Supporting the new business association was one of the things for which Cumberland has used Restart funding. Record file photo

Supporting the new business association was one of the things for which Cumberland has used Restart funding. Record file photo

Cumberland accepting Restart grant requests through February

Council expected to decide on one-time funding for community projects in March

Cumberland is looking to use some Restart money to provide support for local community groups on projects in 2022.

At the Jan. 10 meeting, economic development officer Kaelin Chambers followed up on a report to council last fall about the idea, saying the plan is to establish a one-time grant program using the Restart funds. The village is to allocate $40,000 in Restart funds for the program to support community groups.

“It’s geared toward community not-for-profits and organizations that provide essential benefits to our community,” he said.

Council had already directed $40,000 toward the program, so the decision at the January meeting was to approve the guidelines and direct village staff to implement the program. The village can allocate more money if there is demand.

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The guidelines were outlined in the staff report to council and are similar to those for the village’s regular grant-in-aid funding.

One difference though is the process is being opened up for groups to apply for operational funding.

“This is the type of funding that’s really, really difficult for organizations to get,” he said.

The funding is to help groups that have been affected by COVID’s economic impact. It is aimed at non-profits and organizations such as those focused on health and accessibility; housing; recreation, arts and culture; food security; child care; climate change responses; the environment; and community service. The deadline for applications is Feb. 28, and they will go to council for a decision in early March. Funding is to be used by Oct. 1.

During the discussion, council members were pleased to see the grant-in-aid program come forward. Coun. Vickey Brown did ask for clarification around a reference to “seed” funding for operational requests, though Chambers clarified the reference in the report might have been a typo and that the applications can ask for help with regular operational funding. Seed funding requests will instead be directed to the village’s regular grant-in-aid program.

“It’s going to be one or the other,” he said, adding he wanted to leave some flexibility for operational requests, especially for groups holding events.

The village has used federal and provincial Restart funding for a number of groups since the pandemic started, such as the Cumberland Community School Society and the Cumberland Business Association, as well as infrastructure projects at the village office and other facilities.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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