For Immediate Release, [MAY 3, 2021]


KASLO, BC:  Communities and businesses throughout the Southern Interior are receiving new support for much needed economic recovery. The Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) announced the successful funding recipients of the Rural Business and Community Recovery (RBCR) Program. The Kaslo Board of Trade o/a Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce received funding to hire one Recovery Advisor position for a six-month term.

“We were excited with the interest shown by communities and business support organizations throughout the Southern Interior to hire Recovery Advisors through this funding,” said Laurel Douglas, CEO of ETSI-BC. “We are delighted to provide this assistance in our region with support from the Province of British Columbia as it delivers on its StrongerBC Plan.”

After careful consideration, the ETSI-BC adjudication team selected 20 successful applicants whose projects will create a total of 30 part-time and full-time Recovery Advisor positions to assist businesses and rural communities in the Southern Interior with COVID-19 economic recovery.

The Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce is receiving a grant which will be used to launch our newly adopted Community Economic Development Strategy!  This post-COVID economic development strategy has been designed to take a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to economic recovery.  This strategy is all about ‘coordinated leadership’ and sets out different but complementary roles for the Kaslo and Area D Economic Development Commission and the Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber is perfectly positioned to be a conduit for resources and solutions to the businesses and communities in our area and is excited about this new capacity to develop and deliver these solutions.   

The Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank ETSI-BC and the Province of British Columbia for providing this much needed funding.   This funding made available through the RBCR grant will make it possible for the Chamber to build a solid foundation in the first six months of this exciting three-year strategy.   “We are looking forward to putting these funds to work,” said Jeff Davie, Treasurer of the Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce.  “We are very pleased to announce that Pat Desmeules has been contracted to fulfill the role of Recovery Advisor.  We are confident that her enthusiasm, dedication, hard work and team spirit will ensure the successful rollout of the strategy.” 

In total, 59 communities in all nine ETSI-BC regional districts are being served by these RBCR-funded projects, including 10 First Nations communities. ETSI-BC’s CEO Laurel Douglas and her team were inspired by the applications.

“In reviewing the applications, we saw innovation at the forefront as a key to economic recovery for communities,” said Douglas. “Our team is working closely with the recipients so their Recovery Advisors can engage and begin providing much-needed economic recovery support.”


ETSI-BC is the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior, formerly known as the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT). The organization was created by the Province of British Columbia on February 27, 2006. Through the SIDIT Act, the Trust was allocated $50 million to assist in the growth and diversification of the economy in the Southern Interior of B.C. The Trust is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors which includes local elected officials and provincial government appointees. Two Regional Advisory Committees of elected officials from the Thompson-Okanagan and Columbia-Kootenay regions also provide input. ETSI-BC’s service area spans nine Regional Districts ranging from Hope in the west, Clearwater in the north, the Alberta border in the east, and the U.S. border in the south. For more information, visit