The City of Parksville will establish a one-time $280,000 COVID relief program for non-profit groups affected by the pandemic. Organizations will be able to apply for reimbursement for COVID related expenses and losses incurred from being unable to hold fundraising events.
“One of my concerns, amongst many, is that we may start to lose our non-profit organizations,” said Mayor Ed Mayne.
Registered non-profit organizations providing social, cultural and community support services located in Parksville or serving Parksville residents will be eligible for funds from the relief grant-in-aid program.
“Some will ask why we are not providing assistance to small businesses that are having an issue and honestly, we would have loved to do so, but the provincial government community charter is very clear that municipalities cannot provide assistance to businesses,” Mayne said.
Wages and utility costs will not be eligible for reimbursement because those expenses have already been offset by senior government programs, according to the city. Applications will follow the same submission requirements as the existing grant in aid program.
City staff will develop the application form and requirements and set guidelines on how to apply.
“One of the things that has always been above and beyond in the City of Parksville is the roles of our nonprofit volunteers — they make our community,” said Mayne.
Council unanimously approved the mayor’s motion to establish the fund at its Feb. 17 meeting.