PRINCE GEORGE – Northern Development announced today that it has adjusted the Forestry Affected Business (FAB) Consulting Rebate to include businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The newly named Small Business Recovery (SBR) Consulting Rebate program is designed to help businesses access the professional support they need to weather the current economic downturn.

The SBR Consulting Rebate will reimburse small and medium sized businesses (operators) for contracted consulting services. Businesses that are impacted by the economic downturn in Northern Development’s service region are eligible to apply. A rebate of up to 85 per cent, to a maximum of $25,000, can be recovered for the cost of hiring a consultant to assist with business efforts.

The program has been adjusted to allow for projects that help transition businesses to e-commerce platforms or alternative modes of operation during current social and physical distancing restrictions, as well as to support operational and systems improvements and business repositioning for a long-term return to profitability.

Joel McKay, is CEO of Northern Development Initiative Trust

“During this time of uncertainty, the Trust is seeking ways to best assist businesses in our service area that are struggling because of the forestry downturn or the impact of COVID-19, or both. Northern Development is dedicated to building economic capacity and sustainability in central and northern BC and this program will not only benefit businesses immediately, but well into the future,” said Joel McKay, CEO of Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Funding applications are continuously accepted to this program and a decision is made within one week of receiving the completed application and consultant proposal.

Eligible business types include retail and retail services, hospitality, forestry, high-tech and transportation, to name a few. Eligible projects can include business planning and management, market development, quality and safety management, cash flow and financial management, and business coaching. For a full list of eligible industries and projects, please visit our website.

In order to be eligible, potential businesses must be privately owned with less than 500 employees and annual revenues of less than $100 million. Startups and publicly traded businesses are not eligible.

The FAB program was introduced in August of 2019 as an offshoot of the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate (CCR) program, which offers rebates to businesses in the industrial supply and services sector.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit northerndevelopment.bc.ca.