Community Futures Boundary says it made over $1 million in small business investment loans in 2023.
A year-end report shows those 16 loans created or maintained 28 jobs in the Boundary.
The number of jobs created or maintained is down slightly from the previous year ($1.85 million for 32 jobs).
In an interview with Vista Radio, Economic Development Manager Sandy Elzinga says 13 businesses were also started through the self-employment program with WorkBC – a big jump from two businesses in the previous year.
“Certainly there is a theme of individuals seeking smaller communities to live in. Moving out of more of the urban centers into the rural centers. Grand Forks, as you know, is a very attractive community…they’re moving here for lifestyle choices,” Elzinga said.
Community Futures also advised nearly 1,000 people in 2023.
“It can be a quick phone call. Somebody calling and asking just a bit of advice or it can be as in depth as we refer them to a program where they receive some more in depth advice from a business adviser,” she said.
Elzinga says 2023 was an “extremely busy year” and the work has been busy consistently for the past five years. “We’ve actually been right on target with our investments.”
Community Futures Boundary subcontracts employment services for the Boundary region with Kootenay Career Development Services in Nelson.
Figures from the WorkBC programs shows $279,000 financial supports were doled out. In addition to the $80,000 support for the 13 businesses started, there was $80,000 for training supports for clients and $94,000 in wage subsidies for employers.