The B.C. government is distributing $10.1 million in new grants to help rural communities stabilize their economies and create long-term local employment, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson announced today.
Funding is being awarded to 90 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations around the province for single (up to $100,000) and partnership (up to $500,000) projects.
Under the special circumstances provision of the program, the B.C. government is providing $758,000 to five projects in wildfire-impacted areas. Under the regular program stream, about $1.7 million is going to communities affected by the 2017 wildfires.
Successful project grants range from supporting rural and Indigenous young entrepreneurs in Northern British Columbia, to a South Kootenay historic trail project that will complete the first two phases of a trail system designed to showcase the area, and a Cariboo-based First Nation who are working to expand domestic sales and international exports of an energy drink.
Projects were assessed and approved based on the following criteria:
- Rural communities most in need.
- Improved community resiliency and economic strength.
- Partnership building and enhanced shared prosperity.
- Project feasibility and sustainability.
- Economic impact on rural communities.
- Attracting and retaining youth.
- Innovation in economic development.
As well, over $528,000 in 53 project development (up to $10,000) grants is being distributed to help rural communities complete preliminary project components necessary to pursue larger community projects in the future.
Rural development activities support government’s commitment to building a strong, sustainable, and innovative economy that creates well-paying jobs for all British Columbians.
Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson –
“These new grants will provide much-needed support to rural communities, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations. Going forward, we want to make sure that rural citizens have a voice and will play an integral role in any rural development .”
Rural Dividend: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
A backgrounder follows.