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Kootenays, Nelson Innovation Centre benefit from BC Rural Dividend grants

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
March 21st, 2018

Local dignitaries joined MLA Michelle Mungall Tuesday afternoon in Nelson as the BC Government Minister presented Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Kootenay with funding of $100,000 to support the development and implementation of five core services for the Nelson Innovation Centre.

The ceremony, which included Paul Weist of Nelson Innovation Centre Program Manager, Rose Hoeher, Community Futures Tech & Knowledge Workers Coordinator, Tom Thomson, Executive Director of the Nelson Chamber of Commerce and City of Nelson manager Kevin Cormack, was held at the Community Futures Central Kootenay on Vernon Street in Nelson.

 “By helping local people deliver projects they know will make a real difference for their communities, we are building a foundation for healthy, robust and sustainable economies across our region,” Mungall said in a media release.

“Projects like this demonstrate how we can support the amazing creative projects that are taking place in rural communities like ours,” added Mungall, who is also the BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for the current NDP Government in Victoria.

“The Nelson Innovation Centre has been integral to jumpstarting the flourishing tech sector in Nelson. This funding will help it grow the sector even more.”

The release said the project will support the development and implementation of five core services for the Nelson Innovation Centre including: Community Building Events, Business Start-up and Acceleration Programs, and Access to Capital, Mentorship and Industry Outpost Programming.

This funding is part of $1,424,303 that was provided for nine projects in the Kootenays and nearly $8 million in 58 project grants being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the BC Rural Dividend Program province-wide.

Rural dividend grants help fund projects that support rural economies.

Grants can be up to $100,000 each, or up to $500,000 each for partnership projects.

 Earlier this month, nearly $5 million was granted to fund 30 projects in wildfire-impacted areas and two communities that were affected by the shutdown of local mills.

The rural dividend encourages economic diversification, innovation, sustainability and collaboration, and recognizes the diverse needs of individual communities.

As part of Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25 million-per-year rural dividend to 2020-21. The rural dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which is committed to making rural communities more resilient.

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