Like other businesses in B.C., Clearwater and area businesses were hit hard during the unprecedented wildfire season last year, seeing a range of small to major losses.
Many businesses experienced interruptions due directly to the fire or road closures. Based on feedback from businesses, Community Futures Thompson Country has planned a series of FREE workshops specifically tailored to meet the needs of Clearwater and area businesses to help them proactively plan for future disasters, whether fire, flood, or other emergencies.
“Envisioning an emergency or disaster and the impact it will have is difficult to contemplate,” says Blair Gray, general manager of Community Futures Thompson Country. “When disaster happens, and a business has an emergency plan, they can quickly take action”. “We know that business continuity planning helps owners and managers get back to business quicker and suffer less in terms of downtime and financial loss.”
According to the 2018 TNRD Wildfire Economic Recovery Work plan report, over 65 per cent of business owners in the area do not have a business continuity plan. This statistic is something workshop facilitator Colin O’Leary seeks to change.
“As business owners, we’re encouraged to think proactively to plan for any emergency, but in reality, many times it doesn’t happen,” says O’Leary, owner of O’Leary and Associates. “We know people are busy. We will ensure these workshops are succinct, provide clarity, and empower business owners and managers to walk away with a business continuity plan, knowing they’re prepared for the unexpected.”
Business owners and managers in Clearwater and area are invited to attend one of two workshop sessions. The first workshop session will be May 22 and 23, and the second one on May 30 and 31. All workshop sessions are free and will be from 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day, hosted at the Dutch Lake Community Centre.
“We’ll be walking owners and managers through risk analysis, business impact assessments, an evacuation plan, how to build an emergency preparedness kit, and more,” says Gray. “Additionally, Community Futures will be drawing for one Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Kit at each session and all attendees will receive a free workbook to take home for easy reference. Because these workshops are limited to only 20 people, we’re encouraging people to sign up right away to get a spot.”
For more information and to register: www.communityfutures.net/workshop
Workshops are funded by the Community Futures Wildfire Business Transition Program.