Business Benefits

The Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the first in a series of bimonthly posts providing business benefits funding, skills training, and recruitment incentives for hiring new staff.

Did you know - there are hundreds of benefits available from both the federal and provincial governments, but they are not always well publicized? Stay tuned here and we will dig up some good options every second Friday.

If you need help filling out applications or want to talk in more detail about what options there are for your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We are here to help you and your business! Visit our "Business Benefits" page on our website for more information and contact information.

Contact info:
Melanie Myers, Manager
[email protected]

Jerry Ericsson, FIR Advisor
[email protected]

1. Business Skills development workshops through Community Futures B.C. There are more than 20 different workshops available that address a wide range of business topics including marketing and research, skills in financial analysis and business development, HR issues, and communications, and more. Check it out here:

2. Business Training reimbursement of up to $5000: Qualifying businesses may apply for a Reimbursement to cover Business Training costs for education, training and/or certification that directly relates to the business’s ongoing resilience and sustainability:

3. StrongerBC future skills grant for $3500: Thinking of developing personal skills? Every BC resident is eligible to receive up to $3500 in funding for eligible short-term skills training at public post secondary institutions. Check this out and learn something new:


Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund (IHF):

Description: The Indigenous Housing Fund (IHF) provides approximately $1.8 billion to build 3,500 new homes for Indigenous families, individuals and elders, on and off reserve. To date, more than 1,500 IHF homes are open or underway throughout B.C. This is the second request for proposals for this fund. Units developed under the IHF are 100% Rent-Geared-to-Income, however, fixed rents may be considered for projects On-Reserve. Projects will be prioritized based on several criteria, including residential and regional housing needs. See News Release for more information.
Eligible applicants: Prospective partners include Indigenous non-profit housing providers, First Nations or Indigenous governments and non-profit housing providers or private housing developers who wish to
partner with Indigenous housing providers, First Nations or Indigenous governments. BC Housing will accept proposals for the IHF until April 30, 2024, to ensure adequate time for applicants to prepare submissions. The proposals will be evaluated and projects totaling approximately 1,200 units are expected to be announced by summer 2024.
Project Development Fund: New and existing partners interested in applying for future BC Housing funding programs can apply for capacity funding. This funding is intended to help partners develop comprehensive proposals for new affordable housing projects. See more information here.
Funding amount: See Request for Proposals and IHF RFP Factsheet.
Contact: Questions about the proposal will be answered until Feb 2024 - [email protected]
Tourism Growth Program:
Description: The Government of Canada’s Tourism Growth Program (TGP) aims to help small and medium-sized businesses, tourism organizations, and local communities to grow and develop tourism
products and experiences that position Canada as a destination of choice. Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, including PacifiCan, the $108 million TGP provides regionally tailored funding over three years to support communities, businesses and not-for-profit organizations in growing and developing local tourism projects and events. PacifiCan is looking to support projects that have a viable plan to produce strong economic outcomes in the tourism sector.
Eligible applicants: The TGP program is open to businesses and not-for profit organizations. Businesses may apply for interest-free repayable contributions. Not-for profit organizations may apply for non-repayable contributions. All eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements. See here for more information on eligibility.
Deadline: accepting applications from November 20, 2023 at 9:00 AM PST until February 20, 2024 at
noon (PST).
Funding amount:
- Businesses: can apply for interest-free repayable funding of up to $250,000 to support the growth of tourism operations. Preference will be given to projects seeking 50% or less funding from PacifiCan. The stacking limit (from other government sources) cannot generally exceed 50% of
eligible capital costs and 75% for other eligible costs.
- Not-for-profit organizations: can apply for non-repayable funding of up to $250,000 to support the growth of the tourism industry. Preference will be given to projects seeking 65% or less in funding from PacifiCan. The stacking limit may be up to 90% of eligible costs.
Contact: [email protected]

Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program:
Description: facilitates the adoption of transformative technologies and products in the Canadian forest sector by bridging the gap between development and commercialization. Delivered in two streams:
 - Capital Investment projects: provides non-repayable contributions of up to $10 million of a project’s eligible costs to enable forest sector firms to adopt transformational technologies and diversify product streams, ensuring industry competitiveness and greater environmental
- Studies: provides non-repayable contributions of up to $1 million of a project’s eligible costs for studies linked to the advancement of innovation in the forest sector in support of a future capital
investment or a strategic shift by forest sector firms.
Eligible applicants: Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada (non-profit, for-profit, and Indigenous organizations & groups) and Provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and their departments and agencies.
Deadline: June 30, 2024.
Funding amount: Depends on grant type. 
Contact: [email protected]
Federal Rural Transit Solutions Fund:
Description: The Rural Transit Solutions Fund is the first federal fund to target the development of transit solutions in rural and remote communities. Launched in 2021, the Fund provides $250 million in federal funding over 5 years to support the development of locally driven transit solutions that will help people living in rural communities get to work, school, appointments, and to visit loved ones.
Eligible applicants:
 - Municipalities, local and regional governments established under provincial or territorial statute,
including local service districts;
 - Provinces and territories (only for capital projects);
 - Public sector bodies that are established by or under provincial or territorial statute, or by regulation, or are wholly owned by a province, territory, municipal or regional government;
 - Indigenous governing bodies;
 - Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit organizations whose mandate is to improve Indigenous outcomes, organizations serving Indigenous communities living in urban centers and
First Nations living off-reserve;
 - Indigenous development corporations; and,
 - Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit organizations.
Eligible activities:
 - Capital Projects stream: Through this stream, eligible applicants can seek contributions of up to $3 million to help cover the capital costs of a new or expanded transit solution (e.g., purchase of vehicles or digital platforms), and up to $5 million to support zero-emission transit solutions (e.g., for the purchase of a zero-emission vehicles).
 - Planning and Design Projects stream: Through this stream, eligible applicants can seek grants of up to $50,000 in support of communities' projects to plan and design new or expanded transit
solutions for their communities.
Deadline: A continuous intake of the Capital Projects stream and Planning and Design Projects stream are open. While there is currently no set submission deadline, Infrastructure Canada will notify potential
applicants in advance via the web page and applicant portal should funding no longer be available. Infrastructure Canada encourages applicants to submit their application as soon as possible to increase
the likelihood of securing available funding.
Funding amount: Funding depends on which stream is applied for.
Contact: For any inquiries you may have about the Rural Transit Solutions Fund or the application process, please contact [email protected] or call toll free at 1-833-699-2280.

Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture Program:
Description: a new provincial cost-share funding opportunity that aims to increase farm-level climate resilience to extreme weather events. 
Eligible applicants: a new provincial cost-share funding opportunity that aims to increase farm-level climate resilience to extreme weather events. 
Eligible activities: Funding is available under three streams for the first pilot intake:
1.     Wildfire Preparedness Stream
2.     Flooding Preparedness Stream
3.     Extreme Heat Preparedness Stream
Deadline: Next intake scheduled for January 2024. The Investment Agriculture Foundation will be accepting the applications. More information is coming soon.
Contact: [email protected] or 1 888-221-7141.
Community Emergency Preparedness Fund - Emergency Support Services Equipment and Training:
Description: The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) is a suite of funding programs intended to support First Nations and local governments to better prepare for disasters and reduce risks
from natural hazards in a changing climate. Funding is provided by the Province of BC and is administered by Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). As of April 2023, the funding streams include:
 - Disaster risk reduction-climate adaptation
 - Emergency operations centres equipment and training
 - Emergency support services equipment and training
 - Extreme temperature risk mapping, assessment, and planning
 - Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training
 - Public notification and evacuation route planning
   - Volunteer and composite fire departments equipment and training
Eligible applicants: All First Nations (bands and Treaty First Nations) and local governments (municipalities and regional districts) in BC are eligible to apply.
Deadline: The application deadline is January 26, 2024. Applicants will be advised of the status of their application within 90 days of the application deadline.
Funding amount: The Emergency Support Services Equipment and Training funding stream can
contribute a maximum of 100% of the cost of eligible activities to a maximum of $30,000.
Contact: [email protected]
BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund:
Description: helps manufacturing companies modernize, innovate, and grow by providing funding for capital projects in all regions in B.C., particularly in communities affected by economic impacts or
Eligible applicants: Businesses, For-profit organizations, Entities with for-profit manufacturing operations, including First Nations and Indigenous- and First Nation-owned enterprises.
Eligible activities: two funding streams:
- Project Readiness: Funding to complete final-stage business and project planning, including operational and technical assessments.
 - Capital Investment: Funding to invest in new or renovated manufacturing infrastructure, technology, equipment, and processes, including renovating idle industrial buildings such as an unused mill site.
Deadline: Ongoing.
Funding amount: Project Readiness stream: $50,000 max, capital investment stream: $100,000-10,000,000.
Contact: [email protected]
First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund:
Description: The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF) promotes increased Indigenous community participation in the clean energy sector within their asserted traditional territories and treaty
areas. The fund provides agreements between the B.C. Government and successful applicants for Capacity funding and Equity funding. It also provides revenue sharing agreements between the B.C.
Government and eligible First Nations.
Eligible applicants: An Indigenous governing body, however organized and established by Indigenous peoples.
Eligible activities (see program guidelines for details):
 - Capacity Funding:
- Community Energy Plans – up to $30,000
- Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility Studies – up to $50,000
- Training for Community Members – up to $50,000

