Province gives extra $3.9M to support Wheatley businesses, commercial landlords after explosion
The provincial government is providing an extra $3.9 million in funding to support Wheatley businesses, non-profits and commercial landlords following the explosion in August.
In total, the province has given $5.9 million in relief funding to the community since the explosion took place about eight months ago, according to a news release from Chatham-Kent Monday. The additional support is coming from the ministry of economic development, job creation and trade.
"Our hope is that these additional funds will help to alleviate some of the continued financial hardships these businesses have endured and we look forward to the continued support of the province in regard to this," \downtown Wheatley business owners and co-chairs of the BIA Mike and Erika Renwick said in the news release.
Nearly 100 households and dozens of businesses were displaced after the explosion rocked Wheatley's downtown on Aug. 26, 2021. Crews have been investigating the source of the blast ever since.
In April, about 34 people and six business owners were allowed back into their properties.
According to the municipality, as of Monday, $1.97 million in previously committed financial assistance has been divided among 30 businesses, four not-for-profit organizations and 19 commercial properties that have been unable to operate.
"We'd like to thank the businesses of Wheatley for their patience, understanding, and tenacity during this difficult process. We'd also like to thank Premier [Doug] Ford and his team for their diligent efforts to get these funds released into our community," Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff said in the news release.
The municipality said the extra funding will be given out in three phases to help impacted businesses up until August 2022. The first amount will happen "immediately" to approved applicants, the municipality said.