Latest News

Northern Development announces approval for 11 Regional Business Liaison positions

Northern Development Announces Approval for 11 Regional Business Liaison Positions

June 18, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Northern Development announced today that it has approved funding for 11 positions through its Regional Business Liaison (RBL) program. This program encourages Community Futures Development Corporations, Chambers of Commerce, local governments, community economic development entities, or regional destination marketing organizations to hire locally based talent to provide business support services for the region.

Regional Business Liaison positions have been approved for the following:

  • Community Futures Nadina
  • Community Futures Peace Liard
  • Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
  • Community Futures Fraser Fort George
  • Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako
  • Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce
  • Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce
  • Community Futures Sun Country
  • Community Futures North Cariboo
  • Haida Gwaii Community Futures
  • Community Futures Pacific Northwest

Each organization has 90 days to fill the positions. Northern Development will fund 100 per cent of eligible expenses up to $75,000. This funding is a one-time offering to provide additional community resources to support small and medium sized enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust

“The Trust is very pleased that we were able to approve 11 positions that will benefit all four areas of our service region. Now that we are seeing businesses re-opening, many business owners and managers will benefit from this service as we all work towards rebuilding the economy in Northern B.C.”

Mike Racz, General Manager, Haida Gwaii Community Futures

“This position will be extremely important to rebuilding the overall resilience of the islands. As we enter into our recovery phase, the extra capacity that this position creates will allow us to support our island entrepreneurs to the best of our ability.”

Susan Stearns, General Manager, Community Futures Fraser Fort George

“NDIT’s funding for the RBL position is a powerful springboard for facilitating dialogues that will enhance communication, while identifying service gaps and how to fill them. It will allow businesses to access resources to redesign their businesses and will be a primary conduit for strengthening and diversifying economic recovery across the North.”

Cheryl Montgomery, Executive Director, Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce

“The Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce values and looks forward to our partnership with NDIT in implementing the role of the Regional Business Liaison. This position will be a critical component towards guiding the regional economy through recovery after Covid-19. It is important to fully understand the position SME’s are in and be able to provide information, resources and opportunities to do better than just returning back to pre-Covid status, but to provide future expansion and growth.”

Karen Eden, General Manager, Community Futures Cariboo-Chilcotin

“We truly appreciate the Regional Business Liaison positions.  With these positions we can expand our capacity for one-on-one supports for Cariboo-Chilcotin businesses that are trying to survive these unprecedented times.”

Media Contact

Holly Plato
Director, Communications and Marketing
Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development introduces Business Development Internship program with Community Futures Development Corporations


From back left: Darrin Rigo, internships program manager, Northern Development; Minister Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources; Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development; and John Farrell, general manager, Community Futures Pacific Northwest.
From front left: Kim Martinsen, general manager, Community Futures Nadina and Margo Wagner, chair, Northern Development.

Photo: Northern Development


JANUARY 29, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE – Following in the footsteps of the successful Local Government and First Nations Government internship programs, Northern Development Initiative Trust has established the Business Development Internship program.

This newly created program provides grant funding to Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) within Northern Development’s service area to assist with the cost of hosting a business intern for a 12-month period. 

A total of three intern placements are available per year with CFDCs in Prince Rupert, Houston and Ashcroft hosting the initial interns for 2020.

The purpose of the program is to provide a high level of professional development and training that will prepare recent graduates for careers in community development, economic development and business development.

Successful CFDCs are eligible to receive up to $50,000 from Northern Development to assist with the cost of hosting an intern.

In order to qualify for a placement in the program, potential interns must meet the following requirements:

  • Completed requirements to graduate, or have graduated within a 24-month period, prior to the start of the internship program from an accredited college or university with a degree, a diploma, or a post-graduate certificate which requires a previous degree or diploma. Open studies, non-credit, upgrading, or continuing education students do not qualify
  • Willingness to relocate and available to complete the 12-month term
  • Valid B.C. drivers licence
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada. Foreign students must provide proof of a valid work permit and a passport with an expiry date beyond the internship term
  • Satisfactory criminal record check (to be undertaken by Community Future upon selection of intern)

Applications are now available online at


Hon. Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness“This is a valuable new program that will prepare young people for careers as economic development professionals, while helping to strengthen local economies in central and northern B.C. The Northern Development Initiative Trust is a vital partner in driving economic growth and supporting the next generation of business and community leaders through innovative grassroots programs like the Business Development Internship program.”

Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources
“Through this program, interns will gain invaluable skills and insight into the unique opportunities facing Northern B.C. This is critical for helping communities to diversify and grow their economies.”

Joel McKay, CEO Northern Development Initiative Trust  
“We’ve heard time and again throughout our region the need for qualified professionals to ensure our Northern communities thrive well into the future. This internship program serves as an incentive for recent post-secondary graduates to receive relevant business development training and mentorship across Northern B.C. – skills which they can use to strengthen our local economies.”

Debra Arnott, General Manager, Community Futures, Sun Country
“We are grateful for the support that NDIT is providing to our office to hire an intern for our region. This allows us to offer another level of support to our small businesses as they transition following the natural disasters and the mill closures.”

John Farrell, General Manager, Community Futures Pacific Northwest
"Through these internships the next generation of business developers will get hands-on experience working with entrepreneurs and community leaders. This is an exciting time for Prince Rupert as we reinvent ourselves as Canada's next great port city and this partnership with NDIT to provide added capacity could not have come at a better time."

Kim Martinsen, General Manager, Community Futures Nadina
“Community Futures Nadina is very excited to participate in the Business Development Internship Program with NDIT.  It will increase our capacity to assist small and medium size businesses and provides an excellent opportunity to develop future talent for our region.  It will also enable us to collaborate further with our communities, indigenous organizations, local, provincial and federal governments enhancing business and economic development for our area. “





Living, Working and Employing People in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako

Enter to win! Be involved in a survey focused on workplace trends in our Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. We take pride in our communities and try to better understand the area’s economic development and diversity. What makes us strong? What can we improve upon? What are our future steps in education, training, and employee retention? Complete this survey at  and help our region’s workforce to grow stronger! Enter for a chance to win prizes from these local businesses:​

Funding for businesses impacted by BC wildfires extended for another year



Community Futures Statistics Canada Analysis

Please click the links below to learn more about Community Futures across Canada and to view the Community Futures Infographics which outline the success of the Community Futures loan clients compared to similarly sized incorporated companies in their area!

CF Main Page

CF Infographics 

The Smithers Co-Working Space


Can’t afford the overhead of a downtown office space? Do you need an inexpensive, convenient downtown location to conduct business? 

The Smithers Co-Working Space is a quiet, bright, and modern place for you to work with desk and office space for rent, by the day or by the month. You can take advantage of free wi-fi, lockable desk drawers, and a boardroom. We are located in downtown Smithers, BC – just off Main Street and close to all amenities.


Rent A Desk

Rates start as low as $20 per day and up to $150 per month.

Private Office Space

Office space is only $450 per month. Mountain view included!

Book A Boardroom

Boardroom rates start at $40 per two hour booking.

WiFi Included!

Reliable, high speed internet available all day, everyday.


Suite #200 - 3848 3rd Avenue, Smithers, BC

For further inquires, please contact Kim Martinsen at 250.845.2522 or

Community Futures 2017 Growing the North Magazine

Check out the new Community Futures 2017 Growing the North magazine!

The BC Rural Dividend Fund

A new Program Guide is now available. The second application intake will take place from October 3 - 31, 2016.
Please note that a new online application form has been developed for the Rural Dividend. Some components of the online application form (i.e. council/board resolution) may require additional time and planning to complete.

Program Overview

The BC Rural Dividend is providing $25 million a year over three years to assist rural communities with a population of 25,000 or less to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies. It was developed to recognize both the contribution rural communities have made to B.C.’s economy, and the unique challenges they face to diversify beyond natural resources.

The program will contribute to the strength and sustainability of small rural communities, making them more attractive places to live and work. The program is focused on supporting worthy projects that help rural communities navigate changes impacting their economies, such as attracting and retaining youth, using innovation to drive economic growth, and developing new and effective partnerships to support shared prosperity.

The program was developed in consultation with the Rural Advisory Council, made up of 13 members from across rural B.C. with a mandate to advise the government on how to best support rural prosperity and thriving rural communities across the province.

The Rural Dividend is administered by the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 


Back to Top

Communities Served

Burns Lake, Granisle, Houston, Telkwa, Topley, Smithers


Community Futures Nadina
2430 Butler Avenue, Unit A
PO Box 236
Houston, BC
V0J 1Z0

T: 250.845.2522