Red Cross program supports flood-impacted business in Abbotsford

By: Rajnesh Sharma, Canadian Red Cross
For 18 years, Travis Gibb has been providing landscaping services in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He runs his Central Valley Landscaping business from his shop, which is situated next to his home. In the summer of 2021, Travis had finally renovated his shop. He had insulated its walls, put up plywood, and added built-in shelves to store his expensive landscaping equipment. 

Unfortunately, only a few months down the road he would be tearing apart his clean and tidy shop after it was affected by flooding.

On a November morning last year, as Travis looked inside his newly renovated shop, he could see the water slowly creeping higher. He was in disbelief. He had never imagined the flooding of the Nooksack River would have such a devastating impact on his property in Abbotsford.
A man on a lawn mower with other landscaping vehicles in front of a large red barn
Travis Gibb, owner of Central Valley Landscaping in Abbotsford, plans to use the funds from the Support to Small Businesses and Not-for-Profits Program to repair his damaged shop. (August, 2022)

Over the next few hours, the water eventually reached two feet before it stopped rising. Travis remembers the water rising a little the day before and not panicking.

“End of that day, we're walking through water on the lawn, which is still quite a bit. I'm still not really worried about it,” says Travis.

However, the water levels had increased overnight, leaving him now in a hurry to save all his valuable landscaping equipment from the shop. His livelihood depended on it, emphasizes the business owner.

“My really large stuff in the shop, I saved. And, we drove it out,” he recalls. The built-in shelves, however, had to be dismantled. The new plywood had to be pulled to take out the insulation.

The flood left Travis with over $10,000 in expenses to repair his damaged shop and replace lost equipment. This summer, he applied to the Canadian Red Cross’s Support to Small Businesses and Not-for-Profits Program for financial assistance, available to organizations in British Columbia affecting by flooding.

Within a few weeks of submitting the application, he received $5,000 to help his business.

It is “just excellent,” expresses Travis, referring to the newly launched Red Cross program, which helps eligible businesses that were impacted by the November 2021 flooding in British Columbia.  

“I am greatly appreciative of the assistance that the Red Cross has given me to get my business running as it was before,” says Travis. “The funds helped me to repair my shop and replace equipment, which are imperative for my business.”

Small business owners and not-for-profit organizations impacted by flooding in British Columbia can apply to the Small Businesses and Not-for-Profits Program online through Canadian Red Cross until November 30, 2022.
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