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:
- Burns Lake
- Castlegar and surrounding area
- Courtenay, Comox and areas within the Comox Valley Regional District
- Port Alberni
- Powell River
- Prince George
- Sunshine Coast Regional District
- Tumbler Ridge
- Williams Lake