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New funding available for rural and First Nations communities

The provincial government has created a new program with the goal of increasing capacity and diversifying economies in First Nations and rural communities.

The rural economic diversification and infrastructure program has $33 million up for grabs and will support projects that promote economic diversification, resilience, clean-growth opportunities and infrastructure development.

“People across rural B.C. are passionate about their communities and are incredibly resilient in the face of challenges,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in a release.

“As part of our StrongerBC Economic Plan, we’re working shoulder to shoulder with local governments and First Nations to help diversify local economies to support good, stable jobs for people for years to come.”

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Communities can apply for funding from three different streams.

The economic diversification stream will let communities with less than 25,000 people apply for up to $1 million for various projects.

The economic capacity stream has maximum funding of $100,000 for communities with less than 2,500 people.

There is also the forest impact transition stream that offers up to $500,000 for projects that support economic recovery and diversification in affected forest-dependent communities.

Communities can start applying on Nov. 15 and a second intake will open next year.

Files by Josiah Spyker, My East Kootenay Now

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