Funding resilience: latest Community Foundation grants

Business navigators and local news receive grants to build up Bowen COVID-19 resilience and recovery

Has your Bowen Island business been shut down, or significantly cut back by the pandemic? Not sure where to turn in order to access federal and provincial assistance funds? Trying to find a range of other available supports as you cope with these unprecedented conditions?

The Bowen Community Foundation’s Resiliency Fund can offer some assistance.

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Rod Marsh and Vaune Kolber of the island’s Community Economic Development Committee have been given funding to act as “navigators” for the next month. Rod and Vaune are now available to help local businesses access available sources of funding and information. They will also look at what kinds of overall support services Bowen businesses need during this time. Email Rod and Vaune to set up a free individual appointment: bowenbusinessnavigator@gmail.com. As they put it, “Essential businesses like the grocery stores, freight companies, health care and technology workers are at risk of burn-out, while other businesses are closed and need to re-imagine their businesses.” This initiative “aims to help our local economy thrive in the new normal.”

A second grant has also been made available to the Bowen Island Undercurrent – funds that will allow our local newspaper to provide island-wide distribution, once in May and once in June, with COVID-19-related information in each of these two issues.  Currently, not every resident has all of the critically important information they need, and access to and familiarity with technology can be a significant barrier to accessing reliable resources and guidance. 

Both of these first two grants are designed for the delivery of critical information “to promote resiliency and mitigate fear and confusion.” But they are only the beginning. 

Thanks to the generosity of a small number of Bowen Island families, the Community Foundation has funding for responses to the pandemic and its effects on our island. These funds can go toward broad-based proposals that “promote the availability of food, hygiene or other basic needs (excluding housing and income benefits)” and proposals that seek “to assist vulnerable neighbours with the challenges they are facing from isolation.”

The Bowen Foundation’s Resiliency Fund Committee is very much a joint venture, with six representatives from the board of the Bowen Island Community Foundation, along with Coun. Maureen Nicholson of the Bowen Island Municipality and Jennifer McGowan, BIM’s Emergency Operations Centre liaison. Should you want to make a donation to our effort, please go to bowenfoundation.com. And should you wish to make application for a Resiliency Fund Grant, you will find the application at the same site. 

We are all aware that we are living through times that are very different from anything that we have ever experienced and we are more than fortunate to be spending our time in this caring community. 

To echo the sentiments of our province’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry – “be calm, be kind and stay safe.”

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