Courtesy of the BC Government:
Under the BC Rural Dividend, the Province is providing $164,037 in grants to Williams Lake and the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Society, Parliamentary Secretary and MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin Donna Barnett announced today.
The City of Willams Lake is being awarded $64,062 to seed startup programs to support youth and senior entrepreneurs with mentorship, monitoring, training, networking and workshops. The Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Society receives $99,975 to provide, in partnership with Thompson Rivers University, early childhood education diploma training over two years for 12 First Nations, including members of the Canoe/Dog Creek, Williams Lake, Canim Lake, and Soda Creek bands.
These are two of 73 successful grants, totalling over $8 million, being awarded to eligible communities under the three-year, $75-million BC Rural Dividend.
As committed during the September 2015 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention and in Balanced Budget 2016, the BC Rural Dividend helps rural communities with populations under 25,000 to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies, making them more attractive places to live and work.
A total of 180 applications were received from a cross-section of communities, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations from around the province during the first application intake. A second application intake runs to Oct. 31, 2016.
Under the guidelines of the BC Rural Dividend, single applicants can apply for up to $100,000 for community-driven projects and must contribute at least 20% of the total project cost. Applicants representing partnerships can apply for up to $500,000 and must contribute 40% of the total project cost.
Funding of $25 million per year, over three years, is available in four categories: community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.
As part of a continuous improvement process, the program’s eligibility requirements were reviewed over the summer months. The updated BC Rural Dividend Program Guide is now available online and anyone wishing to apply to the second intake can review the changes at the BC Rural Dividend website: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
BC's Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson stated –
“The response to the first application intake for projects was overwhelming. The diversity of applications received reflects that the rural dividend is applicant driven. Communities have submitted applications that are best suited to the unique needs of their community.”
While Donna Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for Rural Development and MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin said –
“The second project intake window runs to Oct. 31, which will see more communities benefit. One of the benefits of the rural dividend is that communities can apply as often as they like.”
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 were developed with input from the 13-member Rural Advisory Council, which was formed in March 2015.