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Posted: February 17, 2017

BC Rural Dividend grants for East Kootenay

Under the BC Rural Dividend, the Province of British Columbia is providing $39,643 in new grants to the East Kootenay, announced Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett today.

Of that money, $9,643 is being awarded to the Elk River Watershed Alliance to develop a feasibility study and implementation plan for a composting outhouse in Silver Springs.

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce will receive $10,000 to identify and evaluate existing infrastructure for modification into shared office space and business accelerator space, confirm demand and create a pro-forma business case.

Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett

Ktunaxa Nation Council Society is getting $10,000 for Ktunaxa Image, a project that will enhance the visibility and experience of the Ktunaxa tribe within the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, and other tourism-related businesses.

Also receiving funds: District of Invermere $10,000; Golden Community Social Services Co-op $10,000; Town of Golden $10,000.

“Thanks to the flexibility of the Rural Dividend Fund, we’re able to offer support tailored to our communities, supporting local businesses while also helping groups like the Ktunaxa Nation Council Society increase their community exposure. For all its recipients, the fund offers an immediate economic boost that can be used to invest in future successes-for the recipients and their communities as a whole,” Bennett said.

These are three of 77 successful project development grants. More than $756,000 is being awarded to eligible communities, First Nations and non-profit organizations under the three-year, $75-million BC Rural Dividend.

One hundred eligible project development applications were received from around the province during the second application intake.

The BC Rural Dividend is designed to help eligible rural communities diversify and strengthen their economies and contribute to their overall wellness and sustainability. The program will contribute to the strength and sustainability of small rural communities. It is a key commitment from the 2015 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention and the Province’s Balanced Budget 2016.

Funding of $25 million per year, over three years, is available in four categories: community capacity building; workforce development; community and economic development; and business-sector development.

The BC Rural Dividend is one of the ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen rural communities. To support the needs of rural communities and grow local economies, the province will be releasing a Rural Economic Development Strategy in the near future. The strategy will help rural communities leverage their strengths and build on the significant contributions they have made to B.C.’s economy, creating new economic opportunities and enriching the unique lifestyle advantages rural B.C. has to offer.

Lead image: The Elk River at Fernie. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photo


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