One of the priorities for the province is to promote a more inclusive and accessible province. This is a vital part of the Nova Scotia Culture Action Plan and in order to improve that accessibility the province is providing funding to support small businesses throughout the province.

One in five Nova Scotians identify as a person with a disability. We know that small businesses need support as they improve accessibility in their own facility. The province will fund up to 66% of project costs to small businesses through the Small Business ACCESS-Ability Program.

It is encouraging to see the leadership displayed by business owners as they become partners in helping to reduce access barriers for people with disabilities, whether it is to access services from the business or whether it is to provide employment opportunities for person with disabilities. Both customers and employees will benefit from these improvements.

Under the new program, cost shared grants to small businesses can include improvements to the physical environment, such as removing physical barriers to the building, provision for accessible parking and the installation of automatic door openers. Other supports for services include web design signage and assistive technical devices to enable the blind, deaf, and hard of hearing. Eligible guidelines and expenses, as well as application process are available through the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage and the following contact information:

Wayne Matheson, Facility Development Coordinator

Work: 902-424-4408

Cell: 902-499-9944

Fax: 902-424-0710

Toll Free: 1-866-231-3882

Visit: https://cch.novascotia.ca/small-business-access-ability-grant-program

Karen Casey, MLA

Colchester North