Kitimat Economic Recovery Task Force launches Phase One of Kitimat COVID-19 Business Support

Phase One involves several campaigns to help local businesses overcome COVID-19 related challenges.

The Kitimat Economic Recovery Task Force has started Phase One of Kitimat COVID-19 Business Support, which aims to provide an initial level of support to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The Kitimat Economic Recovery Task Force is a joint partnership between the District of Kitimat and the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce. The Task Force is made up of representatives from both partnering organizations, along with the Haisla Nation, Rio Tinto BC Works, LNG Canada, and representatives from the local business community, including the tourism service sector, industrial service sector, and general service sector.

The role of the Task Force is to identify any issues that local businesses are facing in the wake of COVID-19, and look for tools and options to help support them going forward.

“As the elected leaders of our community, our Council is committed to supporting our local business community and economy to endure and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic healthy and vibrant,” District of Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth said. “We [the Council] are happy to see the funds that we have devoted towards supporting our businesses through COVID starting to be utilized.”

Phase One includes five ‘campaigns’ to help support local businesses and boost Kitimat’s economy.

The first is the Business Information Support Campaign, which includes tools on the District of Kitimat website and by phone to help businesses navigate the resources that are available to them. This includes a Business Support Hotline and an online support database.

There is a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) campaign, which will provide PPE free of charge to local businesses operating during COVID-19 restrictions, to help ease their health and financial burdens. Order forms and more information can be found on the District of Kitimat website.

A ‘Shop Local’ awareness video is in the works as the third campaign, as well as several contests with prizes of gift certificates to local businesses, to promote shopping locally in Kitimat.

The fourth campaign involves providing umbrellas to local businesses in commercial areas to provide coverage from wet weather to customers waiting outside for services, whether due to capacity or other mandatory COVID-19 policies. Businesses can contact edo@kitimat.ca or 250-632-8900 ext. 2244 to arrange for courtesy umbrellas.

Lastly, additional resources will be put forward and advertised to market Kitimat as a prime destination for regional tourism in Northwest B.C., to bring in larger audiences for more local support.

“We were overwhelmed with the willingness of the local business community to volunteer on the Kitimat Economic Recovery Task Force and to provide necessary feedback on what resources are needed to support businesses through COVID-19,” Laurel D’Andrea, Executive Director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce said. “Kitimat truly has a unique business community that is dedicated to supporting each other, and supporting the entire community through the good times and the tough times.”

Plans are in place to bring about future phases of the support program, involving additional resources for businesses.

For more information on the Kitimat Economic Recovery Task Force’s Phase One of Kitimat COVID-19 Business Support, please visit the District of Kitimat website.



clare.rayment@northernsentinel.com

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