Northern Development has been strategically investing millions of dollars into small- and medium-sized businesses for over a decade. The Trust’s support is delivered in a variety of unique ways, from rebates supporting innovative projects (through the Northern Industries Innovation Fund) to Love Northern BC, the largest shop-local program in Canada. The Supply Chain Connector is an industrial supply and service database of businesses located within the Trust’s service region.
The Northern Industries Innovation Fund (NIIF) supports innovative projects in a variety of industries, including forestry, agriculture, energy, mining and manufacturing. Up to $50,000 is available to businesses that are undertaking innovative projects that increase their competitiveness in traditional industries across Northern B.C. Since 2018, Northern Development has approved 14 projects through NIIF, committing $685,613 to Northern B.C. businesses.
The Competitiveness Consulting Rebate (CCR) provides businesses with up to a $30,000 rebate when they hire an external consultant. The consultant must focus on providing the business with ways to increase productivity, generate new or incremental revenues, increase profitability and/or create jobs. Businesses that are engaged in manufacturing, innovative technologies, resource processing, transportation, distribution and their first line suppliers within the Trust’s service region are eligible for this rebate. CCR was launched by Northern Development in 2008 and has supported 479 projects with more than $4.5 million.
Twice, an offshoot of CCR has been created by the Trust to support businesses that have been affected by unusual circumstances. The first was the Wildfire Recovery Rebate, which was one of the tools available to businesses that were impacted by the 2017 and 2018 wildfires. Through this temporary funding opportunity, 20 businesses in the Cariboo-Chilcotin/Lillooet region received $371,476 in rebates after hiring a professional consultant.
Mason & Daly and Michael Bednar Photography, both based in the Cariboo, have received a funding through the Wildfire Recovery Rebate. Read how about how the rebate helped their respective companies and where their business is going in our success stories: Refocusing after the flames and Mason & Daly make 21st century changes.
The second offshoot of CCR was announced by Northern Development in August 2019. The Forestry Affected Business (FAB) Consulting Rebate also reimburses small- and medium-sized businesses with up to 75 per cent, to a maximum of $15,000, for the costs of hiring an external consultant to support the business during the economic downturn in the forestry industry. FAB supports businesses in a range of industries, including retail, tourism, agriculture, innovation, hospitality and more in any community that has been affected by mill closures or curtailments in the Trust’s service area. In less than three months, more than $67,000 has been committed to five businesses through this program.