ETSI-BC Helps Build Economic Development Capacity in BC`s Southern Interior

May 20, 2021 | News

Nine recipients ranging from First Nations and municipalities to tourism associations and community-led societies throughout the Southern Interior of BC. have just been awarded a portion of $305,000 in funding for economic development projects from ETSI-BC – the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior. Funding ranged from $13K to the maximum of $50K. This tranche of funding was the first to be allocated as per ETSI-BC`s new Strategic Plan, which was launched on April 1, 2021.

“Our team and Board are delighted to share this news,” said Laurel Douglas, CEO, ETSI-BC. “Each project will contribute to our main Strategic Pillar, to build economic development capacity in our region. Approved projects are taking place in 7 of the 9 Regional Districts in the Southern Interior, including the Fraser Valley, Thompson-Nicola, Okanagan Similkameen, Central Okanagan, Central Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary, and the Columbia Shuswap.”

The 9 economic development projects cover a broad range including tourism and industrial development to value-added food processing and transportation development. The focus of this Funding Stream is to support smaller/rural communities to build economic development capacity and to support regional partnerships throughout the Southern Interior.

“ETSI-BC wants to serve as a catalyst for new economic development initiatives, knowing that sometimes a community needs a first-in funder to seed projects and encourage other funders,” said Douglas. “The outcomes from these nine projects will be as diverse as our region`s communities, but growing their local economy is a common goal for them all.”

ETSI-BC Building Economic Development Capacity Funding Stream approved projects:

City of Merritt – Industrial Park Development Plan

Town of Oliver – Downtown Beautification and Wayfinding Project

Boston Bar Indian Band – Fraser Canyon Tourism Signage Project

Boundary Community Ventures Association – Facilitating Meat Value-Added Production in the Boundary

Friends of Pulpit Rock Society – Whitewater Trails

Peachland Historic School – Accessible Plaza Society Historic School Plaza

Village of Salmo – Salmo Community Owned and Operated Bus Initiative (SCOOBI)

Tourism Golden Association – Tourism Golden 5-Year Strategic Planning

District of Lake Country – Scenic Sip Wine & Eats

On May 28, 2021, ETSI-BC will be opening its Spring Funding Intake which will be providing opportunities for First Nations, rural communities, and other non-profits to submit applications for economic development projects that build capacity within their communities. Application deadline will be June 18, 2021.

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