(Johnson Street / DVBA)

Downtown businesses are being offered a helping hand to give them better security amidst increased petty crime.

Following a report from the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) that highlighted increased concerns with safety, the DVBA has announced a new grant program.

“Our third annual report identified that our members faced increased costs in securing their properties and businesses,” said DVBA executive director Jeff Bray.

“Building on the vibrancy and vitality partnership with the City, we are pleased to support our members by offsetting some of these costs.”

The program will offer a 50 per cent cost-share on security upgrades up to a total of $500. This can apply to items like cameras, new locks, security gates, or anti-shatter window film.

All downtown Victoria businesses are eligible for this grant.

The area the DVBA defines as downtown stretches from Belleville Street up to Chatham Street, and west from Wharf Street to Blanshard Street, as well as some additional areas by James Bay and Vic West. A map of the area is available online.

For security camera installation, the DVBA has partnered with member business Tesseract 2.0. The company’s owner, Gary Beyer, will be offering cameras to downtown businesses at cost, and his team will perform installations.

The DVBA says with their grant, businesses can purchase cameras through this offer and have them installed for only $270 plus tax.

More information and application forms are online at dvba.ca/securitygrants. The grant will be offered until funding is depleted.