LANGLEY – Smashed windows. Stolen copper wiring. Spray painted walls. Businesses dealing with the impacts of petty crime and vandalism have access to new funding to help them recoup some of the costs associated with fixing these things, but time is running out to apply for it.
The Securing Small Business Rebate is BC’s anti-vandalism grant program, which can provide small businesses with up to $5,000 in funding to repair damage caused by vandalism and install preventative measures to stop future incidents.
Communities across the Fraser Valley and much of BC have seen ongoing street crime and vandalism, and the costs for this often land on the backs of small businesses to pay themselves. And those bills can be significant.
Some Langley small businesses have faced bills of thousands and thousands of dollars to repair one smashed storefront window or to fix a kicked-in door. These hard costs also don’t reflect the additional staff time required or account for the lost sales from potentially having to close the business while repairs are made.
Small businesses have enough to worry about – increasing input costs, labour shortages, meeting changing consumer tastes – without having to also deal with damage, theft and vandalism. While this program doesn’t do anything to deal with the actual crime through better enforcement and prosecution, or address root causes such as mental health issues, addiction and homelessness, but it at least can help ease the financial burden faced by victimized businesses.
The Securing Small Business Rebate provides businesses with up to two $2,000 rebate payments to help cover either the insurance deductible (if insured) or the repair costs (if not insured) of an impacted business. One $2,000 rebate can be applied to damage that occurred in 2023, and the second $2,000 rebate would apply to damage in 2024.
In addition, businesses can get the final $1,000 as a rebate to help recoup the costs of measures taken to prevent future vandalism and property damage. Businesses could consider things like security gates, alarm systems, shatterproof glass, and other actions to protect their storefronts and buildings to utilize this funding.
But businesses shouldn’t wait too long to apply.
The deadline to submit a rebate application for damage that occurred in 2023 is February 29, 2024. Businesses can find more information about this program at LangleyChamber.com/Vandalism or can use the QR code to request an Application Guidebook.
Cory Redekop is the CEO of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Langley’s largest business association representing, connecting and supporting over 1,000 local member businesses.