Strategic Initiatives Fund

Program Overview

The Strategic Initiatives Fund (SIF) is a proposal-based program that provides grant funding for strategic projects that are large in scale, regional in impact, enhance a community or multiple communities’ ability to overcome economic challenges and will result in incremental capacity or strategic economic infrastructure within a local government or First Nation. The goal of the program is to support community-based projects that focus on long-term economic transformation and sustainability. All projects must take place in Northern Development’s service region.

The purpose of Strategic Initiatives Fund is to diversify and enhance the economies of central and northern B.C. communities, particularly those communities impacted by Mountain Pine Beetle. The Strategic Initiatives Fund is a flexible program that aims to capitalize on the unique opportunities and strengths that exist in these communities to invest in projects that strengthen innovation, partnerships, and diversification of economic activities.

Project Examples

The Strategic Initiatives Fund is designed to put communities in the driver’s seat and propose projects that are strategic in nature and support economic transformation.

The Strategic Initiatives Fund is designed to be broad in nature, allowing flexibility for communities to submit proposals for projects that support economic development and transformation. Although there is a variety of project types that would be eligible for funding under the program, some examples include but are not limited to:

  • Incentive programs that encourage downtown redevelopment, brownfield site redevelopment or infill development.
  • Major engineering plans related to redeveloping or repurposing a defined area.
  • Launching a business incubation program to support business start-ups.
  • Market expansion assessments for industry sectors.
  • Capacity to support sector development.

Applicants are encouraged to consider the Trust’s 2020 – 2022 Strategic Plan goals when articulating their proposal for consideration. The primary goals of the plan are:

  • Supporting the development of resilient and profitable businesses.
  • Stimulating welcoming, thriving communities.
  • Enhancing regional capacity, investment and opportunities for growth.

Funding Terms

It is anticipated that there will be approximately $1.2 million available through the Strategic Initiatives Fund in 2020. While there is no limitation on the maximum grant size available, applications where Northern Development’s investment exceeds 80% of the eligible project budget, or where the amount requested exceeds the program allocation, will not be processed.

The assessment of the required level of funding will take into consideration all other sources of funding available to the applicant. Preference will be given to projects that leverage incremental funding from local government, First Nations, the provincial government, federal government, the private sector and other non-government sources.

Eligible Applicants

  • Local governments
  • Registered First Nation bands
  • Partnerships with not-for-profit corporations or private sector businesses where a local government or registered First Nation band is the lead applicant

Intake Process/To Apply

The Strategic Initiatives Fund will be delivered through a single call for proposals. Submit your proposal cover form (with proposal and all required attachments) to prior to the deadline of 4pm (PST) on July 31, 2020.

The Strategic Initiatives Fund call for proposals process allows for a comparative analysis of projects against the criteria outlined in this guide and strengthens Northern Development’s responsiveness to economic trends and the unique opportunities that exist in central and northern B.C.

Eligible and qualified projects will be reviewed by the Northern Development board for a decision at their October 2020 meeting. Applicants will receive notification from Northern Development regarding the status of their request shortly thereafter.