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Businesses in Shelburne and Yarmouth counties still feeling affects from wildfires: survey

By Caitlin Snow Aug 29, 2023 | 4:49 PM

Businesses in the Yarmouth and Shelburne counties are still feeling the effects of the wildfires. Western Regional Enterprise Network created and circulated a survey that was open for three weeks and received 72 responses.

Almost half of those who filled out the survey have businesses in the Barrington area, a third located in Shelburne and other areas including Yarmouth, Lockeporte and the Clyde River areas. Of those who responded 30% operate retail as well as private services and construction.

According to the survey 50% of the businesses had to shut down for at least 8 days due to the fires, 19% for 15-30 days and two have closed permanently.

Those who have reopened are facing potential financial strain with a combined total of roughly $1.4 million in damages.

Close to 70% of those surveyed said they reported a loss of sales, as customers were unable to access their business. Highway closures, smoke damage and employees acting as firefighters also affected many businesses.

In a release, Western REN said the majority do not have insurance with the average coverage only covering about 25%.

“In the wake of the wildfires, affected business owners are looking for support to get their operations back on track. While financial support for the business itself is needed, business owners are also looking for support for their affected employees. When asked for other feedback, respondents also identified clean water, tourism support and the impact of volunteer firefighter obligations as areas of concern.”

Western REN says they have been giving any information they’ve received to Municipal and Provincial governments since June and encourage other businesses who need support to reach out.

Businesses affected by the fires received $2500 from the province.


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