Best practices in the successful economic revitalization in other jurisdictions all have a common key rural development tool — increasing access to rural investment capital. Rural areas typically have much slower rates of permanent population growth, small business creation and business expansion and as a result have a more difficult time attracting investment. This is certainly true for many of BC’s rural communities.

As a result, SIBAC has been a strong and vocal advocate for developing new tools to increase rural access to investment capital. The Reversing the Tide Initiative produced case studies of the successful U.S. model used in Kentucky and Maine.

More recently, in May 2014, SIBAC organized a series of workshops and conferences to highlight two of the most successful models in Canada — Nova Scotia’s CEDIF program and Alberta’s Unleashing Local Capital initiative. Copies of the powerpoint presentations and videos of the presenters from these conferences can be viewed here.

To encourage greater access to rural investment capital SIBAC is currently focusing on three major activities:

  1. Encouraging the Provincial Government to create a BC equivalent to the Nova Scotia program;
  2. Supporting the creation of the Christina Lake Venture Capital Corporation; and
  3. Sponsoring a major project to bring the Unleashing Local Capital Project to BC.