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Northern Development commits $1.1M to northern BC business recovery, innovation


February 6, 2020
By Maria Church
Maria Church

B.C. economic development funding corporation Northern Development has committed $1.1 million in grant funding for 2020 to support business recovery and innovation in northern B.C.

The corporation is doling out the funding via two programs: $600,000 for the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate (CCR), and $500,000 to the Northern Industries Innovation Fund (NIIF).

“Northern B.C.’s economy has taken a hit this past year with mill closures and curtailments. However, the people who live and work here are resilient and capable. Northern Development is eager to support those businesses in our region that seek out innovative opportunities in order to grow our economy and improve life in the north,” Joel McKay, CEO of Northern Development, said in a news release.

Michelle Mungall, B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, said central and Northern B.C. are crucial to the economic well-being of the province.

“The continuation of these successful programs will help allow more small businesses in central and northern B.C. to grow, become more competitive, create new jobs and strengthen local economies,” Mungall said in the release.

CCR program

According to the news release, the CCR program provides a rebate to small- and medium-sized businesses engaged in manufacturing, innovative technologies, resource processing, transportation, distribution and their first line suppliers for customized outsourced consulting services.

These program funds can also be used for the Forestry Affected Businesses Consulting Rebate, which aids businesses in communities affected by permanent mill closures or curtailments. Introduced in 2019, the program has been extended through 2020.

NIIF program

The NIIF program funds small- and medium-sized companies engaged in forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, mining, energy, oil and gas, manufacturing and activities related to these sectors. The program will support applied research and development, new or improved products and services and testing of innovative equipment or technologies to support capital investment decisions.

The program will also support economic diversification and/or viability of businesses to mitigate the economic impact of the pine beetle epidemic.

Eligible companies can apply for either program on an on-going basis. For more information, contact Felicia Magee, director of business development by phone (250-561-2525) or email felicia@northerndevelopment.bc.ca.