People in the Columbia Basin are experiencing the broad and serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Columbia Basin Trust is announcing $11.7 million in new funding to provide immediate support.
“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented challenge for the Basin, and we have heard from communities, residents and our partners on different ways we can help,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are responding with immediate support to assist the region through this extraordinary time. This includes support for businesses, First Nations communities, local food banks, community social service agencies and child care operators.”
To aid local small businesses, the Trust will provide low-interest loans through the new Small Business Working Capital Loan program to help them meet their immediate needs. The Trust will also increase support to existing programs, including the Impact Investment Fund, Basin RevUP, Summer Works, School Works, the Career Internship Program, Basin Business Advisors and Training Fee Support. If your business needs help right now, visit ourtrust.org/COVID19 or call 1.800.505.8998.
To aid vulnerable people, the Trust will support the community organizations that directly serve them. This includes new funding for First Nations communities, Métis associations, food banks, housing societies, hospices, help for licensed child care operators to adjust and make operational changes, and funding for community social service agencies to adapt their services to meet public health requirements and continue operations, provide new programs, and directly help Basin residents at risk of not meeting their basic needs. If your organization works with vulnerable populations and needs help right now, visit ourtrust.org/COVID19 or call 1.800.505.8998.
The Trust will also support community social service organizations to shift to virtual operations, so that their programming and supports are still available to residents.
“Not only will this increased funding support business and community organizations to address COVID-19 impacts, each dollar is invested in our region and will provide broader economic development benefits,” said Strilaeff. “During this most difficult time, I encourage everyone to follow public health recommendations and to be kind, compassionate and supportive of one another.”
For details on new Trust initiatives and expanded programming in response to COVID-19, view a backgrounder here.