 - Equity Funding:
- Demand Side Management/Energy Efficiency – up to $150,000
- Clean Energy Generation (small scale installation – up to $150,000
- Pre-Construction/Pre-Commercial Operational date – up to $500,000
- Investment in existing IPP - $500,000

Deadline: April 30, 2024
Funding amount: see above; see program guidelines for details.
Contact: [email protected] or 1 800 880-1022 (Toll free)
BC Vision Zero in Road Safety:
Description: provides up to $20,000 for each project aimed at protecting vulnerable road users, people who walk, cycle, or scoot, when they travel around their communities. Organizations can use these funds to make infrastructural improvements to roadways, enact policies or enforcement measures, launch educational campaigns, or carry out other innovative projects that make travelling safer and more equitable. Projects must take place in British Columbia and on roads NOT under Ministry of
Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) jurisdiction.
Eligible applicants: local governments, Indigenous governments, Non-governmental organizations
Deadline: January 15, 2024 at 3:00PM PST.
Funding amount: Up to $20,000 in funding per project is available. Larger funding amounts are likely to
be considered if:
 - The project is expected to benefit a large number of people;
 - At least one partnership has been secured that offers additional financial contributions; or
    - A strong implementation and evaluation plan has been created, and the applicant has sufficient expertise to execute the project successfully.
Contact: [email protected]
Infrastructure Planning Grant Program:
Description: This program offers funding for local government planning activities that support energy and climate change action. Infrastructure Planning Grants are provided for projects to study the feasibility,
costs, technology, and location of proposed sewer, water, drainage, transportation, or other local government infrastructure. The grants can be used for community energy planning or energy related feasibility studies.
Eligible activities:  Grants of up to $10,000 are available to help local governments develop or improve long-term comprehensive plans including, and not limited to:
 - Asset management plans
 - Integrated stormwater management plans
 - Water master plans
   - Liquid waste management plans
Deadline: January 10, 2024
Funding amount: Up to $10,000
Contact: [email protected]
Land Acquisition Grants – Columbia Basin Trust:
Description: support local governments, First Nations communities and non-profit organizations to acquire property for public purposes.
Eligible applicants: Local governments, First Nations communities and registered non-profit organizations in the CBT region are eligible to apply.
Eligible activities: Applications must demonstrate that the:
 - acquisition will provide broad public benefit over the long-term;
 - the applicant has a long history of successful program delivery, stable long-term funding and the
capacity to manage a capital project; and 
 - the applicant has organizational capacity for long-term asset management.
Deadline: Ongoing until annual funding allocation has been reached.
Funding amount: The Trust will support up to 60 per cent of any individual acquisition up to a maximum contribution of $750,000 per project.
Contact: Contact the Trust to inquire about your project at [email protected], or submit a project inquiry online:
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