Entrepreneurial immigrants will now have guided access to settle in smaller towns in the Kootenays and across the province.

The BC government introduced the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot on March 14, 2019.

The project will streamline entrepreneurial immigrants towards smaller communities with a population fewer than 75.000 and at least 30 kilometers away from larger city centers.

BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston says the program will create jobs and grow local economies.

“It’s a partnership with the federal government,” Ralston Explains.  “That enables the province to place its priorities on the immigration system and attract both skilled workers and entrepreneurs across British Columbia.”

According to Ralston, the program will also help fill the gaps in economies that may be primarily focused on resources and agriculture.

“As you build out an economy, there are also some of the other services besides simply industrial jobs. So service jobs, whether it’s in a range of services that entrepreneurs will focus on and see market opportunities. ”

The Announcement was made in Courtenay, BC. Chair of the Comox Valley Regional District Bob Wells says communities like his will benefit greatly.

“As a region with an aging demographic, immigration has played an important role in recent years as new business start-ups and successions in our communities.”

Participating communities in the Kootenays include Nelson, Trail, Rossland, Castlegar and Kimberley.

The pilot is expected to grow as more communities and participating immigrants show interest.  For the full list of participating communities follow this BC government link.

Each community profile includes a variety of links including priority sectors and contact information.