The B.C. government is distributing over $464,000 in new grants to help small communities develop projects to diversify and strengthen their economies, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson and Parliamentary Secretary Donna Barnett announced today.
In the first intake of the three-year, $75-million BC Rural Dividend, 47 grants, totalling $464,294, will be awarded to 30 local governments, 15 First Nations and two not-for-profit organizations from around the province.
The project development grants, of up to $10,000 each, will be used to promote economic sustainability, while contributing to a community’s overall resilience and liveability.
Government made a commitment at the launch of the BC Rural Dividend, April 4, 2016, to give priority to project development applications and announce funding decisions in the summer. The early decisions will give successful applicants the funds needed to develop their project applications for future intakes of the program.
Final decisions on project applications for single applicants (up to $100,000) and partnerships (up to $500,000) will be announced in September 2016.
A total of 62 project development applications were received in the first intake.
Each application was independently reviewed by program staff and an executive review committee, comprised of senior government executives in the ministries of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations; Community, Sport and Cultural Development; and Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, that was established specifically to assess applications.
A second intake of the BC Rural Dividend will run from Oct. 3, to Oct. 31, 2016. Applicants are advised to check for the updated program guide online - www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend - in September, as eligibility requirements are being reviewed as part of a continuous improvement process. Any revisions will be made to the BC Rural Dividend program guide before the second intake.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –
“We’re really pleased with the calibre of applications in the first intake of the BC Rural Dividend. I want to thank all those who were involved in developing the program. The project development funding demonstrates government’s commitment to support rural British Columbians build communities where they can raise their families with pride and certainty.”
Parliamentary Secretary Donna Barnett –
“I want to thank the members of B.C.’s Rural Advisory Council. Their contributions to the development of the BC Rural Dividend and ongoing support have been a key factor in the program’s success. These grants will generate economic opportunities and stimulate rural economies.”
- 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://ow.ly/NFhU301MfRv
A backgrounder follows.