Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, was in Courtenay Thursday to announce the launch of a new Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot. At right is Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard. Scott Stanfield photo

B.C. looks to attract global business people to its smaller cities

Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston made the announcement in Courtenay Thursday

The provincial government has launched a new pilot program to draw entrepreneurs from around the world to B.C.’s smaller communities.

“Due to an aging workforce and a preference for city living, some smaller towns can face challenges growing their local economies,” Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston said in a news release Thursday, adding the program will be set up in 30 communities.

To be eligible, a community must have a population of fewer than 75,000 and be at least 30 kilometres away from municipalities with more than 75,000 residents. It must also have three economic development sectors.

A previous program required would-be immigrants to have a personal net worth of $600,000 and a business investment of $200,000. This project requires a net worth of $300,000, an investment of $100,000, and the creation of one new job.

The business owner must also maintain 51-per-cent ownership and have three years’ or more experience in owning a business.

The 30 communities involved in the pilot include:

  • Barriere
  • Burns Lake
  • Castlegar and surrounding area
  • Courtenay, Comox and areas within the Comox Valley Regional District
  • Gibsons
  • Kimberley
  • Mackenzie
  • Merritt
  • Nelson
  • Port Alberni
  • Powell River
  • Prince George
  • Quesnel
  • Rossland
  • Sechelt
  • Squamish
  • Sunshine Coast Regional District
  • Terrace
  • Trail
  • Tumbler Ridge
  • Vernon
  • Williams Lake
Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

Construction on Castlegar cannabis facility to start soon

Craft cannabis park will be first of its kind in Canada.

RCMP respond to 65 calls over past week

By Lorne Eckersley Creston RCMP responded to 65 calls for assistance from… Continue reading

Music students, teachers, set to perform

Pictured above: CVMTA teacher Anita Stushnoff will be among the performers at… Continue reading

Fabric artist takes ‘slow clothing’ to a new level

Pictured above: Fabric artist Anne Fetterly and Bruce McFarlane. Lorne Eckersley photo… Continue reading

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read