Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $407,746 to local government, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations for six projects in the Cowichan Valley.
“These projects offer a wide range of benefits for residents and businesses,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “They will lead to more jobs and tourism opportunities by supporting new trail networks, improving wood waste recovery, strengthening Duncan’s business community and developing tech training for youth.”
Almost $19 million in 153 single-applicant and partnership project grants are being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the Rural Dividend Program.
These grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Grants can be up to $100,000 for a single-applicant project or up to $500,000 for partnership projects.
“This funding supports the diverse needs of small communities throughout the province and the people who live in them,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our government is getting results for people in every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”
As well, over $4.6 million in grants are being provided to the program’s special circumstances stream to help 23 applicants responding to economic challenges resulting from the loss of a main employer or the impacts of a natural disaster.
Additionally, $673,124 was awarded through the project development stream to communities around the province to complete preliminary work to support future projects.
The Rural Dividend encourages economic diversification through community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.
The Government of British Columbia has committed to extending the $25-million per year Rural Dividend to 2020-21.
The Rural Dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which commits to making rural communities more resilient.
BC Rural Dividend Program: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
A backgrounder follows.