The tote bags are made out of 100 per cent organic cotton. The proceeds go to a grant program, which aims to help small businesses affected by COVID-19. (Susie Gay)

Small business grants available through Okanagan initiative

Susie and Bryan Gay launched ‘This Bag Helps’ to help fellow small business owners during the pandemic

An Okanagan-based initiative that launched in late April is ready to help small businesses.

‘This Bag Helps’ was launched by Susie and Bryan Gay, owners of Penticton Paddle Surf and Antlers Surf.

The first step of the initiative was to sell organic reusable tote bags so they can raise funds for a grant program, aimed at helping small businesses around the province and the country.

With the overwhelming support of the community, Susie said the program is now ready to take in applications from businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve raised close to $8,000 so far, but every day, it just keeps building and growing,” she said.

“I’m just super encouraged, thankful and I feel supported.”

Susie said the feedback has been positive all throughout, from people ordering bags in bulk, spreading the word about the initiative through social media, and leaving them positive comments.

She said thanks to social media, there have been orders not just from the Okanagan, but all the way up to the Kootenays and even across Canada as well.

“People from out east have started to buy bags. We’ve even had some businesses out east apply (for the grant program),” she said.

“GoDaddy, based in the U.S., actually ordered bags from us for their employees, so we have our first international order, which is really cool.”

Susie added they have also launched a sponsorship program, where businesses can sponsor grants either by donating money or buying enough bags to cover the grant costs. The sponsor businesses can choose the industry or location of the business that they want to receive the grant.

“I had a call from Kootenay Insurance, and they wanted to support the cause. They’re buying 50 bags to give out to their small business clients.”

“I recognize we can’t cover months of rent… but reopening has so many costs attached to it. There are PPE requirements and businesses are having to build infrastructure to promote distancing. Opening safely is requiring so much from businesses and we want to help,” she said.

The initiative’s tote bags are 100 per cent designed, made, and printed in Canada. Susie this is so they can support small businesses in every aspect of the process.

READ: Okanagan couple launches initiative to help small businesses during COVID-19

READ: BOYD Autobody and Glass aims to raise $50,000 for Kelowna Child Advocacy Centre


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Revelstoke RCMP food bank drive raises 4,000 pounds of grub

Demand at the food bank has roughly tripled since the start of the pandemic

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision by Golden

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Revelstoke cancer support group in need of support

The group provides funds for people undergoing cancer treatments

Two dead after weekend crash on Highway 1 near Revelstoke

The driver and passenger of one vehicle died at the scene

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

Aces aplenty at Okanagan golf course

Vernon Golf and Country Club has 14 recorded holes-in-one since April 30

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

Sad ending in case of missing Okanagan senior

Body of Vernon man Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read