COQUITLAM, B.C., Nov. 24, 2020 – The next round of supports has begun to flow from Coquitlam’s Community Support and Recovery Plan (CSRP), the City’s dedicated pandemic-relief program that includes waived or reduced fees, grants, and other public services and programs targeting all sectors of the community.
Staff’s update to Council on Nov. 23 reported progress on Coquitlam’s many CSRP initiatives, which will dedicate more than $1.3 million this year in funding and services – and millions of dollars more in 2021 – to help the community through the pandemic.
Supporting the Whole Community
Coquitlam launched the CSRP this spring to foster community resilience and recovery by providing targeted relief to residents, businesses, not-for-profit groups and other organizations. The CSRP is intended to be an umbrella plan that enables the City to provide support at the local level and in tandem with supports being provided by other levels of government.
The CSRP delivered about $465,000 in total public value as part of its initial phase in the spring and summer, including:
- Utility and property tax extensions for both residents and businesses;
- Meals for Seniors, which has delivered more than 10,000 meals to isolated seniors;
- Paid advertising opportunities for businesses, artists and groups at modified civic events;
- Business supports such as promotion of the #SupportLocal campaign, an information portal at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business and a program temporarily allowing businesses to use adjacent outdoor spaces; and
- Adapting fee schedules and application processes to support ongoing construction.
The plan’s implementation is financed by various reserve accounts, including a $5 million allocation by Council. Proposed initiatives must meet the CSRP criteria, designed to maximize the City’s investment and help those most in need.
Second Round of Programs Rolling Out
Another $850,000 in supports has been rolling out throughout late summer and fall, including the continuation of Meals for Seniors and the outdoor business spaces program into 2021. New offerings include:
- Reduced drop-in recreation activity fees, which facilitated more than 32,000 visits from late August to late October;
- Grants to community organizations for revenue replacement and pandemic response totalling up to $650,000;
- Financial contributions to SHARE’s food and rent banks totalling $50,000;
- Waived late fees for 2020 business licences;
- Business marketing supports including free websites, relaxed sign regulations and other economic development activities;
- Thirty minutes of free City Centre street parking to encourage local shopping, starting Dec. 15; and
- After the ban on group activities is lifted, free use of temporary outdoor shelters in public spaces by businesses and community groups.
Looking Ahead to 2021
CSRP projects to be launched in 2021 include:
- New public Wi-Fi spots at Galloway Park, Brookmere Park, the Mundy Park dog park and the Blue Mountain Park tennis courts;
- A modified block party program with grants for safe celebrations in the spring and summer;
- Grants to the City’s cultural partners for COVID-19 activities, targeting low and no-cost programs;
- A pop-up Green Street pilot program in the spring to encourage safe outdoor social interaction and support to local businesses;
- Free legal advice on pandemic-related matters for residents and not-for-profits; and
- Additional economic development initiatives to support local businesses.
The City is also considering other opportunities for 2021, including potentially expanding the Get Connected, Get Active recreation financial assistance program and the possibility of offering free or reduced-cost facility rentals to community groups.
More information about the program and initiatives can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/csrp.
City’s COVID-19 Plan Supporting Community Recovery
Introduced in spring 2020, Coquitlam’s COVID-19 Community Support and Recovery Plan is a multi-phased recovery strategy made up of programs and initiatives to support all facets of the community through the pandemic. Launched in the spring 2020, the CSRP provides targeted immediate and long-term support for businesses, residents and the not-for-profit sector. A wide variety of CSRP initiatives were introduced in spring and summer 2020, with more rolling out throughout fall 2020 and 2021. Information about the program and new supports is posted at www.coquitlam.ca/csrp.
Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic
The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:
- www.coquitlam.ca/csrp: Details about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is supporting non-profits, businesses and residents through the pandemic;
- www.coquitlam.ca/spirit: Free activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to stay engaged; and
- www.coquitlam.ca/covid19: City service updates and COVID-19 health resources.
Stay up-to-date about City news and service changes by:
Manager, Corporate Planning
City of Coquitlam