Business

Regional thinking gets local results

The newly released Island Coastal Economic Trust annual report for 2013-2014 highlights the year’s results as well as the local impacts of the funding which has been disbursed to economic development projects in the region.

In 2006, the Province of BC invested $50 million into an economic development model governed by local leaders, enabling local decision making for economic investment.

To date, this fund has disbursed $44.3 million to projects on the Island north of the Malahat and on the Sunshine Coast.

These funds have generated more than $268 million in additional investment to the region; this means an additional $4.7 dollars of economic development investment for every original dollar invested by the province.  It also means more than 2500 construction jobs and 2,200 long term jobs, benefitting residents, businesses and even governments with increased taxation revenue.

But the greatest benefit is the long term change which happens in communities due to new amenities, improved transportation, business growth and new resident and business attraction.

“The theme of this year’s report is ‘Regional thinking, local results’, and that’s an apt metaphor for how ICET has operated since its inception in 2006,” said Board Chair Phil Kent. “When you look at the spin-offs from projects like the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet which is now rated by TripAdvisor as the #1 attraction in all of B.C., it becomes obvious that investments in economic infrastructure are catalysts for growth and change.”

The annual report, available at www.islandcoastaltrust.ca, also profiles the Trust’s newest endeavour: the Economic Development Readiness Program. With more than $4M remaining to allocate to new projects, applicants are encouraged to visit the new www.islandcoastaltrust.ca site to learn more and apply.

Applications for Economic Infrastructure Funding are due by Sept. 19 for the North Island and Sunshine Coast region.

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