Chef Giulio Piccioli is pictured outside his Queen Charlotte restaurant, Gather, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Gather was one of three 2020 Business Facade Improvement Program applications approved by the Village of Queen Charlotte council at the regular meeting on June 1. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Village of Queen Charlotte approves business facade improvement grants

Applications from Gather, dental clinic, A Level Up approved, leaving about $14,000 up for grabs

A few south island building faces are about to get a lift from the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT).

At the regular meeting on June 1, the Village of Queen Charlotte council approved 2020 Business Facade Improvement Program applications from Gather restaurant, the Queen Charlotte City Dental Clinic and A Level Up hair salon.

The Village of Queen Charlotte had previously applied for funding through NDIT for the 2020 Business Facade Improvement Program and was approved for up to $20,000 in matching funds for the 2020 calendar year.

Council had set an initial intake deadline of April 3, however, chief administrative officer Lori Wiedeman said advertisements for the program did not start running until April 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As you know, we had applied for the business facade program grant for 2020, but due to the pandemic we didn’t get our advertising out,” Wiedeman said during her report to council. “In the interim, NDIT offered us some flexibility in how the grant would be administered this year.”

At the May 4 regular meeting, council decided to utilize the flexibility offered by NDIT to allow for COVID-19 retrofits for businesses through the program, as well as set the maximum amount for grants at $2,000 and require no matching funds from applicants.

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Wiedeman said the applications from Gather, the Queen Charlotte City Dental Clinic and A Level Up were the first three applications the village had received.

She said Gather applied to do a facade improvement, to paint the exterior of the home-based restaurant using a colour scheme of rosewood with black and white accents.

The dental clinic applied to do a COVID-19 retrofit, to enclose the reception area and meet WorkSafeBC standards.

A Level Up applied to do a facade improvement, to add a timber awning to the home-based hair studio, replace a leaky side window, and stain and replace some missing siding.

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Following Wiedeman’s report, councillor Lisa Pineault made a motion to approve the applications, which was seconded by councillor Jesse Embree and left approximately $14,000 in program funds up for grabs.

“Exciting to see Gather, a new business that’s had to start themselves up in the middle of all of this, I’m happy to support them,” Embree said, adding that he supported all three applications.

“I hope that we see more applicants coming through.”

ALSO READ: Gather Food ‘Be My Quarantine’ dinner series puts artistic twist on takeout bags

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