Small businesses in Nova Scotia will be able to provide greater accessibility and grow their operations as part of government’s commitment to an inclusive province for all Nova Scotians.
Business Minister Geoff MacLellan, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine, announced today, Dec. 1, a $1 million Small Business ACCESS-Ability Program in
support of the new Accessibility Act so businesses are more accessible.
The Accessibility Act, passed last April, sets out goals for making Nova Scotia accessible in six areas, and allows more areas to be added. The goals are to be achieved by 2030.
“We want a province where there are no physical barriers for anyone in society,” said Mr. MacLellan. “It is encouraging to see the leadership displayed by business to help reduce barriers for persons with disabilities and provide more employment opportunities.”
The program will provide funding to eligible business for improvements in information and communication such as accessible signage, public transportation, education and training, devices to assist disabled employees and customers, and renovations for ramps, accessible washrooms and door openers.
“With 20 per cent of our citizens having a disability the program will improve business access to this growing market both in terms of customers and workers,” said Gerry Post, executive director of the Accessibility Directorate.
Individual businesses can apply now for program funding. Government will pay up two-thirds of the capped amount for each approved project. The caps range from:
–$50,000 for the built environment
–$30,000 for accessible communication services
–$30,000 for the provision of assistive devices
–$40,000 for accessible transportation projects
There is also 100 per cent funding for Rick Hansen Foundation certification training.
“Accessibility is extremely important for many of our employees and customers, and this program will be extremely helpful in making our rural business more inclusive,” said Cedric Robicheau, president of BMC Seafood Ltd., in Meteghan.
The Small Business ACCESS-Ability Program is in addition to the Community ACCESS-ability Program which provides $1 million per year to local community organizations.
Promoting a more inclusive and accessible province is a vital part of the province’s culture strategy, Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan.
For more information on the Small Business ACCESS-Ability Program, visit