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Cash comes for Kootenay manufacturing industry in Jobs Fund

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
April 13th, 2024

An infusion of $1.2 million from the Province is expected to bolster local manufacturing in the Kootenay region.

Through the B.C. Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF), the Province is investing over $1 million in three projects in the region to grow local businesses and create new jobs.

In Harrop, the Harrop-Procter Community Cooperative will receive up to $215,000 to upgrade the mill by replacing equipment to improve efficiency and adapt to smaller diameter logs.

The Harrop-Procter mill — part of a co-operative that manages public forests and runs a sawmill where they process wood products — will see the creation of three jobs.

Bill Macpherson, president of the Harrop-Procter Community Cooperative, felt the money went beyond a mere mill upgrade.

“Their financial assistance enables us to complete an ongoing revitalization of our milling division, Harrop Procter Forest Products, resulting in improved efficiencies, enhanced waste utilization capacity and, most importantly, continued and increased local employment,” he said.

Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson agreed.

“(T)his project will help retool the Harrop-Proctor mill, strengthening a cleaner economy right here at home,” she said.

The other projects supported included Naera Enterprises Inc. in Kimberley, that owns Stoke Juice, which manufactures organic cold-pressed juice using B.C.-grown imperfect fruit and vegetables that can’t be sold in stores, reducing food waste.

They are receiving as much as $618,000 to construct a manufacturing facility that will enable them to double production, access new markets, offer cold storage and transportation for other local producers, and create 34 jobs.

The third project — Invermere’s Kicking Horse Coffee Co. Ltd. — will receive as much as $330,000 to purchase new equipment that will increase production, efficiency and the automation of their manufacturing, allowing them to add a new product while creating five jobs.

The coffee company specializes in roasting, packaging and retailing coffee throughout North America and is the largest organic fair-trade coffee roaster in Canada.

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