Rural Dividend Fund application time
Applications for funding under the recently extended BC Rural Dividend will be accepted between April 3 and May 31.
Funding is available in four categories: Community capacity building; Workforce development; Community and economic development; and Business sector development.
The Rural Dividend was established in April 2016, with input from the Rural Advisory Council, to help small rural communities reinvigorate and diversify their local economies. In its first year, the program has already provided over $24 million in economic development grants to local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations throughout B.C.
The recent provincial budget extended the $25 million per year Rural Dividend Fund for a fourth year into 2019-20, enhancing the province’s resources to assist rural communities with a population of less than 25,000 residents.
Local governments, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations are encouraged to apply to the third intake of the BC Rural Dividend program. Single applicants can apply for up to $100,000 for community-driven projects and must contribute at least 20% of the total project cost. Partnerships involving more than one eligible applicant can apply for up to $500,000, and must contribute 40% of the total project cost.
“This new BC Rural Dividend funding will help the Village of Canal Flats transition to a more diverse economy and provide new opportunities to target business development and grow our economy. We have been given tools to create direct employment opportunities, and attract and retain businesses that will bring real and substantial benefits to our town,” said Village of Canal Flats Mayor Ute Juras.
Applicant contributions can include in-kind contributions of up to 10%. A project development funding stream will provide up to $10,000 to help communities with limited capacity build business cases and feasibility assessments to support the development of strong projects and future project applications.
Downloadable application forms, a revised program guide, as well as detailed instructions on how to apply will be available as of March 31, at the BC Rural Dividend website: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
“Investing in rural communities is a key priority for our government. The Rural Dividend is already making a difference by diversifying the economy and creating jobs in small rural communities, I encourage more local governments, community organizations and First Nations to apply in this next round,” stated Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett.