In response to the first call under the $75-million BC Rural Dividend, 180 applications were received from a broad cross-section of communities, not-for-profit associations and First Nations from throughout the province.
Launched April 1, 2016, the first application intake window closed on May 31. This positive response is an indicator of the strong interest in the program. A second application intake will run from Oct. 3 to 31, 2016.
Project development funding applications, for $10,000 each, will be assessed on an expedited schedule and decisions will be announced early July 2016. Final decisions on single applicant (up to $100,000) and partnerships (up to $500,000) project development funding applications will be announced in September 2016.
A goal of the rural dividend program is continuous improvement. Based on feedback received during the first application window, the ministry will refine guidelines for the second intake. The program guide, with any changes highlighted, will be re-issued before September 2016. Applicants are advised to check the Rural Dividend website over the summer for updates at: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
As committed during the September 2015 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention and in Balanced Budget 2016, 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 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 conceived with input from the 13-member Rural Advisory Council, which was formed in March 2015.
Rural Dividend: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
Rural Advisory Council: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2013-2017/2015flnr0030-000309.htm