$1.1 million in grants coming for local organizations
The provincial government announced this morning (June 18) that it is providing nearly $14 million in grants for over 150 projects to support economic development and recreational opportunities for British Columbians in rural communities throughout the province.
That includes $1,091,919 to nine East Kootenay/Ktunaxa Nation organizations or Kootenay-wide organizations that provide regional support.
“As someone who lives in a rural community, I know that rural B.C. is the backbone of our economy,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every region of our province, and I’m glad our government is providing these one-time grants to lend extra help to people, communities and economies in rural B.C.”
The grants include approximately $5 million for 39 trail and recreation projects, and almost $9 million for 114 projects that support rural community development.
Projects selected for these one-time grants were chosen from the following three categories:
First Nations; municipalities; and not-for-profit organizations.
Among the larger sums being provided is $500,000 to Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance for Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail. The project will complete the last two of seven segments of the 25-km long multi-use trail connecting Invermere and Fairmont Hot Springs.
Other organizations receiving funds
- Akisq’nuk First Nation: Akisqnuk Bed & Breakfast Feasibility Study ($10,000). Feasibility study to examine the development and operation of an Indigenous themed bed & breakfast on Akisqnuk First Nation lands.
- City of Cranbrook: Investment Attraction and Marketing of Industrial Lands ($80,000). An economic approach to explore how the city can develop a green and renewable energy industrial park on 99 acres of recently purchased retired industrial lands.
- District of Sparwood: Downtown Revitalization and Economic Diversification Strategy ($100,000). Prepare a long-term strategy aimed at encouraging business retention, expansion and attraction, and looking for opportunities to connect the community’s two main commercial areas: Centennial Square and Aspen Drive.
- Kimberley Community Development Society (KCDS): Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative ($100,000). An economic/business development strategy to attract businesses in the outdoor recreation industry to relocate or start-up in the Kootenay region of British Columbia and to conduct an Outdoor Industry Scan to assess workforce and business support needs and to develop a regional outdoor industry hub.
- Kootenay Livestock Association: Living Agriculture ($9,970). Research and develop a pilot program to enrich local economy by growing and diversifying local agriculture work force, awareness, and industry capacity
- Lower Kootenay Indian Band: Yaqan nu?kiy Food Processing Facility ($92,355). Finalize the business case and infrastructure design to support development of an Indigenous owned ‘on farm’ food processing facility which utilizes second quality fruit, vegetable and overproduction crops, with training for community members.
• BC Association of Farmers’ Markets: BC Farmers’ Market Incubator Initiative ($99,594). Phase 1 will strengthen and leverage farmers’ markets as agri-food small business incubators in up to 16 communities and five regional districts across the Kootenays and Columbia Basin region.
- Kootenay Association for Science and Technology – Kootenay Investment Readiness for Tech Start-ups and Angel Investors ($100,000). The Kootenays are experiencing a tech-sector boom, but critical barriers are the availability of capital and investor readiness. Focus on investment readiness training for entrepreneurs and investors and establish key connections to external venture capital through a high-profile investment summit.
Grant recipients were identified from applications received during the sixth intake of the Rural Dividend Program in summer 2019. Priority was given to economic development projects that have a focus on and a potential for job creation.
e-KNOW file photo