Earlier this month the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society received approval from the provincial government for their 2001-02 Business Plan. The Plan calls for the largest transfer to date - $2.5 million - from the Northern Development Fund to be paid to the Society. Society activities and programs are supported through the Northern Development Fund, managed by the government of British Columbia. The Fund was jointly established in 1997 by the government and Alcan in the amount of $15 million.
Over the last two years, portions of the Fund have been transferred to the Society for their economic development grant and loans programs, based on their annual business plans. In the last year, over $500,000 has been approved for grant projects in the Society’s investment area.
Society Manager, Fiona Glass, sees the latest transfer as a significant boost to Society programs, "our Business Plan introduces a new program to maximize the benefits of the Northern Development Fund to our area as well as allowing us to maintain funding levels on our existing programs."
The Community Legacy program, newly introduced by the Society, will see the lion’s share of the transfer (just over $2 million) being invested for perpetuity. Interest gained on the principle will be channeled into future Society activities and programs. The rest of this year’s contribution will be used to top up NKDF Society operations and programs to budgeted levels. For 2001-02 a total of $1 million will be available for grants and $1 million for business loans.
The Society provides loans and grants to legal organizations for projects that create sustaining employment opportunities, diversify the economy, improve capacity to generate economic development and that improve the basic infrastructure needed for growth, jobs, community stability and quality of life.
Society Chair, Dave Merz, is happy to have the most recent cheque in the bank, "we have worked hard to ensure we are doing the best we can for our investment area, and this transfer will allow us to better meet the growing demand for our programs."
More information on the NKDF Society is available by calling their toll free line at 1 877 478 3863 or visiting their web-site (www.ndf.gov.bc.ca).
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Contact: Fiona Glass
(250) 877 6922
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
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