Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions page is intended to aid prospective applicants in the preparation of their application. 

  1. Can we use the BC Rural Dividend Program funds for an infrastructure project?
  2. How will I know what kinds of costs are eligible?
  3. Can we apply for funding to cover some costs that we have already incurred?
  4. Can we apply for funding to upgrade our municipal infrastructure, such as a water treatment plant?
  5. Can we include administration costs?
  6. Our proposal involves a project that will continue operating after the Program funding ends. Can we include any future operational costs?
  7. Can we use funds to pay for staff wages?
  8. Our community would like to pursue a new destination trail project, is that an eligible proposal?
  9. Do I have to include a budget?
  10. I keep getting a “missing field” notification on my budget, what’s missing?
  11. Why is my funding request to the Rural Dividend automatically showing up in Section 3 of the budget form?
  12. Why can’t I add more lines to the cost or funding sections on the budget sheet?
  13. I have a cost that doesn’t fit in any of the provided project category costs, where should it go?
  14. I have a cost that’s partially in-kind and partially not, how should I list it?
  15. I’m getting a note on my budget that the equipment, capital, and supplies costs total more than 25% of the total project cost, what does this mean?
  16. I’m getting a note on my budget that the infrastructure related costs total more than 25% of the total project cost, what does this mean?
  17. Do the limits on equipment, capital, and supplies costs and infrastructure (maximum 25% of total project cost for each) apply to trail projects?

 

Program Information

  1. What is the BC Rural Dividend Program?
  • The BC Rural Dividend is providing $25 million a year for four years starting in April 2016 to help rural communities across B.C. with a population of 25,000 or less reinvigorate and diversify their local economies so they remain attractive places to live and work.
  1. What kinds of projects will be funded?
  • There are four project categories (listed below). Eligible applications that best demonstrate alignment with the selection criteria will be prioritized for funding.
    • Community Capacity Building
    • Workforce Development
    • Community and Economic Development
    • Business Sector Development
  • For more information, see Section 6 in the Program Guide.

Eligibility

  1. What is the definition of an eligible community?
  • A community with a population of 25,000 or less, located outside the geographic boundaries of Metro Vancouver and the Capital Regional District, or, unincorporated areas with a population of 25,000 people or less are eligible communities.
  1. How do I know if I am eligible to apply?
  • Local governments, First Nations, and not-for-profit organizations that meet the criteria in Section 4 of the Program Guide can apply.
  1. How do I know if my community is eligible?
  • Communities must have less than 25,000 residents and meet the criteria in Section 3 of the Program Guide.
  1. I belong to a provincial not-for-profit organization. We have an idea for a project that will benefit an Eligible Community. Can we apply?
  • Provincial/regional not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply to the program, but must have a B.C. location and active presence in the Province.
  • However, not-for-profit organizations that have received significant foundational funding from the Province are not eligible applicants.
  1. Why are not-for-profits who have received significant foundational funding from the Province not eligible applicants?
  • The program has reached a decision to open up the eligibility beyond locally based not-for-profits, however, with a restriction that those not-for-profits that have received significant foundational funding from the Province are ineligible.
  • The exclusion of those entities is in recognition that those not-for-profits have already received a uniquely high level of government support, and allows the Province to more widely support economic diversification. 
  1. I work for Community Futures British Columbia, are we able to apply?
  • Please note that the restriction on foundational funding applies only to funds received from the Province. Organizations funded by the federal government, such as Community Futures, will be eligible to apply.
  1. Where does the Program get its population statistics?
  1. Can one of our local businesses apply?
  • Private businesses are not an eligible applicant. However, a for-profit business can participate as a partner with an eligible applicant as long as the partner has an active role in the project, the project offers broad community benefits, and does not negatively impact another business in the community.
  1. Are Universities and Colleges eligible applicants?​
  • No, Universities and Colleges cannot apply but they can be partners on an application.
  1. What type of financial statements does my organization need to apply?
  • The type of financial statements required depends on the level of funding being requested.
    • $0 - $10,000 requires internally prepared financial statements signed by two board members.
    • $10,001 - $100,000 requires review engagement statements.
    • $100,001 - $500,000 requires audited financial statements.
  • See Section 18 of the Program Guide for additional information on the types of financial statements required by the Program.
  1. Can I receive funding for a development corporation that is owned by our First Nation?
  • Yes, development corporations controlled by a First Nation are eligible to receive funding, see Section 4 of the Program Guide for more information.
  1. Can my organization partner with an entity that we own?
  • No, partners will not be considered eligible if they are owned by or own the applicant organization.
  • Partners will also be deemed ineligible if they and the applicant are owned by the same entity.  
  1. We’ve received funding for the project from other government programs and development trusts. Can we list these funding sources as partners in our partnership application?
  • No, organizations that are only providing funding to a project but will take no further role are not eligible partners.
  • Partners must have an active role in the project.
  1. If a community is a partner (but not an applicant) on a project, can the same community submit their own individual project?​
  • Eligible applicants are limited to the submission of one project development application and one project application (single applicant or partnership) in each intake, however a community is not limited to the times it can appear as a partner. 
  • As a result, an eligible applicant who partners on a project is still able to submit a project development application and an additional project application (single applicant or partnership) in the same intake period.
  • See Section 20 of the Program Guide for more detail.
  1. If we were successful in one round of funding can we apply again to fund our phase 2?​
  • Yes, you are able to apply for phase 2 funding of an already funded project. A successful application in one round does not in any way guarantee funding in subsequent rounds.
  • All applications will be assessed based on merit and ranked alongside other applications from that intake period.
  • A phase 2 project will only be considered if phase 1 of the project is in good standing with the Program.

