With backing from the City and County of Grande Prairie, the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce has launched an Advisory Service Voucher Program to try to help local businesses survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Laid out in two phases, the chamber’s Business Resiliency Taskforce will first help them develop a needs assessment and access all existing support programs. That includes up to two hours of mental health counselling.
Businesses needing more help are then asked to write up a Business Resiliency Plan, which, if approved, will open up additional technical training or services. Those could include services in areas like human resources, IT, and marketing.
“We’re just trying to do whatever we can to put as much support in place and make sure their voices are heard… [and] to navigate through this and keep them afloat,” says Chamber Board Chair Larry Gibson.
In all, the two phases of support are worth upwards of $3,500 in value and can last as long as a month.
Gibson adds those on the task force continue to try to gauge the damage being done as a result of forced closures, but he remains optimistic that any recovery plan they create will greatly aid those who are hurting.
“When we come through this I’m sure we are going to be stronger on the other side, and we want to make sure we have a good recovery plan in place that can help businesses thrive once we are through this lull.”
The City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie each contributed $25,000 to help launch the Advisory Service Voucher Program.