Communities under 5,000 and Indigenous communities strongly represented in second intake

COURTENAY, 26 April 2021 – Twenty new, temporary term positions, across more than 17 rural communities, have been approved under the second intake of the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s (ICET) economic recovery program, thanks to funding from the Province of BC.

Through both intakes to the Rural Business and Community Recovery Program (RBCRP), a total of 37 new positions will be created, to support communities with populations under 25,000. The $1.83M in funding from the Province of BC will support 10 regional and sub-regional positions, 22 new jobs in communities under 5000 and 5 positions in other communities under 25,000.

“From the start of the pandemic, the B.C. government has been committed to seeing that people, communities and businesses receive the supports they need to fully recover and succeed in the long term,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This program helps ensure communities throughout the ICET region have the tools and resources to become stronger and more resilient.”

The second application intake, which closed April 9th, showed strong interest from communities under 5,000 and Indigenous communities, who will now have access to the resources required to tackle key challenges and opportunities.

“It is encouraging to see that 85% of funding in this second intake is being targeted to communities under 5000, with half of these projects situated in Indigenous communities,” says ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone. “Smaller, rural and remote communities have big needs. They also have big ideas that these resources will help bring to life.”

The wide variety of projects approved, across the entire program, reflects the diversity of approaches each community has taken in determining priority and direction. A range of positions – from inaugural Economic Development Officers to Business Recovery Advisors and Tourism Recovery Specialists – are among the types of temporary jobs to be created. Many communities, such as the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’Che:k:tles7et’h First Nations, are capitalizing on the opportunity to implement newly completed economic development strategies.

Regional and sub-regional initiatives will be deployed by Economic Development Cowichan, Southern Gulf Islands Community Resource Centre Society and Sunshine Coast Tourism, providing targeted recovery services to broader geographic areas.

In communities under 5,000, community and business recovery activities will be served through new jobs in the Town of Port McNeill, on Cortes and Malcolm Islands, in the Villages of Port Alice and Gold River, with the Uchucklesaht Tribe Government, the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ and the Kwiḵwa̱sut’inux̱w Haxwa’mis First Nations. These positions will each build on, or help support, the execution of economic development strategies, including capacity building, sustainable recovery initiatives, business development, investment attraction and the growth of a year-round economy.

In other rural and remote communities, the focus will be on hiring business advisory professionals to support business adaptation and development of new markets in response to the rapidly changing economy. This includes the Gwa’sala ‘Nakwaxda’xw, Stz’uminus and Huu-ay-aht First Nations as well as the Town of Ladysmith and Bowen Island. In some communities, such as the Wei Wai Kum First Nation, work will focus on both Nation and member businesses, supporting recovery planning and adaptation, transition to digital operations and new business and market development.

All RBCRP jobs are expected to begin in the next month and must be completed before November 2022.

For more information on the Rural Business and Community Recovery Program, please visit our website: www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/recovery-programs

For more information on the first intake of the Rural Business and Community Recovery Program, please read our news release: https://www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/news/new-employment-created-support-rural-economic-recovery

For a complete list of successful projects, please see the appendix below.

ICET gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.


About the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET)
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) mission is to create a more diverse and globally competitive Island and Coastal economy. In partnership with local and regional government, non-profits and indigenous communities, ICET serves nearly half a million residents. Funding and support for economic infrastructure and other economic diversification initiatives is delivered through a unique community centered decision-making process. Since inception, ICET has approved more than $54 million in funding for over 240 initiatives. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2500 construction phase jobs and 2650 long term permanent jobs.

For further information:
Amanda Fortier, Communications Officer
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 *232

Uchucklesaht Tribe Government: Community Economic Development Coordinator- $70,000
This new full-time position will support the development of economic development opportunities both on and off Uchucklesaht Lands. This will include innovative approaches to economic recovery and resiliency, with a specific focus on pandemic recovery. The position will also support longer-term strategic economic development planning, implementation of identified market-focused strategies for Uchucklesaht’s businesses, creating new markets for under-utilized resources, developing new tourism related business plans as well as strategies for citizen employment and increased economic self-reliance.

Town of Port McNeill: Manager of Economic Development – $70,000
The full-time Manager of Economic Development will be primarily responsible for identifying and providing key community resources to help in near and short-term economic recovery initiatives. This new position will also implement the community economic development strategy and its key priorities.  This includes support for current industry and business economic drivers, exploring new non-resource-based opportunities to support economic diversification and new technology related business opportunities, and a wide range of activities to support the growth of Port McNeill as a strategic business and service centre for northern Vancouver Island.

Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations: Economic Development Coordinator – $60,000
This new full-time position will play a central role in coordinating KCFN community economic development, helping build resilience and supporting the expansion of business potential at a regional level. This includes implementing the priorities of the newly completed community economic development strategy, working in partnership with other regional stakeholders and identifying new business development, acquisition and partnership opportunities.

