Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO Joel McKay. (Photo submitted)

Northern Development commits $1.1 million in grant funding to business recovery and innovation

NDIT committing funds to Competitiveness Consulting Rebate and Northern Industries Innovation Fund

Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) is continuing its support of small businesses in Northern B.C. by committing $1.1 million in grant funding for 2020.

The Competitiveness Consulting Rebate (CCR), along with the Northern Industries Innovation Fund (NIIF), are programs that directly support businesses in central and northern B.C that implement projects to create measurable economic benefit for the region, according to a news release from NDIT.

“Central and northern B.C. are crucial to the economic well-being of our entire province, and support for innovation is key to ensuring long-term prosperity in our resource industries,” Michelle Mungall, minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, said in the release. “The continuation of these successful programs will help allow more small businesses in central and northern B.C. to grow, become more competitive, create new jobs and strengthen local economies.”

Northern Development has committed $600,000 to the CCR program and $500,000 to the NIIF program, according to an announcement made Jan. 30 in Prince George.

“Northern B.C.’s economy has taken a hit this past year with mill closures and curtailments. However, the people who live and work here are resilient and capable,” said NDIT CEO Joel McKay. “Northern Development is eager to support those businesses in our region that seek out innovative opportunities in order to grow our economy and improve life in the north.”

The Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program provides a rebate to small and medium-sized businesses engaged in manufacturing, innovative technologies, resource processing, transportation, distribution and their first line suppliers for customized outsourced consulting services.

These program funds can also be used for the Forestry Affected Businesses (FAB) Consulting Rebate, which assists businesses in communities affected by permanent mill closures or curtailments. This program was introduced in 2019 and will be extended through 2020, according to the release.

The Northern Industries Innovation Fund program provides funding for small and medium-sized companies engaged in forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, mining, energy, oil and gas, manufacturing and activities related to these sectors. The program will support applied research and development, new or improved products and services and testing of innovative equipment or technologies to support capital investment decisions.

The program is also intended to support economic diversification and/or viability of businesses to mitigate the economic impact of the pine beetle epidemic.

“This funding will support economic development in northern B.C.,” said Bruce Ralston, minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “It provides greater opportunity for small and medium-sized companies to be innovative and grow as they support our mining and energy sectors.”

Eligible companies can apply for either program on an ongoing basis. For more information, contact Felicia Magee, Director of Business Development, by phone at 250-561-2525 or by email at

READ MORE: Northern Development Initiative Trust offers rebate for businesses affected by mill closures, curtailments

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