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Back to business in Williams Lake

Impacted by the B.C. fires? Learn more about Red Cross support.  

By Andrew Hopkins, communications advisor, Canadian Red Cross, B.C. & Yukon

When Brad Tippe heard about small business assistance available from the Canadian Red Cross, he was quick to apply.

“I just went online, filled in the application, and the Red Cross came through with the money,” says Tippe.

Small business Brad Tippe from Williams Lake on the phoneIt’s been a summer unlike any other for the resident of Williams Lake, B.C. Not only did he have to pack up with his family and leave his home when wildfires drew close in July, but he also had to lock up his business.

“When you’re going from a business that was extremely busy, to nothing, it’s a big adjustment,” says Tippe.  

He runs Cariboo Auto and Spring where he and his mechanics help keep pickups and SUVs on the roads of Williams Lake, and even off-road in B.C.’s rugged backcountry. But this summer, instead of venturing into the wilderness for work and adventure, thousands had to flee raging wildfires when his city was evacuated.

2017 was setting up as a record year for Tippe’s shop, but when everyone left town, entrepreneurs like Tippe lost weeks, and sometimes months, of revenue as their businesses sat idle.

Brad Tippe's shop, Cariboo Auto and Spring“It was a real let-down,” adds Tippe. “It just took away everything you work so hard for. But you still have to pay your bills, and pay your rent, and pay your bank loans and everything else.”

That’s why the Red Cross is making assistance available for small businesses like his that were impacted by the fires.

Tippe got $1,500 to help cover some of his bills as Cariboo Auto and Spring recovers alongside the community.

“We will be here for our customers,” promises Tippe.

If you have a small business, not-for-profit organization, or First Nations cultural livelihood that’s been impacted by this summer’s B.C. wildfires, please apply here for Red Cross small business assistance made available by the Province of B.C.

More information about support for people impacted by the B.C. fires

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