By: Moya Dillon
BROCK — Businesses have another chance to tap into financial support from the Township.
At a meeting on July 16, councillors approved a second round of intake for the Brock Emergency Response Benefit (BERB) program, which will offer area businesses a chance to apply for support from $2,500 to $3,500.
“I fully support the idea for a second intake and giving businesses more opportunity to access this,” said Coun. Lynn Campbell.
Councillors supported the idea for a second intake of the program, which is being run by the South Lake Community Futures Development Corporation, with several variations, including any applications deemed not eligible or arrived past the deadline for the first intake be automatically considered for the second intake and the eligibility criteria be expanded to include not-for-profit organizations that own their own building and/or run a business. The latter addition was aimed at expanding eligibility to local businesses such as Royal Canadian Legions and curling clubs.
“We have a handful or so of not-for-profits that run a business out of buildings that they own and they have not been able to open during this COVID-19 time,” said Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden, noting those businesses are struggling with the same issues as for-profit businesses and deserve support.
“We’re trying to help these not-for-profits that are running a business,” she continued. “This emergency benefit program is to cover the overhead costs for businesses, so they will still be there on our main streets at the end of the day.”
Councillors also voted to reduce the amount of support each business was eligible for from between $2,500 to $5,000 to a range of $2,500 to $3,500 in order to support as many businesses as possible with the funds left over after the first intake.
“I think this is a way to ensure we have adequate funds to support all applicants,” said Coun. Claire Doble.
Businesses who were not awarded support in the first round of grants are invited to apply for the second round until Aug. 4. For more information, visit www.southlakefutures.ca.
Councillors also directed staff to look for ways to support local not-for-profits that do not run businesses. A report with potential support methods will be brought before council for consideration at the Aug. 10 meeting.
'Brock council goes back to bat for local businesses' July 24, 2020, 2020 The Brock Citizen
Photo Credit: Township of Brock Municipal Office in Cannington. - Barbara-Ann MacEachern/Torstar