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Northern B.C. rural businesses to benefit from $1.5 million in funding

NDIT will get $1.5 million from the province to hire business advisors
Downtown Prince George skyline
A view of the downtown Prince George skyline.

Businesses in rural B.C. communities are getting a boost from the province in an effort to increase jobs through the Province's Rural Business and Community Recovery Initiative (RBCRI).

The Government of B.C. is providing $4.5 million to support a second round of RBCRI funding.

This builds on the initial $4.5 million provided in February 2021 that helped rural communities and businesses recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This funding created 90 temporary advisory jobs focused on providing support and services to the regions throughout the province that needed it most.

The second round of the RBCRI funding will shift from concentrating on pandemic recoveries to supporting economic development in communities affected by changes to the forest sector.

Advisers will provide support to businesses and communities, which will increase community and regional adaptation, resilience and sustainability.

The funding will be distributed through regional programs administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior and the Island Coastal Economic Trust. Each trust will receive $1.5 million.

"We applaud the Province for addressing the recent impacts of the forestry sector in communities throughout the North and British Columbia. With this funding we can provide assistance where it is most needed and work with communities to strengthen our economic future,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Funding for the RBCRI is part of the $185-million support package announced in Budget 2022 to ensure that co-ordinated and comprehensive supports are in place to offset any economic impacts from a changing forestry industry.

"Strengthening rural B.C. is key to ensuring our province can build a strong and sustainable economy that works for everyone," said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation.

"Providing more funding for advisers to continue working side by side with local communities and businesses will help ensure access to supports for economic development services and strategies."