For Immediate Release
May 6, 2019
Bowen Island receives grant funding for Community Economic Development Planning
BOWEN ISLAND - Bowen Island Municipality has received a $98,936 grant through the Province of BC’s Rural Dividend Program.
Rural Dividend grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Bowen Island Municipality will use the funds to develop a Community Economic Development Plan for Bowen Island.
The Community Economic Development Committee (CEDC) developed the grant application, which was submitted to the Province last summer with Council’s unanimous support. “We are thrilled that the application was successful,” said Rod Marsh, Chair, “and we’d like to acknowledge Councillor Nicholson for her significant role in researching for and writing the application.”
Thanks to the Rural Dividend grant, Bowen Island Municipality will be able to hire a qualified Community Economic Development Officer who will manage the development of the plan over the next couple of years. Work will include conducting a needs assessment of existing conditions, undertaking public engagement, and identifying new strategies, incentives and Municipal policy changes that will allow for a more strategic approach to community economic development, helping Bowen Island to remain rural and true to the goals of the Official Community Plan (OCP). The Municipality’s portion is about 20% of the total project cost in financial and in-kind contributions.
The project will enable the Municipality to deliver on a promise made in the OCP: To complete an Economic Development Plan that will examine short and long-term issues, needs and opportunities to enhance existing and new businesses and associated employment that is complementary to the objectives of the OCP.
“We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia,” said Maureen Nicholson, Municipal Councillor and CEDC member, “and we look forward to planning for a future where economic development is consistent with our community values.”
Along with the introduction of business licensing on Bowen Island, a Community Economic Development Plan is one of the ways Council is working towards strengthening the local economy and supporting local businesses and families, making Bowen Island a more self-reliant, resilient and responsible community.