Timing

  1. When can we apply?
  • The third intake for the Rural Dividend will run from April 3, 2017 to Midnight PDT May 31, 2017.
  1. A requirement of the online application form is a resolution from council, but council will not meet until after the application deadline. Can we submit the application and then send in the resolution after the deadline?
  • No, all sections of the online application form must be completed on or before the deadline for each intake.
  1. Is the deadline the same for the project development funding?
  • Yes, but applications to the Project Development funding stream will undergo an expedited review and assessment process.
  1. How and when will I learn if my application has been approved?
  • All applicants will be advised of funding decisions once the review and assessment process ends.
  • Decisions on applications are expected within four months after the application intake deadline.
  1. How soon after the deadline can I check on the status of our application?
  • Applicants will receive an automatic confirmation of the receipt of your application shortly after the time of submission.
  • You will be advised once the review and assessment process ends. Applicants will not be notified of the ongoing status of their application during the process.

Funding

  1. What are the funding limits?
  • Funding streams include:
    • Project Development: Maximum Funding: $10,000.  Eligible applicants can apply for up to 100% of the total cost to develop feasibility assessments and business cases to support possible future project applications.
    • Single Applicant: Maximum Funding: $100,000. Eligible applicants can apply for up to 80% of the total project cost, and are required to contribute 20% of the total project cost.
    • Partnerships: Maximum Funding: $500,000. Eligible applicants can apply for up to 60% of the total project cost, and are required contribute 40% of the total project cost.
  • Up to 10% of the applicant contribution can be in-kind contributions.
  1. What can we include through our in-kind contribution?
  • In-kind contributions include goods and services such as staff time, use of space or equipment. These types of contributions should be valued at fair market value.
  • The applicant contribution to the project (at least 20% for single applicants and 40% for partnerships) can include up to 10% in-kind contributions.
  1. Are there any exceptions to the program funding streams?
  • Under special circumstances where an eligible community is facing significant economic downturn and hardship due to the loss of a key economic driver, funding support will be considered on the basis of the community’s unique situation.
  • For consideration under special circumstances, contact the Program. 
  1. Can we accept funding from other government sources?
  • Applicants are encouraged to seek additional project funding from other government sources, including other levels of government – municipal, regional, First Nation or federal.
  • However, the applicant’s financial contribution cannot include funding from another federal or provincial government program except for the Community Works Fund.
  1. Is there funding available to help us prepare a project?
  • Yes, the program has a project development funding stream that offers up to $10,000 so communities with limited capacity can develop business cases or feasibility studies for a possible application in a future intake.
  • If this leads to a project application, there is no guarantee of approval of funding.
  1. Is there a specific timeline for proposed projects? Can we apply for multi-year projects?
  • Yes, projects must be completed within two years from the project start date.
  • If your project is projected to be longer than two years, it is suggested that you break the project into phases.
  • Applicants can apply for funding for multiple phases of a project; however approval in one phase does not guarantee funding for a subsequent phase.
  1. Are communities able to use funds from Development Trusts and Beetle Action Coalitions to fulfill the applicant financial contribution requirement?
  • All non-profit organizations, including Development Trusts and Beetle Action Coalitions, can provide funding towards an applicant’s financial contribution.

