New $2 million fund increases funding possibilities for local businesses

Businesses in need of financial support, may now be able to find help through Columbia Basin Trust’s new Impact Investment Fund.

  • Oct. 14, 2015 6:00 a.m.


Columbia Basin Trust


Businesses in the Columbia Basin that need financial support, but aren’t able to secure conventional financing, may now be able to find help through Columbia Basin Trust’s new Impact Investment Fund. The $2 million fund is administered by Community Futures.

The fund is intended to support business opportunities that are high risk and may not offer adequate financial returns to an investor, but will benefit Basin residents and communities in some other way.

For example, it may create jobs, address a community need, help the environment or support arts and culture.

“We will continue to invest in opportunities that give us the income we need to provide programs and services to the Basin,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust president and CEO. “However, sometimes an opportunity doesn’t fit our standard financial requirements, nor is eligible for a grant — and yet deserves to be supported for other reasons. The Impact Investment Fund gives us the ability to help these businesses strengthen and grow.”

This fund is one of the outcomes of the Our Trust, Our Future engagement process. From September 2014 to February 2015, the Trust connected with 3,000 Basin residents to get ideas on how it could better support their priorities.

All types of businesses can apply directly to Community Futures, including for-profits, non-profits, social enterprises, First Nations businesses and start-ups.

The business must be located in the Basin, and the investment opportunity must demonstrate significant positive impacts in the Basin. Applications will be reviewed by Community Futures staff and an external adjudication committee made up of Basin residents appointed by the Trust.

For more information, contact the East Kootenay Community Futures office at 1-800-661-2293 or email

To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, visit or call 1.800.505.8998.