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B.C. launches $10.5M rebate for businesses’ vandalism repairs, prevention measures

The Canadian Press   

News editors pick grafitti security shutters Vandalism

The owner of a British Columbia small business says the launch of a $10.5-million government program to repair and prevent vandalism damage is a welcome start, given the rash of glass-breaking incidents in some neighbourhoods.

Jake Jackman owns The Ice Cream Parlour optical store in Vancouver’s West End and says the four-panel glass front on his shop was broken last year, while a business across the street is replacing its windows “every three weeks.”

B.C. Economic Development Minister Brenda Bailey says the new program will begin in the fall and is open to small businesses that suffered vandalism damage retroactive to Jan. 1 this year.

If approved for the rebate, businesses can receive up to $2,000 for cost of repairs and up to $1,000 for prevention measures, with the criteria for eligibility yet to be released.

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Jackman says he is “especially excited” to hear about the possible rebate for preventive measures because many shops in his neighbourhood are considering installing security shutters to protect their windows and other parts of their properties.

He says the West End isn’t alone in experiencing rising vandalism, with other Vancouver neighbourhoods, such as Gastown and Granville Street, even more seriously affected.

The provincial government says the costs of broken glass and cleaning graffiti are eligible for the funding.

Bailey, who lives in downtown Vancouver, says she has seen the vandalism affecting small businesses and heard from owners who are struggling with repair costs on top of their other rising expenses.

She made the announcement in Chinatown, another neighbourhood where business owners have been hit hard by vandalism during the pandemic years while consumer foot traffic fell.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2023.


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