Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing more than $1.1 million for nine projects in the West Kootenay region.
“Rural communities across our region are great places to live and work, and these projects will make them stronger and more sustainable,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “The Rural Dividend awards will help advance economic development, create new tourism opportunities and attract global education markets to our region.”
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 towns 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 small cities and towns 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 through the program’s special circumstances stream to support 23 applicants responding to economic challenges resulting from the loss of a main employer or the impacts of a natural disaster.
Additionally, $673,124 were 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 2021-22.
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.