Eligible Costs & Budget

  1. Can we use the BC Rural Dividend Program funds for an infrastructure project?
  • Eligible projects can include infrastructure costs up to 25% of the total project cost. Applications that have more than 25% of the total project cost in infrastructure cost will result in the ineligibility of the project.  
  • Traditional municipal infrastructure projects (i.e. water, sewer, sidewalks) are not eligible.
  1. How will I know what kinds of costs are eligible?
  • Costs must be reasonable and essential for delivery of the project.
  • Section 13 of the Program Guide provides examples of eligible project costs.
  • If your application includes unessential or unreasonable costs, this could affect the assessment of your project.
  1. Can we apply for funding to cover some costs that we have already incurred?
  • Costs that were incurred before an application is submitted are not eligible.
  • An applicant may begin to incur costs once an application has been submitted; however, there is no guarantee that the project will be successful in funding.
  1. Can we apply for funding to upgrade our municipal infrastructure, such as a water treatment plant?
  • No, program funding is not intended to be used for traditional municipal infrastructure projects.
  1. Can we include administration costs?
  • You can include costs related to project implementation or project management but not costs associated with administering the project such as preparing progress reports.
  1. Our proposal involves a project that will continue operating after the Program funding ends. Can we include any future operational costs?
  • No, the application requires that you indicate who will be responsible for any ongoing costs.
  1. Can we use funds to pay for staff wages?
  • Program funding can only be used for new hires to work 100% on eligible project-related activities.
  • Any current staff members working part time on the project can be counted towards the in-kind contributions to the Project.
  • Wages to cover staff on project administration is not eligible.
  1. Our community would like to pursue a new destination trail project, is that an eligible proposal?
  • Yes, trail projects are eligible.
  • See Section 15 of the Program Guide for more information on destination trail projects.
  1. Do I have to include a budget?
  • Yes, a budget is a mandatory supporting document; the Rural Dividend Budget form can be found on the Program website.
  • Failure to include a completed Rural Dividend Budget form will result in ineligibility for funding.
  1. I keep getting a “missing field” notification on my budget, what’s missing?
  • Once you enter either a description, amount, or select a line from a drop-down box you must fill in all other fields on the same line to cause the “missing field” notification to disappear.
  1. Why is my funding request to the Rural Dividend automatically showing up in Section 3 of the budget form?
  • The Rural Dividend budget form auto-calculates your funding request and in-kind contribution based on your selection from the drop-down list in the box next to each cost under the “Funding” column.
  • There are three options to select from this list:
    • Rural Dividend – select for each cost Rural Dividend funding will be allocated towards. By selecting “Rural Dividend”, the cost will also be added to your funding request.
    • In-kind – select for each cost you or your partner(s) will be providing as an in-kind contribution. By selecting this option, the cost will be added to the total in-kind contribution.
    • Other – select for each cost that you will not be allocating Rural Dividend funding towards and that is not an in-kind contribution. 
  • Each cost you enter in the Rural Dividend budget form must have a selection in the “Funding” column.
  1. Why can’t I add more lines to the cost or funding sections on the budget sheet?
  • Program criteria requires that budgets be submitted on one standardized form. Project costs should be clear and concise. If you require more lines or funding please attach an extra breakdown description with the application budget sheet.
  1. I have a cost that doesn’t fit in any of the provided project category costs, where should it go?
  • Any costs that don’t fit into the pre-designated categories should go into the “other” category and should be well described, so the Program office can determine eligibility of the costs.
  1. I have a cost that’s partially in-kind and partially not, how should I list it?
  • If you have a cost that is partially an in-kind contribution, identify the cost on two separate lines, list one with in-kind as the funding source and the other as either Rural Dividend funding, or “Other.”
  1. I’m getting a note on my budget that the equipment, capital, and supplies costs total more than 25% of the total project cost, what does this mean?
  • Equipment, capital, and supplies costs cannot equal more than 25% of the total project cost, see Section 13 of the Program Guide for more detail.
  • Make sure that you have entered all costs into your budget sheet, and that there are no typos in project costs.
  • If your budget is submitted with more than 25% of the total project costs in equipment, capital, and supply expenses it will be deemed ineligible.
  1. I’m getting a note on my budget that the infrastructure related costs total more than 25% of the total project cost, what does this mean?
  • Infrastructure related costs cannot equal more than 25% of the total project cost, see Sections 13 and 14 of the Program Guide for more detail.
  • Make sure that you have entered all costs into your budget sheet, and that there are no typos in project costs.
  • If your budget is submitted with more than 25% of the total project costs in infrastructure related costs it will be deemed ineligible.
  1. Do the limits on equipment, capital, and supplies costs and infrastructure (maximum 25% of total project cost for each) apply to trail projects?
  • The 25% limit on equipment, capital and supplies does apply to trail project.
  • No, the limit on infrastructure costs (maximum 25% of the total project costs) does not apply to trail projects.

