Vernon’s Food Action Society of the North Okanagan, O’Keefe Ranch and Interior Heritage Society and Lumby and District Chamber of Commerce all received provincial grants as part of the government’s rural development mandate.
The province is providing a total of $673,124 in project development grants to support rural communities throughout B.C. In the fifth intake of the BC Rural Dividend program, 68 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations will receive funding to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies.
“It takes a lot of hard work to develop ideas that can stimulate local prosperity and create jobs for small communities,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Rural citizens are resourceful, and the calibre of these project development applications reflects their ingenuity and commitment to community development.”
Under the Rural Dividend project development funding stream, up to $10,000 is provided to eligible applicants to do preliminary work that is necessary to pursue larger community projects in the future.
The Food Action Society of the North Okanagan received $10,000, O’Keefe Ranch and Interior Heritage Society received $10,000, Lumby and District Chamber of Commerce received $9,500.
In Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25 million per year Rural Dividend to 2020-2021. Final decisions on project applications for single applicants (up to $100,000) and partnerships (up to $500,000) will be announced in February.
The Rural Dividend is one aspect of the government’s rural development mandate, which is committed to making rural communities more resilient. Projects were assessed and approved based on the following criteria: rural communities most in need, improved community resiliency and economic strength, partnership building and enhanced shared prosperity, project feasibility and sustainability, economic impact on rural communities, attracting and retaining youth and innovation in economic development.
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