The city is hoping a recently approved grant will help Grande Prairie become a more accessible municipality. This after members of city council approved $125,000 to help fund the new Barrier-Free Grant program.
The money will be allocated for eligible businesses that would see up to a matching grant of $10,000 to help bolster the accessibility of their location to those with disabilities.
“We recognize that the accessibility improvement that would most benefit members of our community with accessibility challenges could be done in sort of small, incremental changes,” says Economic Development Manager Rebecca Leigh.
“For a number of properties, it might mean just putting in a handrail, or putting in a transition from the public sidewalk into their building,” she adds.
Mayor Jackie Clayton meanwhile believes there will be plenty of interest in the grant, as they’ve heard from several local owners looking to get involved.
“We expect that the fund will be utilized to the maximum and we look forward to supporting businesses in our community and spending this $125,000 to help with economic recovery.”
She adds those with disabilities have been advocating for a more accessible retail experience in Grande Prairie, and believes that the cash can help push the needle the right way when it comes to meeting the needs of all residents.
The money comes from the Economic Recovery Capital Budget, which was developed to support businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.