Under the BC Rural Dividend, the province is providing $313,180 in grants to five communities in Boundary-Similkameen, MLA Linda Larson announced last week.
The Village of Midway gets $11,858 to create a unique brand identity and marketing tools for business and tourism.
The City of Grand Forks receives $76,850 to assess feasibility of surplus city-owned land for local developers and joint ventures with partners.
The Osoyoos Indian Band is being awarded $100,000 to complete conceptual plans and engineering designs to facilitate land development in Oliver.
The Lower Similkameen Indian Band is being awarded $91,750 to develop a feasibility and business plan for a comprehensive economic development strategy in Keremeos.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen receives $32,722 to upgrade a community hall, including handicap-accessible features, in Hedley.
These are five 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 20per cent 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 web site at: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend.