VICTORIA –¬†Twenty-four projects from all over B.C. designed to strengthen manufacturing supply chains have received StrongerBC funding to help make the province more secure in the face of global supply interruptions.

The Supply Chain Resiliency Grant Program has awarded one-time funding of up to $400,000 to organizations with wide-ranging projects that focus on various aspects of fortifying B.C.’s manufacturing ecosystem.

After a successful application intake period, the B.C. government increased its initial $4-million investment to $6 million to allow more business groups to benefit from receiving a grant.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of our manufacturing sector for the critical made-in-B.C. goods it delivers and jobs it provides in every region of the province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This investment and partnership with business associations and communities strengthens our province’s supply chains, helps protect our industry sectors from external interruptions and helps B.C. manufacturers become even more globally competitive.”

The program was open to industry and trade associations, and groups of organizations collaborating on a manufacturing project, such as the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society. The society is teaming up with the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce and Ecotrust Canada to develop a food distribution network in northwestern B.C.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities and put a sharp focus on B.C.’s reliance on imports of manufactured goods, packaging supplies and finished products.

Investments in B.C.’s supply chain will improve manufacturers’ productivity and protect jobs people and communities rely on.

For example, the BC Tech Association will use this investment to help manufacturing businesses understand emerging market opportunities in new sectors, map existing industrial capabilities and address how those could be retooled with advanced technology.

“The adoption of new technologies is vital for the continued growth of B.C.’s manufacturing sector,” said Jill Tipping, president and CEO, BC Tech Association. “With the support of our partners at the City of Surrey, City of Richmond and Township of Langley, our project will help to prepare manufacturers of all sizes to succeed in the years ahead.”

With its funding, the BC Food and Beverage Association will analyze the impact of supply-chain disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, identify best practices in addressing and adapting to supply-chain disruptions and develop a supply-chain guide that identifies barriers and solutions for the food and beverage sector.

This program is part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan and the Province’s commitment to an innovative, sustainable and inclusive recovery that supports people, businesses and communities to come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared.