Applications for funding under the recently extended BC Rural Dividend will be accepted April 3 – May 31, 2017.
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.
Balanced Budget 2017 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.
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, 2017, at the BC Rural Dividend website: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
The Rural Dividend Fund is one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities. The Rural Dividend builds on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy that are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to provincial GDP.
Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett –
“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.”
District of Barriere CAO Colleen Hannigan –
“We are extremely grateful for the BC Rural Dividend funds that support our Solar Aquatics Operational Sustainability Plan pilot project. Operational sustainability for a district service is generally a user-pay situation. This can be difficult to afford for some people, particularly in small rural communities. The chance to pilot a concept that will incubate agri-entrepreneurship, provide tourism, education and research opportunities while offsetting costs to property owners is unique. We hope that the outcomes of the pilot project will be transferable to other communities.”
Mayor of Canal Flats Ute Juras –
“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.”
A full list of grant recipients and details of each project is available at: http://ow.ly/Budy30a5tsv
BC Rural Dividend: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
Rural Advisory Council: http://ow.ly/NFhU301MfRv
BC Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/