Over $200,000 granted in Cranbrook
Under the BC Rural Dividend, the Province of British Columbia is providing $204,992 to three successful proponents in the Cranbrook area, MLA for Kootenay East Bill Bennett announced today.
The funding is part of the $8.1 million being provided to 73 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations around the province.
The City of Cranbrook will receive $20,000 to develop industrial investment and business attraction strategies.
Community Connections Society of Southeast BC will receive $84,000 to assist entrepreneurs start small-scale food-production and food-service businesses.
And ?aqam Community Enterprises is being awarded $100,000 to expand the ?aqam Trading Store, which will result in extended hours of operation and more jobs for community members.
“By partnering with local communities, First Nations and not-for-profits, we have the opportunity to direct these funds exactly where they need to go. I’m pleased to see this round of funding go toward attracting investment, supporting entrepreneurs and creating jobs in our area,” Bennett said.
The BC Rural Dividend program provides grants of up to $100,000 each for single applicants, and up to $500,000 for partnerships, to promote economic diversity while contributing to a community’s overall liveability and sustainability, a Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations press release stated.
“The response to the first application intake for projects was overwhelming. The diversity of applications received reflects that the rural dividend is applicant driven. Communities have submitted applications that are best suited to the unique needs of their community,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.
Funding is available in four categories: community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.
As part of a continuous improvement process, the program’s eligibility requirements were reviewed over the summer months. The updated BC Rural Dividend Program Guide is now available online. The second intake of the BC Rural Dividend runs until Oct. 31. More details are available online.
The BC Rural Dividend is part of government’s multi-faceted response to assisting rural communities and complements existing initiatives supporting rural communities.
The criteria for the BC Rural Dividend was developed with input from the 13-member Rural Advisory Council, which was formed in March 2015.