$75 million available through B.C. Rural Dividend program

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton encourages local governments and organizations to apply for the $75 million B.C. Rural Dividend.

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton encourages local governments and organizations in Summerland and surrounding communities to apply for the $75 million B.C. Rural Dividend.

As committed during last September’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention and Balanced Budget 2016, the three-year, $75-million Rural Dividend will help rural communities with populations under 25,000 diversify and bolster their economies.

Applications for the first year of funding will be accepted from April 4 to May 31.

Funding of $25 million per year is available in four categories: Community capacity building; workforce development; community and economic development and  business sector development.

Local governments, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations are eligible to apply.

”The Rural Dividend will help our small communities and First Nations find solutions that meet their individual needs to respond to economic uncertainty,” Ashton said. “This program will help communities diversify their economies and build and retain their workforce.”

Single applicants can apply for up to $100,000 for community-driven projects and must contribute at least 20 per cent of the total project cost.

Partnership involving more than one eligible applicant can apply for up to $500,00 and must contribute 40 per cent of the total project cost.

Applicant contributions can include in-kind contributions of up to 10 per cent.

A project development funding stream will provide up to $10,00 to help communities with limited capacity build business cases and feasibility assessments to support the development of strong projects and future project applications.

Application forms, program guidelines and instructions are available online at gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend