Jul 02, 2020

Town receives $13,500 ICET grant to support economic restart initiatives

The Town of Ladysmith is receiving $13,500 from Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) as part of a recently launched program supporting time-sensitive initiatives during this economic restart period from COVID-19.

The grant funding awarded to the Town through ICET's Small Capital Restart Funding Stream will directly help add vibrancy to our downtown as we promote a business-friendly environment to attract residents and visitors to explore, shop and dine locally.

In addition to the investments approved by Ladysmith Council at its meeting held June 16, the ICET grant will help fund the purchase of up to 18 concrete patio tables - long-term capital assets promoting additional spaces outside for local business to ensure compliance with Public Health Orders.

The Town's portion of the funds is coming from the unspent Grant-in-Aid budget.

Local non-profit organizations and the business community are adding to the momentum of our local economic restart effort by donating toward the purchase of patio sets.

Edison-style lightbulbs, interactive lighting and umbrellas are also among the contributions by local businesses that will add to the unique sense of place experienced when exploring Ladysmith's heritage downtown.

"We are so thankful for this critical funding and all of the community support. The addition of more seating and gathering places downtown will further support our downtown businesses by creating an enhanced sense of place and comfortable places for folks to rest, eat and stay awhile," said Mayor Aaron Stone.  "This has been a priority in recent strategic and economic development plans; That we are able to deliver these upgrades in the context of COVID-19 recovery is especially timely."

The ICET funding comes as we enter Phase 3 of BC's Restart Plan and tourists look for opportunities to travel within the province this summer.

The patio sets will be installed in the coming weeks at locations along First Avenue from Gatacre Street to Aggie Hall.  Some tables earmarked will feature accessible options for scooters and wheelchairs.

The Town is also installing a temporary washroom and handwashing station in the alley between the RBC Royal Bank branch and Ladysmith Health Food Store. 

These public amenities support the additional outdoor seating areas along First Avenue.

New signage will be installed in these areas as the Town continues to promote public safety, proper hand hygiene and physical distancing as we welcome new visitors, and our residents slowly expand their social circles.

For the latest news and updates visit the Town's website at www.ladysmith.ca, as well as FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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