business and non-profits

  • Nov. 17, 2017 1:00 p.m.

Members of Quesnel’s Wildfire Economic Recovery Team are eager to hear from business owners and non-profit managers about how they were affected by this summer’s wildfires and what resources they need.

Recovery manager Erin Robinson says the four-person Wildfire Economic Recovery Team, which was announced Oct. 24, has been hired to help urban and rural businesses and non-profits assess the economic impacts of the fires.

They want to develop a plan for recovery and begin to implement that plan.

“In the summer, businesses and non-profits lost revenue, sponsorships were down, roads were closed and tourism was down.

“But some of the effects are more long- or mid-term, so we need to hear from people what those effects past the summer are.”

Robinson says the team members want to talk to as many businesses and non-profit organizations as possible to hear their stories and learn about what resources they have and what resources they need.

“We want to find out what the gaps are.”

The team can then link businesses and non-profits to available resources, or if they find there are gaps that need to be filled, advocate for supports that are identified but not yet available, she explains.

Business owners and non-profit operators can visit recovery team support member Charlene Lawrence at the team’s Spirit Centre office at 246 St. Laurent St. – Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Folks can also call Robinson at 250-255-6002 to set up times to speak with urban recovery co-ordinator Tracy Bond or rural recovery co-ordinator Garry Horley.

People can also fill out a survey through the City of Quesnel’s website at quesnel.ca

While the recovery team is based in Quesnel, the team members want to speak to people who run businesses and non-profits in all north sub-region residents, including Nazko, West Fraser, Bouchie Lake, Kersley and 10 Mile.

Wells has its own recovery team.

Robinson says the team thanks the provincial government’s Emergency Management BC for funding this work.

Along with meeting people, assessing and planning, Robinson says the team is going to be advocating shopping local. Team members encourage Quesnel residents to shop at Downtown Moonlight Madness tonight (Nov. 17), shop local on Black Friday and encourage out-of-town friends to shop, eat and stay in Quesnel.

“We can’t emphasize this enough – every dollar people spend in Quesnel is helping a retailer recover from the wildfires.”

Robinson adds they will also be encouraging people to support local events and support the community’s non-profits.

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