The Canadian Red Cross is offering small business and nonprofit organizations affected by the November 2021 flooding event a one-time tax free payment of $5000. The program was originally announced in July of 2022 with a September 30 deadline, which has now been extended to November 30, 2022. The Red Cross hopes to support businesses in bearing the cost of flood recovery, including lost revenue, insurance deductibles, and non-insurable losses. 

A number of businesses in the Nicola Valley have benefited from the funding, including Kyle Hall of Empty Keg Brew House on Voght Street. Hall co-owns the local brewery with wife Kelly, with the Brew House being among the many businesses forced to close when the entire City of Merritt was evacuated due to flooding on November 15, 2021. Hall said he heard about the Red Cross program from another business owner in Merritt.

“I’ve been trying to tell other businesses about it, simply because there are so many affected by the flooding,” said Hall, who also received the benefit from the Red Cross. 

“The application process takes less than five minutes, and there’s up to $5000 in tax free funds available. That’ll help with the loss of revenue during and after the flood. It’s something that will help a lot of businesses and a lot of nonprofits.”

Empty Keg Brew House is a local business that benefited from the payment. Photo/Kyle Hall

Hall said he has heard of a handful of other businesses taking advantage of the program, and hopes to encourage others to apply before the deadline. Hall is no stranger to the Canadian Red Cross, having donated funds raised at the Empty Keg to them during both the flooding event and the Lytton wildfire. While most businesses in the downtown core were unaffected by flood waters, the month-long shutdown and slow recovery period has cost the local economy greatly. The Canadian Red Cross hopes to offset some of the burden with this funding. 

To qualify for the funding, small businesses and non-profit organizations must meet the following minimum requirements:

Were unable to operate for 10 consecutive days or more following the floods and extreme weather event OR

Incurred physical damage to their buildings, equipment or inventory and that is not covered by insurance OR

Have experienced challenges operating at full (100%) capacity due to local infrastructure issues within the community where they are based (for example, but not limited to potable water availability, road access to the business or organization).  

Qualifying small businesses and nonprofits must also be in an area that was impacted by the floods and extreme weather event in British Columbia beginning on November 14, 2021, have 50 employees or less, and have a net income of less than $350,000. 

“Our experience has shown that small businesses and not-for-profit organizations play a vital role in the long-term recovery of individuals and communities following an emergency,” said Pat Quealey, vice president of BC and Yukon Red Cross. 

“Thanks to the support of our donors, this assistance will help those small businesses and not-for- profit organizations impacted by the 2021 flooding and extreme weather event, and ultimately the individuals and families who rely on their services.”

For more information on the Canadian Red Cross’s support of small businesses and nonprofits, or to apply for funding, visit