Businesses in the Fort McMurray area were equally impacted by the fires and subsequent evacuation, and they now have a key resource to assist them with their return to the region.
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo with the support of Economic Developers Alberta and the Canadian Red Cross has launched a hotline that will operate 24 hours a day; seven days a week for the first two weeks. Called the Business Recovery Hotline, it is designed to provide business owners access to information resources. It also helps them to identify what their needs are to get their businesses operational after the devastating fire.
“We’re committed to business in Wood Buffalo. Our businesses are the backbone of the region. They are critical economic drivers of our community, providing residents with vital goods, services and – above all – jobs,” said Melissa Blake, mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “Our business owners are highly resilient, but we want to ensure that they access to the necessary tools and resources to help them as we move forward.”
The number, 855-RMWB BIZ (855-769-2249), will provide updates for business and link them to local resources that will assist them with issues or concerns. The hotline will also be the point of entry for business owners to complete a business recovery survey that will distinguish the business community’s distinct short and long-term needs.
“The Canadian Red Cross is proud to support the Business Recovery Hotline,” said Jenn McManus, vice president of Alberta operations for the Canadian Red Cross. "Businesses are vital to all regions impacted by the wildfires, and this hotline will help identify the most pressing needs of business owners as they re-enter and re-establish in their communities.”