Economic Development Projects in BC’s Southern Interior Receive Support

Communities in the Southern Interior of British Columbia have a reason to celebrate this winter season. The Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) just announced the successful applicants of its Fall Funding Intake and has awarded over $522K in funding to support 27 projects that will help build and diversify the region’s economy. Project partners include local governments, First Nations, industry groups, Chambers of Commerce, Community Futures, and non-profit organizations in BC’s Southern Interior.

“This month, we have approved over $1.1 million in funding, together with the Regional Transportation Enhancement (RTE) Funding Program also announced today. This brings our funding support to communities and First Nations in the Southern Interior to over $3 million this fiscal year. In total, 104 projects worth over $6 million have been approved this year, which will help create or maintain over 7,000 jobs in the Southern Interior of BC,” says CEO, Laurel Douglas. “We are so proud of the transformative value this funding has on our Southern Interior communities.”

ETSI-BC Fall Funding Intake Approvals by Region

  $ Approved % of Total
Columbia-Kootenay $243,250 46%
Thompson-Okanagan $264,000 51%
Both Regions $15,000 3%
TOTAL $522,250 100%

Projects approved in this Funding Intake will be carried out by three First Nations and in communities in all nine Regional Districts in the ETSI-BC service area, including the Central Okanagan, Central Kootenay, Columbia Shuswap, East Kootenay, Fraser Valley, Kootenay Boundary, North Okanagan, Okanagan Similkameen, and Thompson-Nicola Regional Districts.

Since re-launching in April 2021, ETSI-BC has approved $7.7 million in grant funding in support of its Strategic Pillars. This funding has supported projects valued at over $17 million and has helped create or maintain almost 18,000 jobs in the region.

“On behalf of the ETSI-BC Board, I am delighted to share this news,” said Sharon Shepherd, ETSI-BC Board Chair. “These initiatives will help enhance economic development capabilities within our communities, foster innovation, and facilitate progress in critical sectors of our regional economy.”

Douglas added, “We’re proud of the impact we’re making in the Southern Interior and can’t wait to see these worthwhile projects be brought to fruition. The following is a list of projects approved in the ETSI-BC 2023 Fall Funding Intake.

ETSI-BC APPROVED Fall Funding Intake PROJECTS as of December 12, 2023

Big White Mountain Chamber of Commerce Business Walk and Shop Local Program $5,750
Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Grand Forks Ambassador Program $15,000
Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce Downtown Street Closure Feasibility $3,000
Community Futures Central Kootenay Climate Resilient Kootenay Businesses $30,000
Community Futures North Okanagan North Okanagan Community Health Clinic $15,000
Creston Valley Tourism Society Creston Valley Tourism Society 5-Year Plan & MRDT Consultation $15,000
Fields Forward Society Business Development & Marketing Incubator $35,000
Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre Feasibility of Small Diameter Logging & Slash Bundling Technology $29,500
Greater Trail Community Skills Centre EcoRenovate: Building a Sustainable Future Awareness Campaign $15,000
Kamloops Food Policy Council Strengthening the Kamloops Regional Food Supply Chain $28,000
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Southern Interior Regional Economic Summit II $50,000
Kimberley & District Chamber of Commerce Kimberley BC Business Retention and Expansion Survey $15,000
Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association Building Regional Cannabis Trails $15,000
Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation Southern Interior Food Distribution Model Expansion and Implementation $35,000
Merritt & District Chamber of Commerce Chamber of Commerce 3-year Strategic and Tactical Plan $10,000
North Bend Community Association North Bend Hall — Community Space Preservation $15,000
Okanagan Circular Society OCS Community Solar Initiative $40,000
Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia Outdoor Recreation Communities Toolkit $15,000
Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Naramata Community Revitalization Plan $15,000
Rotary Club of Castlegar Sunrise Ecolink Castlegar to Selkirk $11,000
Salmon Arm & District Chamber of Commerce Strategic Vision for the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce $5,000
Salmon Arm Folk Music Society Strategic Planning Roots and Blues $10,000
Shuswap Economic Development Society Shuswap Economic Development Office and Workhub $25,000
Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw – Little Shuswap Lake Band Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw Business Park Recovery & Expansion $15,000
Slocan Valley Chamber of Commerce New Denver Visitor centre feasibility study $15,000
Trails to The Boundary Society Social Enterprise Opportunities for Rural Economic Development $15,000
Westbank First Nation and Okanagan Indian Band Connected Communities Campaign $25,000

For More Information, please contact:

Laurel Douglas, CEO | 236.420.3680 |

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