Minto approves action plan to assist local non-profit groups

MINTO – Town council has approved spending up to $19,500 on an action plan to support local non-profit service and cultural organizations dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

At the Feb. 2 meeting, economic development manager Belinda Wick-Graham outlined the plan devised by the Town of Minto Cultural Roundtable.

Wick-Graham noted the plan was formulated based on information obtained through a recent survey of Minto non-profit organizations.

The plan calls for allocating $17,500 from the town’s pool of federal-provincial Safe Restart funding and $2,000 from the Cultural Roundtable budget to assist local organizations through a variety of grants and training opportunities.

Wick-Graham noted some of the initiatives can get underway immediately, while others are aimed at helping groups get back up and running normally as pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Among the initiatives in the plan are: providing promotional aid such as social media training, assistance with posting and promotion of non-profit events and providing grants to help groups advertise events through various forms of media.

Other initiatives include:

  • providing information/training to organizations on running events safely while making a profit;
  • facilitating outdoor events;
  • a variety of volunteer recruitment and training activities; and
  • providing information on grant availability and assistance with the grant writing process.

The plan also includes a provision for $200 grants to help groups purchase upgraded Zoom accounts.

Wick-Graham noted the upgraded accounts would allow groups to hold online meetings and events without running up against the participant and time limits of the app’s free service.

“Anyone looking to hold an event online would be limited by that,” she noted.

Providing a grant for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), or bulk sourcing PPE in order to provide groups with a better rate, is also an element of the plan.

Mayor George Bridge explained the committee opted to offer grants and opportunities that local organizations can apply for based on needs, in order to tailor aid to groups that need the help.

“Some organizations aren’t too bad off, or they’ve got some funding that’s coming from somewhere else,” Bridge noted.

He said he thinks the Zoom upgrade grants will be especially helpful to groups that have struggled to stay in touch through lockdowns.

“I think that’s important, because some organizations just haven’t had any meetings, because they haven’t got that ability to do the Zoom thing,” Bridge noted.

The mayor said he was pleased with the plan put forward by the roundtable committee.

“I was really happy with the group. They’ve done a lot of good, hard soul searching and thinking on this,” he stated.