Business Continuity: Supports & Resources

In collaboration with the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation (JEDI), the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) is hosting information sessions for small businesses to share available services. The sessions are intended to provide support to small businesses impacted by the Highway 4 road closures. This is a great opportunity to learn and ask questions!

For a list of supports for BC businesses and communities, refer to this LINK.

Small Business Service Providers and Resources

Community Futures

Community Futures is a non-profit organization guided by a volunteer Board of Directors and staffed with business professionals. They work with community partners to help foster entrepreneurship and economic development in our region.

Community Futures provides financing alternatives to small and medium enterprises when access to credit is a challenge to starting or growing their business. Different than a bank, Community Futures uses different lending criteria, focusing on rural development and providing business financing to small local businesses. They also work in partnership with other business lenders, not-for-profits and community governments to grow and diversify the local economy.

Services include:

  • Business planning support
  • Small business training
  • One-on-one start-up or expansion consulting
  • Support in gaining access to other small business supports, information, and access to capital

To learn more about how CFAC programs and services can support your business, please contact: Lori Camire, Executive Director, Tel: 250-724-1241, lori@cfac.ca.

Rural Advisory Program - Regional Business Advisory Services - Community Futures Central Island

The Rural Advisory Program has been designed to support forestry-reliant communities as they adapt to changes resulting from the new forest management system.

The program will:

  • Support rural businesses and communities impacted by forest policy changes and other impacts to the forest sector
  • Increase community and regional adaptation, resilience and sustainability
  • Leverage existing local community/organizations to create incremental supports to impacted business and or communities

To learn more about how the Rural Advisory Program can support your business, please contact: Brady Calancie, Regional Business Advisor, 250-585-6004, brady@ownward.ca .

Small Business BC

Small Business BCSmall Business BC (SBBC) is an independent non-profit organization that exists to elevate every BC business. SBBC supports British Columbia's entrepreneurs to start and grow successful and resilient businesses through expert business advisors, educational services, high-value, innovative, and professional resources and engaging community events.

Their range of supports includes free resources like the business plan template, to seminars/webinars, one-on-one expert advisories, and programs such as the Canada Digital Adoption Program and Export Navigator.

To learn more about how SBBC programs and services can support your business, please contact: John Baxter, Regional Business Advisor, 604-718-5535/toll-free 1-800-667-2272, baxter.john@smallbusinessbc.ca.

Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation

The objectives of NEDC are to promote and assist in the development and establishment of new and existing business enterprises on Vancouver Island by:

  • Providing commercial financing to Aboriginals and First Nation community owned businesses
  • Assisting in the financing of feasibility studies and in the development of a business plan for large projects
  • Accessing contributions for individual and tribal enterprises
  • Promoting youth entrepreneurship
  • Assisting clients in acquiring and/or enhancing their management skills
  • Improving employment opportunities for Aboriginals on Vancouver Island
  • Providing clients with on-going business and financial advice
  • NEDC also continues to work towards the strategic corporate goals of self-sufficiency and service expansion

To learn more about how the NEDC can support your business, please contact: Ron Arcos, Business Development Officer, 250-724-3131, ron@nedc.info

Service Canada, Work-Sharing Program

The Work-Sharing Program helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when:

  • there is a temporary decrease in the normal level of business activity, and
  • the decrease is beyond the control of the employer

The agreement provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers. For more information and questions on the Work-Sharing Program for employers, please contact the Employer Contact Center: 1-800-367-5693, edsc.dgop.tp.rep-res.ws.pob.esdc@servicecanada.gc.ca.

WorkBC Centre Port Alberni, Wage Subsidy Program

The Wage Subsidy Program covers a part of employee wages so employers can hire job seekers and provide work opportunities. Both unemployed individuals and employers in B.C. can benefit from WorkBC Wage Subsidy.

Wage subsidy offers employers opportunities to:

  • Cover a portion of wages for employees
  • Re-hire laid off employees
  • Hire new employees
  • Fill various hiring needs
  • Support existing operations or expansion
  • Reduce work-related barriers for an employee with disabilities

To learn more about how the wage subsidy program can support your business, please contact: Karly Blats, Wage Subsidy Coordinator, 250-724-4560 x 225, kblats@avemployment.ca.

BC Employer Training Grant

The B.C. Employer Training Grant is a cost-sharing program that provides funding to employers throughout B.C. to support skills training for their workforces, including prospective new hires. The grant funding helps employers pay for training and enhance productivity, which in turn helps employees experience increased job security or advance their careers. Employers can apply for funding to cover 80% of the cost of training, up to $10,000 per employee, and $300,000 per employer annually.

To learn more about how the ETG can support your business, please contact: Cameron Ferrie, Director, Labour Market Development Division, Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, 250-415-8996, Cameron.Ferrie@gov.bc.ca.

Health and Wellness Supports

BC’s Hub for Workplace Mental Health

Workplace mental health has never been more important. BC’s Hub for Workplace Mental Health is here to help.

If you’re looking for help, training, or community, please visit their website.

Wellness Together Canada

Wellness Together Canada was created in response to a rise in mental health and substance use concerns since the COVID-19 pandemic. It is funded by the Government of Canada.

Whatever you’re going through, remember that you are not alone. Wellness is a journey, not a destination. Every day, we can each take a step toward our own well-being. Wellness Together Canada is here to support you on that journey.

Click the link to view their Counselling Services Flyer