The city of Williams Lake is hoping to ease the financial burden of COVID-19 on small businesses by providing them with ‘pandemic kits.’
Mayor Walt Cobb announced Monday, Nov. 30, the city is providing non-medical face masks, hand sanitizer and signage, including floor decals at no charge to locally-licensed businesses, as well as seniors homes.
Licensed businesses can request a pandemic kit by e-mailing email@example.com or visiting the city’s website to fill out a request form.
To fund the kits, the city will be using $100,000 of the $2.6 million in the COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant for local governments Williams Lake received from the province.
“We talked about it once we had the funding from the province so we determined a number of ways to use the money including these kits,” Cobb said, adding how some of the other money is being spent is going to be on the agenda at the Tuesday, Dec. 1 council meeting.
Coun. Scott Nelson said there are more than 1,000 licensed businesses in the city and council hopes the kits will help.
During the Tuesday evening council meeting, council will also consider allocating more of the COVID relief funds to include $100,000 originally allocated to the pandemic fund be moved back to general revenue, $50,000 to support and encourage COVID-friendly outdoor recreation activities such as outdoor public skating, trails and other activities; $475,000 for government relief from gaming funding shortages to non-profit organizations, and allocate $250,000 in 2021 budget for potential revenue loss; $300,000 to the airport fund to cover revenue loss in 2020, and allocate $220,000 for potential revenue loss in 2021; $50,000 to support services for the vulnerable population including homeless and an additional $50,000 to support mental health services; $25,000 for the Williams Lake and District Seniors Activity Centre for COVID-19 measures; $50,000 toward community events that increase community spirit in Williams Lake; and $50,000 to the economic development account to support Williams Lake businesses throughout the pandemic.
Council will also suggest that the remaining funds of $898,000 be placed in a contingency fund to be dispersed at council’s discretion.