Small Business Centre getting federal money for accessibility upgrades

Small Business Centre getting federal money for accessibility upgrades


Small Business Centre getting federal money for accessibility upgrades

The Quinte Small Business Centre will be moving forward on new accessibility upgrades with some federal help.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis announced Wednesday that the Small Business Centre has been granted $100,000 through the province’s Enabling Accessibility Fund, or EAF, to make the upgrades.

The EAF is designed to help fund small and medium sized projects to make Canadian workplaces and communities more accessible.

During a small virtual media conference Wednesday afternoon Ellis broke down the upgrades that will be made at the facility on Wallbridge-Loyalist Road.

“The centre is having accessible washrooms built and automated door openers installed to ensure the facility is accessible to those with mobility issues and other disabilities including visual impairment.”

Brianna Rossit is the Office and Events Coordinator for the Small Business Centre and she talked about how important improving accessibility infrastructure in the community is.

“With myself being at the reception desk for over three years I watched patrons struggle in and out of our doors. Then we found out about the grant in 2019.  I ended up applying to be the youth accessibility leader in 2019 and the more I worked with businesses, the more I realized that we need to be involved to make an impact in our community within businesses, to make businesses more accessible to the minority within our region.”

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson was also on hand for the announcement.

He drew on his own personal experience with accessibility issues in his life to commend the grant and the upgrades.

“As someone who grew up in a family with someone who was disabled as a result of a polio pandemic and faced accessibility challenges throughout his whole life, my father with me helping him along, faced unimaginable obstacles. So, thankfully we’ve made tremendous inroads and certainly this financial support is going to continue to aid all those people that formerly couldn’t attend events, couldn’t participate fully in the community. This is going to help immensely and when it comes to disability issues, because of that history, I’m most appreciative,”

Rossit broke down the amount of money that has been put into the Bay of Quinte area towards accessibility infrastructure since 2019 through the EAF.

“For the last two years we’ve put back into the community $258,769. Within the Belleville region we’ve put back into the community $143,953. Quinte West was $64,826. Hastings County, $20,000. Prince Edward County, $20,000.”

There are also two more calls for applications open under the Youth Innovation and mid-sized projects sections of the EAF that launched June 4. The mid-sized section provides contributions up to $1 million for larger retrofit, renovation or construction projects in facilities.

For more information on the EAF, click here.


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