Home Business & Economy Business Business vandalism supports now won’t require insurance claim

Business vandalism supports now won’t require insurance claim

BC Chamber of Commerce now expediting the changes to the application portal.

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Retail storefront vandalism impacts small businesses.

Tuesday March 5, 2024 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

A smoother and faster application process to help businesses access funding to offset the costs to repair and prevent vandalism to businesses was announced today.

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Primarily, the requirement to provide an insurance claim has been dropped. The changes were made in consultation with the BC Chamber of Commerce. The BC Chamber of Commerce is expediting the changes to the application portal now.

This comes largely in response to the previous poor participation in the program. Last month the provincial government said that only about $71,000 of the $10.5 million fund had been paid out.

In some ways it takes a hit against the claims revenue that insurance companies might be making.

Cumbersome process:

Since November 2023, businesses have been able to apply for up to $2,000 for graffiti or vandalism repairs and $1,000 for prevention measures under the Securing Small Business Rebate Program. [Also see: BC Chamber of Commerce page about Securing Small Business Rebate]

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Bailey revisits the program:

“When I became aware of the challenges some businesses were having in applying for the program, I immediately connected with the BC Chamber of Commerce and small business owners to hear their concerns,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation.

“Our goal is to get the money out the door and in the pockets of our hard-working small business owners, so we are taking action on the issues being raised and taking steps to make changes to the application process,” said Bailey in a news release today.

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FILE PHOTO: Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, Brenda Bailey, April 5, 2023 in Victoria. [livestream]

After working with the business community and the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Province is making changes to the Securing Small Business Rebate Program, which will come into effect in the coming weeks.

Importance of retail small business:

The retail storefront is an important part of communities.

Small business owners serve on the front lines of local neighbourhoods and collectively create the ambience of commercial shopping areas.

In the case of vandalism have been taking a big hit in socioeconomically challenging times that have in some ways stirred more violence in communities.

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Program updates:

Updates to the application process will include:

  • Removing the requirement to provide an insurance claim when applying for funding through the reparative stream of the program. Applicants will now simply be required to provide the name of their insurance carrier and policy number.
  • Permitting self-installation of measures. If equipment is self-installed, the rebate will be for eligible equipment only.
  • Removing the requirement for the applicant to demonstrate there is vandalism in the community in order to be eligible for the preventative rebate.
  • Removing the application deadline of Feb. 29, 2024, for preventative and reparative applications being filed for 2023. Applications will be accepted until the program ends in 2025.
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Island Social Trends reports news with socioeconomic insights and analysis. Independent news service on south Vancouver Island, BC.

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