Columbia Shuswap Regional District South Shuswap director Paul Demenok would like Victoria to initiate a community economic development investment fund that would offer British Columbians a tax credit for investing in locally owned and operated corporations, co-operatives and other community economic development initiatives.
And he got unanimous support from the other directors at the regional district’s Jan. 21 board meeting.
The issue had been brought up at the Jan. 7 Electoral Area Directors meeting and taken to the board for support in the form of a resolution to the Southern Interior Local Government Association.
In asking for board support, Demenok said the goal would be to provide an instrument that would allow people in rural communities to invest in their communities in order to get tax credits.
“It allows people to invest in projects to stimulate the local economy,” Demenok said, noting Community Futures of the Shuswap has shown an interest in being a partner in the program. “Something we need is the province’s assistance to lay the framework and then we can create our own investment pools.”
Demenok pointed to a similar project in Nova Scotia.
The Government of Nova Scotia’s Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIF) is a program that offers a 35 per cent tax credit for Nova Scotians who put their investment capital in funds that support locally owned and operated corporations, co-operatives, and community economic development initiatives.
Since 1999, the program is reported to have spurred the creation of 48 funds and 91 offerings, which have a total of more than $32 million in assets.
“In my 35 years of experience in economic development in Nova Scotia, there has never been a more cost-effective program for encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Shelley Wilcox of CEDIF Management Ltd. six years ago in a post on socialfinance.ca.