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New ETSI intake has monetary spinoff for Kootenay region

December 18, 2023  By Local Journalism Initiative

By Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


The move to make Kootenay businesses climate resilient is one of the major upcoming economic development projects to be funded by the latest round of Economic Trust of Southern Interior grants.

The Central Kootenay Community Futures office will be receiving $30,000 for the Climate Resilient Kootenay Businesses project, announced late last week by the Economic Trust of Southern Interior (ETSI).


The CKCF project was one of 27 that were awarded a portion of the $.52 million of funding — through the fall funding intake — to help “build and diversify the region’s economy.”

Along with $1.1 million in funding announced through the Regional Transportation Enhancement funding program, it means over $3 million will be given out to communities and First Nations of the Southern Interior in the last fiscal year, said ETSI chief executive officer Laurel Douglas in a press release.

She said the money will help to create and maintain over 7,000 jobs in the Southern Interior.

“We are? proud of the transformative value this funding has on our Southern Interior communities,” she said.

The trust provides funding through five streams, including: building economic development capacity; supporting business resilience and growth; developing human capital; innovating and advancing key sectors; and creating value for the economic development ecosystem.

Since the trust was re-launched in April three years ago, it has approved $7.7 million in grant funding, supporting projects valued at over $17 million and created or maintained almost 18,000 jobs in the region, Douglas said.

In addition to the CFCK project, the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre will receive $15,000 for its EcoRenovate: Building a Sustainable Future awareness campaign, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association will have $15,000 to spend on building regional cannabis trails, and the Rotary Club of Castlegar Sunrise will see $11,000 for the Ecolink, Castlegar to Selkirk. The Slocan Valley Chamber of Commerce will get $15,000 for its New Denver visitor centre feasibility study.

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