Many local governments throughout the region operate with a small dedicated staff. These workers wear many hats, taking on a wide range of municipal responsibilities. As a result, the task of economic development, one so important to the region, can sometimes fall to the backburner as other more pressing issues are attended to.
Northern Development’s Economic Development Capacity Building Program was developed as a response to this issue. The program provides participating communities with an annual rebate of up to $50,000 to help support their economic development initiatives. To date, Northern Development has committed more than $15,512,485 to empower local governments and their economic development officers since the program’s inception in 2008.
Frequently, these funds are used to offset the costs of hiring an additional staff person who can truly champion the community’s economic development plans and the region. Here are a few examples:
“The Economic Development Capacity Building grant provides us with the people power to complete projects and continue programs that support economic development in Quesnel, including our award-winning Healthcare Professional Recruitment Program, business retention and expansion activities, exploration of investment opportunities, and marketing initiatives that promote Quesnel as great place to live and do business,” said Amy Reid, economic development officer, City of Quesnel.
100 Mile House
“The District of 100 Mile House has accessed the Economic Development Capacity Building funding every year since 2008. Being able to do so has enabled the District to employ myself as director of economic development and planning, which expands our capacity as a local government to identify and pursue opportunities that we simply could not do without the support of Northern Development. It also allows us to create and deliver programs and other supports to the local economy such as our updated visitor guide, trade shows and hosting the economic development building blocks workshop,” said Joanne Doddridge, director of economic development and planning, District of 100 Mile House.
Cariboo Regional District
“We work closely with our network of community groups to advance projects and initiatives that strengthen our communities. We are pleased to help community groups identify funding streams for projects and complete successful grant applications. Our capacity to do this is made possible through annual funding the CRD receives from Northern Development through the Economic Development Capacity Building Program as well as the Grant Writing Support Program,” said Jordan Hammond, economic development officer, Cariboo Regional District.