The District of Lake County has created a marketing strategy to showcase some of its hidden gems – wineries, tasting rooms, lake view restaurants, fresh local farmgate produce – just off the highway between Vernon and Kelowna. With a $50,000 grant from ETSI-BC, Lake Country was able to activate a key element of their economic development plan by designing a Scenic Sip interactive website complemented by highway billboards and eye-catching wayfinding signage. Through digital and visual route markers, the community hopes to encourage more visitors and tourist to make Lake Country a delightful stop on their travel route.
Here are some regional success stories to inspire your next economic development project.
The Friends of Pulpit Rock Society, a volunteer-driven organization that maintains Nelson-area trails, partnered with the Whitewater Ski Resort to develop a trail network that encourages visiting the area year-round. A $11,470 grant from ETSI-BC helped fund the project. The investment into the area as an all-season destination will economically benefit tourism-related and other businesses in the region.
Columbia Valley Abattoir is a small-scale slaughterhouse in Invermere, BC that caters to many valley businesses and has successfully developed strategic partnerships within the supply chain. The project, a vision of the Windermere District Farmers Institute and Livestock Association (WDFI), received a $25,000 grant from ETSI-BC.
Ktunaxa Enterprises Ltd (KEL), the business arm of the Ktunaxa Nation, was successfully formed to facilitate the launch and expansion of multiple community-focused businesses and work towards economic self-sustainability. Supported by ETSI-BC funding, the organization offers high-level support for multiple business units and collectively pursues and manages responsible businesses adhering to Ktunaxa values on behalf of shareholders Ktunaxa Nation Council Society, Éaq`am, Éakisq`nuk First Nation, Lower Kootenay Band, and Tobacco Plains Band communities.
The Kootenay Employment Services Society launched the Creston & District Community Investment Co-op with a $25,000 grant from ETSI-BC (formerly Southern Interior Development Trust – SIDIT).
Early in the Metal Tech Alley initiative, $50,000 of grant funding from ETSI-BC (formerly Southern Interior Development Trust – SIDIT) and $500,000 from the Province`s Rural Dividend Program, was combined with $347,700 from partner contributions to focus on connecting local metallurgical companies with those in the emerging tech industry to increase environmental sustainability.
Farm Kitchen, a community space in Cranbrook, offers a large commercial kitchen that is rentable by area entrepreneurs, community groups and non-profit organizations. At Farm Kitchen, food based businesses can access the space and equipment they need—from a six-range gas burner to dry storage—to develop, operate and grow successful food-based businesses. Launched by the Community Connections Society of Southeast BC, with a $25,000 grant from ETSI-BC, the Farm Kitchen has been utilized by 19 entrepreneurs to-date.
To assist in the creation of the next phase in the business accelerator program, Accelerate Okanagan approached the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC, formerly Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust) to secure $25,000 in grant funding. As regional economic development trust, ETSI-BC saw the opportunity to support an emerging sector and support business growth and new job creation.
With a $25,000 grant from the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC), and additional funders including the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the provincial government, and the Kootenay Employments Services Society, a mobile press was purchased and began to turn agricultural waste into profit.