Since 2008, Northern Development has offered the Economic Development Capacity Building program to provide a financial incentive for local governments to hire and maintain an economic development officer or to pursue economic development opportunities. Since the funding program’s inception, the District of Kitimat has successfully applied to the program each year to support economic development in their community.
“Receiving the Economic Development Capacity Building Grant each year from Northern Development helps the District maintain highly skilled economic development staff,” said Mayor Phil Germuth, District of Kitimat. “2020 was an unusual year with the challenges of COVID-19 and opportunities generated by the LNG pipeline development. Having a strong and capable economic development team strategically guide our businesses and community during this period of growth will benefit Kitimat for years to come.”
In 2020, the District of Kitimat received $50,000, the maximum grant amount, through the Economic Development Capacity Building program. This grant was used for partial wages for the director of economic development. Their workload included managing the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, managing and guiding the economic impacts of LNG Canada’s construction, completing a Kitimat Community branding and marketing program, continuing the northwest resident attraction campaign and continuing to promote the Love Kitimat program.
Northern Development has invested $22.9 million for 598 projects through the Economic Development Capacity Building Program, $2.15 million of which was approved in 2020. Local governments in the Trust’s service region are eligible to apply for this grant.