Applying

  1. Where can we get an application form?
  1. What should we do if we need help with our application?
  • You can send a question to the BC Rural Dividend Program at ruraldividend@gov.bc.ca or contact the Program office by phone at 250-356-7950.
  1. What should we do if we have a technical problem with the online form?
  • The “Need help?” button on the application site will give you information on how to deal with technical problems, or you can email: grants@benevity.com.
  1. Why can’t I print each page of my application form as I complete it?
  • The online application form does not include the functionality to print each page; but the Review tab of the application offers applicants the opportunity to print their full application BEFORE submission.
  • If you are concerned about losing work you have completed, we suggest that you also save your responses in a separate document.
  1. I want to look at the last page of the application but the website won’t let me go to that page until I complete all the questions on every page before it. Why is this happening?
  • The online application form is dynamic, meaning that as you answer questions on one page, later pages may have different questions.
  • A full list of the questions in the application form for project development applications and single applicant/partnership applications are available for download on the Program website.
  1. I want to prepare my application before logging into the online application form, how can I do this?
  • A full list of the questions in the application form for project development applications and single applicant/partnership applications are available for download on the Program website.
  • You can prepare your questions in a Word document prior to starting the online application form, however it is recommended that you do not cut and paste from documents containing line breaks, bullets and numbering and other formatting.
  1. I’ve forgotten my username and/or password to the online application form, what can I do?
  • The application form does not create user profiles and instead generates a unique username and password for each application started. As such, if you forget your username or password you will need to start a new application.
  • Don't forget to print or record your specific user ID and password when you start a new application and before you exit the form.
  • An additional safety measure is to record your responses in a separate document for future reference.
  1. I want to see my application, but I’ve already submitted it, what do I do?
  • Once submitted, you will no longer be able to view or otherwise have access to your application. Therefore, ensure that you print a copy for your records before you submit.
  • If you forgot to print a copy of your application, you can contact the Rural Dividend Program office by email, ruraldividend@gov.bc.ca, or by phone, 250-356-7950.
  1. I forgot to add an attachment to my application and I have already submitted my application. Can the information still be added to my application?
  • If you forget to attach documents to your online application form or if the attachment is too large for the application form, you can email the attachment or a link to the document (if it is hosted on another website) to the Program office (ruraldividend@gov.bc.ca).
  • Make sure to include the reference number cited in the submission confirmation email in the email subject line, along with your organization name and project title.
  • Attachments submitted after the closing date of the intake may not be considered valid and may not be reviewed.
  1. Do I have to include documentation of community support, quotes, or financial plans?
  • Any documents showing community support (excluding partnership letters), quotes supporting the project budget, or financial plans are optional, but highly recommended.
  • See Section 19 of the Program Guide for more information on optional supporting documentation.
  1. Can we submit more than one application?
  • An eligible applicant can submit one project development application and one project application (single applicant or partnership) during each intake.
  • An eligible applicant is not limited to the amount of times they can partner on applications
  1. Can we submit applications in multiple intakes?
  • Yes, applicants who have applied for funding during previous intakes are not restricted from applying during current or future intake periods.
  1. Will our application be kept confidential?
  • All documents received by the program will be treated as confidential and program staff will uphold the standards for confidentiality required by all public service employees.
  1. Is our application accessible under Freedom of Information?
  • Yes, applications are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  • The information is being collected for the purpose of evaluating eligibility under the program.
  1. Are the documents that we submit also accessible under Freedom of Information?
  • Yes, all material that you submit will be subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  • Please do not provide any personal identifiers or third-party personal information (i.e. talk about others) in applications or supporting documents.
  • Letters of support will only be accepted from stakeholder organizations or community leaders in their professional capacity (e.g., Chamber of Commerce, Mayor). Letters from individual community residents will not be accepted.

Evaluation

  1. What criteria will be used to assess applications?
  • Section 22 of the Program Guide includes selection criteria that will be used in the review and assessment of applications.
  1. How are decisions made on applications?
  • Applications that are determined to be eligible will be carefully reviewed by staff, through a fair and objective evaluation process. A committee of senior government officials from a number of ministries will review applications and make recommendations to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
  • The Minister, in consultation with the Minister of State for Rural Economic Development, the Minister of Community, Sport & Cultural Development and the Minister of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training, will make funding decisions.
  1. Is there an appeal process if an application is not successful?
  • All decisions are final. You can resubmit your proposal in a future intake period.
  1. If our application is not successful, will we be told why?
  • If your application is determined to be ineligible, you will be advised.
  • For those applications that go through the ranking and assessment process and are unsuccessful, information regarding your application will be provided.
  1. If our application is not successful, can we resubmit it in the future?
  • Yes, applicants who have applied for funding during previous intakes are not restricted from applying during current or future intake periods.