Comfort Keepers News | July 8, 2020
Comfort Keepers Orangeville to Receive Canadian Chamber of Commerce Grant | The owner of Comfort Keepers didn’t think her Orangeville franchise had any chance at the grant, but it is a good thing the small business applied anyway.
Thanks to a Small Business Relief Fund awarded by the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN), which is run by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, a total of 62 small businesses across Canada will find some of their financial burdens lifted. Of more than 1,100 applicants, Comfort Keepers has been awarded a $10,000 grant.
“I was completely shocked, but very excited for how it would help us as a small business,” said Lori Ciappara, franchise owner at Comfort Keepers. “We thought there wasn’t any chance, but we worked really hard. Out of that many applicants, to be awarded, it felt good.”
Comfort Keepers is an in-home care agency for seniors that provides services in Orangeville, Shelburne, and surrounding communities.
Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said the funding for the grants came from Salesforce, a company helping small businesses around the world.
“We asked applicants to indicate how $10,000 would make a difference to their business, how they would put it to use, and why it was important to them,” said Beatty.
The program received applications from chiropractors to restaurants, hair salons, retail operations, and other kinds of small businesses, making the selection process a big task.
“It was very moving going through and looking at the applications,” added Beatty. “It really made you aware of the serious damage that’s been done by COVID-19 to small businesses across the country, but it also highlights the determination that so many entrepreneurs have to continue to employ their staff and provide services for their customers and communities.”
For Comfort Keepers, this grant will assist them in the heightened costs for personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as system upgrades to help them better serve seniors under their care.
“There is an increased cost for some of these items because of shortages, as well as difficulty finding these items,” said Ciappara. “Sometimes the regular suppliers don’t have them.”
The funding will also help with the cost of upgrading their telephone system, making it easier for patients to access care after office hours. As the facility operates on-call 24-hours a day, this will allow calls to be forwarded from an on-call cell phone to the correct person.
“We’ve had extra costs for staff in-office as well, because it’s been very busy with COVID in the sense of new protocols, safety measures, and that kind of thing,” said Ciappara.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Comfort Keepers went beyond the call of duty, providing grocery deliveries in partnership with Sobeys to seniors in the area. Although it only did so for the first five weeks, the agency managed to help seniors through the first legs of the shutdown.
“They would email us the order, Sobeys would call them for payment, and we shopped for them and delivered it to their doorstep,” said Ciappara. “I remember going and seniors hadn’t been out of their houses, so they didn’t really understand what was going on. We would bring their groceries without toilet paper and they couldn’t believe it.”
Ciappara added that along with providing these additional services, the PSWs who work for Comfort Keepers have been extra diligent through the whole pandemic, doing daily screenings for themselves and all clients.
The office has also remained open, with proper procedures, and their registered nurse has continued to provide in-person assessments using very stringent infection control procedures.
For more information about Comfort Keepers, visit comfortkeepers.ca/orangeville.
Source: Comfort Keepers Orangeville to Receive Canadian Chamber of Commerce Grant | www.orangeville.com