There is still $64,400 available in the City of Duncan’s COVID-19 grant program.
The city set up the grant program earlier this year and set aside $100,000 from its 2020 budget so that local organizations that are supporting businesses or individuals through the health crisis can apply for grants of up to $10,000.
To date, there have been 11 applications for grants from the program, with only three successfully getting approval from council so far.
The Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area received two $10,000 grants; one for its Buy Local Campaign and the other for its food court project this summer at the Station Street Commons.
The Cowichan Green Community also received a $10,000 grant from the program for its Neighbourhood Revitalization project.
Council also recently reallocated $5,600 from the program for the Whistler Street fence project, which will see a fence placed at the end of Whistler Street as part of efforts to deter the movement of transients through the troubled area.
The other nine applications were denied because they didn’t fit the criteria of the program, they were meant for purposes outside the boundaries of the city, or for other reasons.
The city has not received any further applications for funding from the program for some time.
Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples said the city has seen some great successes with projects over the summer and fall that were approved through the grant funding.
She said there is no question about how hard these times are for many people and businesses.
“Everyone has had to be nimble and creative and, over this time, we have seen a lot of innovation happening in our own community and in communities throughout the world,” Staples said.
“We look forward to seeing more ideas come through this funding opportunity.”
According to the criteria, the grant is intended to encourage creative thinking by local organizations to develop programs and concepts that will support businesses and residents in Duncan affected by the pandemic.
This opportunity supports organizations to start new programs that would not qualify for provincial or federal funding opportunities, or to leverage existing funding.
Applicants must be registered organizations — individual applicants will not qualify — and they must have an office located in the Cowichan Valley.
The planned programs, activities and/or events must support businesses or residents or both impacted by COVID-19, or establish recovery programs; demonstrate that the organization has exhausted other potential opportunities for funding from local, provincial, and federal sources; and focus substantially on city businesses or residents or both.