Pemberton Community Economic Development Strategy and Plan in the works —
BC Rural Dividend Program funds $100,000 grant for 2-year collaborative project to align community
Pemberton, BC/Líl̓watTerritory –The Pemberton & District Chamber of Commerce has secured $100,000 in funding from the BC Rural Dividend Program, for a two year project that will yield a Community Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan.
The project will take place over two years, from March 22, 2019 – March 22, 2021, and will align with the Nuk’w7ántal’ (“We help each other find the way”) government-to-government initiative to build relationships and practice reconciliation.
The goal of the Community Economic Development Strategy project is to provide a point of central contact, vision, and cohesion for the many disparate initiatives taking place to address growth, stimulate opportunity, and serve the communities living in the Territory and region.
Funding and in-kind support totaling $25,000 will come from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, the Village of Pemberton, and Líl̓watNation. Additionally, N’Quatqua has committed in-kind support to the project.
“Our communities’ future resiliency and strength depends on us learning how to work together, to leverage one another’s strengths, and commit to economic justice and opportunity,” said Graham Turner, President of the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve seen such inspiring successes when we work jointly and advocate collaboratively. The ongoing challenge with the conversation around economic development is what does it mean to each of us? And who should lead the dance? We know this will be challenging work, but it is our hope that this project will create a process, address those questions and generate the support and clear direction we need to move forward together. We’re really thrilled to have the funding support to be able to invest in this important conversation, and grateful for the support of our partners in this project.”
The initiative follows two successful $10,000 grants that the Pemberton & District Chamber of Commerce received from the BC Rural Dividend Program, to develop a Data Portal that showcased current data and statistics for the entire region. (See: https://www.pembertonchamber.com/charts/)
Each application has been developed with support of the members of the Pemberton and Area Economic Development Collaborative, a collective (featuring invited participation from the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Pemberton, the Village of Pemberton, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, the Lil’wat Business Group, the Lil’wat Nation, N’Quatqua Nation, Douglas First Nation, Samahquam, Skatin Nation, and the Lower Stl’atl’imx Tribal Council) that has met quarterly since 2018 with a view to bringing together all the Nations and communities in the region to share information, build relationships and collaboratively explore and facilitate economic development opportunities in the greater Pemberton region.
Community economic development has been identified as a priority by partners. Exploring what that means and how to align strengths and vision to “help each other find the way” is at the heart of this project.
Recruiting for a project manager to lead the project over the next two years is underway.
In March 2019, the Province of British Columbia advised 153 applicants around British Columbia that they had successfully gained support from the $19 million Rural Dividend Fund. Nine projects in the Sea to Sky corridor received funding. The Rural Dividend Fund assists rural communities with a population of 25,000 or less to reinvigorate or diversify their local economies and be more resilient.
“Rural Dividend funding supports the diverse needs of small communities throughout the province and the people who live in them,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our government is getting results for people in every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”