Southern Gulf Islands CRC Society: Community Economic Development Director – $70,000
This position will oversee all planning and development initiatives that improve the SGI communities’ socioeconomic and business development. This includes the implementation of the SGI2020 and Covid-19 economic recovery plans, consulting and advising businesses, organizations and investors, mobilizing resources for implementation of key initiatives, developing new partnerships and promoting the region’s opportunities.

Wei Wai Kum First Nation: Economic Recovery Coordinator – $65,000
This full-time position will provide a range of support within the Wei Wai Kum business community to maintain sustainable economic growth and foster future opportunities. This includes supporting Nation and member businesses to develop recovery plans, support access to financial recovery programs and grants, as well as transition to digital operations or other strategies to remain relevant in the current economy.  The Coordinator will also support the Nation’s broader economic development strategies, initiatives and new member or Nation business development.

Economic Development Cowichan: Economic Development Analyst – $70,000
This part-time position will coordinate delivery of direct business recovery supports in the rural areas of the Cowichan Valley Regional District.  This will also include work with stakeholders and groups to implement sub-regional economic recovery initiatives and support to advance recently completed community economic development plans, such as those in Shawnigan Lake, Cowichan Bay and Cobble Hill.

Gwa’sala ‘Nakwaxda’xw: Digital Marketing Coordinator – $50,000
This full-time position will support the implementation of an enhanced and integrated digital marketing strategy to support the Nation’s brand as a premier Indigenous tourism destination provider. As the region’s tourism related businesses seek to regain market position after pandemic related curtailments, the Coordinator will engage the region and community to identify opportunities, develop new digital capacity and tools, and ensure local and regional marketing efforts are aligned with other economic drivers and maximize potential for market expansion and growth.

Cortes Community EDA: Community Recovery Coordinator/Liaison (2) – $46,000
These two part-time positions will provide one-on-one, community-based business recovery and advisory services. The position will also support broader implementation of community or regional economic recovery strategies, support supply chain management and coordination for local businesses as well as the development of new digital tools and services.

Huu-ay-aht First Nation: Tourism Marketing Coordinator – $20,000
This full-time position will support the implementation of the HFN Hospitality LP’s Tourism Destination Plan, as the Bamfield area reopens to visitor markets. Through the development of a well-defined marketing strategy, the Coordinator will help carry out market research and development, including the promotional campaigns and marketing packages for existing Tourism Industry businesses.

Sointula Resource Centre Society: Community Economic Development /Tourism Development (2)- $45,000
These two part-time positions will support the development and sustainability of the Malcolm Island economy. The Community Economic Development Officer will support individual business recovery, capacity and growth. The position will also identify community development projects, support food security, local markets and farms and identify and access funding opportunities.  The Tourism Development Coordinator position will support local business digital skill building, digital tools, development of new visitor experiences and stronger collective marketing tools.

Stz’uminus First Nation: Business Recovery Advisor – $50,000
This part-time position will support the Coast Salish Development Corporation (CSDC) group of businesses to reimagine and adapt their business models and strategies to address the challenges and opportunities of the post-pandemic business landscape. This will include an increased focus on digital delivery, domestic procurement and market diversification.

Village of Port Alice: Economic Development Officer – $39,000
This new part-time Economic Development Officer position will oversee a range of local community economic recovery activities. This will include direct support to community businesses and support for the development of shovel-ready economic diversification initiatives. The Officer will also work with Vancouver Island North Tourism to create a tourism recovery program strategy and to develop appropriate digital marketing assets.

Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce: Economic Recovery Specialist – $50,000
This full-time Economic Recovery Specialist will be responsible for developing programs and services to support immediate stabilization and recovery for business, including personalized one-on-one coaching and referrals. The Specialist will also be responsible for business retention and expansion information gathering, as well as the development of the response and supports to address both challenges and economic growth opportunities.

Sunshine Coast Tourism: Tourism Recovery Specialist – $45,000
These two part-time positions will support tourism sector recovery and help elevate the Sunshine Coast’s competitiveness as a preferred travel destination both nationally and internationally. This will include support for the implementation of community-based recovery projects and developing new digital and mobile service offerings to support the many small communities of the Sunshine Coast, such as Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt, Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour and Egmont.

Kwiḵwa̱sut’inux̱w Haxwa’mis First Nation: Community Development Coordinator – $42,000
This part-time, remote, position will support the Nation’s development and capacity-building by providing targeted advice and referral to resources, implementing community and regional economic recovery strategies and securing much needed project and program funding.

Village of Gold River: Economic Recovery and Resiliency Coordinator – $50,000
This new position will provide individualized advisory services to businesses, non-profits and other eligible individuals to access economic recovery funding and supports. The position will also support the Gold River Economic Development Committee with the implementation of its recently completed economic development strategy, as well as oversee targeted tourism initiatives.

Tourism Bowen Island Association: Tourism Recovery Coordinator – $36,000
This part-time position will collaborate with local businesses, stakeholders and industry representatives to implement economic recovery initiatives. The position will also enable the community to “build back better” through key economic strategies, such as developing a year-round economy, fostering shoulder and off-season visitation, increasing sustainable visitation experiences and developing new markets to build lasting economic resiliency.

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