Brandon businesses adversely affected by forced evacuation during the 2011 flood will now have a chance to have business continuity plans developed or audited by Meyers Norris Penny, through a provincial government grant.
The province’s excess moisture economic stimulus program offered $100,000 to partner qualifying businesses with MNP to create or review how the business owners operate during a disruption or emergency.
The plans are not one-size-fits-all, said Brandon economic development officer Sandy Trudel, as they are tailored to meet the needs of the business.
“It looks at the operation of the business and looks at all of the facets to say, if there was any disruption to service, whether it’s a natural disaster or accident or potential road blockages, something that prevents them from doing their daily business, then let’s put a plan in place and have a response that allows us to function through that,” Trudel said.
The plans will ensure businesses have a plan to deal with those emergencies, such as operating off-site at another location. The plan also looks at what steps to take to rebuild after the disruption. If businesses already have a plan, they can have their strategy reviewed by an expert under this plan to ensure all bases are covered.
“The flood, or high water event, was the impetus for this project, but ideally, one would like to see every business operate with a business continuity plan,” Trudel said.
The program is specifically geared to businesses in the Assiniboine River Valley area that had to evacuate during the flood and those operations have been notified of their eligibility. Some chose not to participate in earlier rounds of this program and can opt back in if there is space available. Those business owners or managers should contact the economic development office at 729-2132 for details.
Trudel said 23 businesses have signed on to take part in the program and the project will last for six to seven months.