Businesses who may be feeling impacted by the forestry downturn can now apply for consulting rebates within their service region through the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT).

NDIT announced Monday that through the Forestry Affected Business (FAB) Consulting Rebate, small and medium-sized businesses will be reimbursed for contracted consulting services.

“The Trust is very aware of the potential economic impacts mill closures and curtailments may have on communities and businesses in our service region,” said CEO Joel McKay.

“This program seeks to help offset those impacts and sustain our communities during this difficult time.”

Rebates of up to 75 percent, to a maximum of $15,000, can be recovered for the cost of businesses hiring a consultant to assist with business efforts.

The program, which is newly introduced following numerous curtailments and closures of mills across the province, is an offshoot of the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program. The CCR program offers rebates to businesses in the industrial supply and services sector.

FAB, however, targets industries outside of that sector, such as retail, tourism operators, hospitality, accommodations, and agriculture/ranching.

According to Northern Development, the program is designed to aid businesses in recovering costs of third-party consulting programs. Projects must have a focus on ways to sustain businesses during the economic downturn in the forestry industry.

Projects that are deemed eligible can include the following:

  • Business Planning and Management
  • Market Development
  • Quality and Safety Management.
  • Cash Flow and Financial Management
  • Business Coaching

In order to even be considered, businesses are needing to be privately owned and operating with a staff of fewer than 500 employees, along with annual revenue of less than $100 million. Startups and publicly traded businesses are not eligible.

(With files from Ethan Ready, MyPrinceGeorgeNow)