Support to Small Businesses, Not-for-Profit Organizations and First Nations Cultural Livelihoods

The Canadian Red Cross is committed to supporting small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and First Nations cultural livelihoods (First Nation people whose primary means of livelihood is based on cultural expression or ceremony) that were impacted by the 2017 British Columbia wildfires. Experience has shown us this assistance greatly helps people and communities recover from a disaster.
Additional Financial Assistance Available
The second phase of the Canadian Red Cross Support to Small Business Program, through the generous funding from and in partnership with the Government of B.C., is providing additional financial and other assistance to eligible small business owners, cultural livelihoods that support First Nations communities, and not-for-profit organizations impacted by the British Columbia 2017 wildfires. This additional financial assistance is to provide support for uninsured financial losses as a result of interrupted business operations, due to the wildfires. This program is administered by Marsh Canada.
The amount of financial assistance provided to eligible businesses will be based on their individual needs, which will be determined through the application process.

How to Apply 

Online application Information package
  • If you would like to download an information package to assist you in completing the application, you can find it here. This package will help you prepare and collect all the required information before you apply. If you have questions about any portion of the application, you can contact the Helpline at 1-855-999-3345.
  • Please note that this information package is only for small businesses and First Nations Cultural Livelihoods applicants. Not-for-Profit Organizations have a different application form, which can be found here
Required Documentation
Applicants must submit documentation along with their application for funding. Click here for the list of required documents you will need to upload with your application.
This documentation is needed to process your application. Please note that applications submitted without documentation are considered incomplete.
Not-for-Profit Organizations are not required to submit any additional documentation with their application. The Red Cross may request supporting documentation upon review of the application.
Support for Not-for-Profit Organizations
Not-for-Profit Organizations may apply for additional financial assistance through a different application form, which can be found here.  
For information on other funding programs available to Not-For-Profit Organizations, please visit the Red Cross website at  
Application Period
Small business owners, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations individuals supporting the community through cultural livelihoods can apply online from November 20, 2017 until April 6, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. (PST).
Minimum requirements to apply
  1. Have 50 employees or less.*
  2. Be located in a community that was under an evacuation order or evacuation alert as a result of the 2017 British Columbia Fires, including First Nations businesses or traditional cultural livelihoods located on-reserve. Click here for additional eligible communities identified by the Province of BC.
  3. Have been in operation on or before July 7, 2017.
  4. Be financially vulnerable as a result of the 2017 BC Fires.
  5. Have resumed or are intending to resume operations.
  6. Have a net income of less than $250,000 (calculated as revenue less expenses).*
  7. Have the business or livelihood be their primary source of income.*
*Does not apply to not-for-profit organizations.

Support with the Application

Support to Small Business Helpline
The Helpline can assist you with the application process, and you can also complete your application over the phone. If you are a small business owner or applying as a First Nations member supporting community through cultural livelihood, you will still need to submit supporting documentation. You can call the Helpline at 1-855-999-3345 from Monday to Friday, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.
In-Person Support Schedule
At different times during the application period, a team from Marsh Canada (the program administrator) will be available to answer questions in person. They will be available at Community Futures offices in Ashcroft, Williams Lake, Quesnel, and other key locations. For dates, addresses and hours, please click here. No appointments are necessary for the drop-in dates.
Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Information & Referrals
You may also contact BC EDA’s Business Recovery Hotline for additional information and referrals to supports in your local area. For more information, please visit:
Emergency Financial Assistance
Applications for the emergency financial assistance ($1,500) closed on October 31, 2017. If you submitted an application on or before October 31, 2017 and have questions, please contact the Support to Small Business Helpline.