Loans available to B.C. newcomers who want to put down roots

FILE. An overview of snowy Vernon, B.C. on December 23, 2022. Megan Turcato / Global News

A loan program that can make anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 available has been established in the North Okanagan, with the intent of encouraging newcomers who have secured employment in the North Okanagan but need a boost to  grow roots in the region.

“We saw the need and knew we had to find a way to help people get settled here,” Scot McNair, loans co-ordinator and business analyst, Community Futures North Okanagan.

“At Community Futures, we’re dedicated to supporting our communities, and a big part of that is helping the people who choose to move here. This is one way that we can be proactive and move the dial to make our community more accessible and help drive growth in the North Okanagan.”

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Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, the loans can be used for employment-related costs, housing or education.

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McNair said applicants put their funds toward a rental deposit, vehicle, work and school equipment, winter clothing, furniture, food staples and housing supplies, among other things, to help them settle into their new home.

After submitting an application, applicants meet McNair to talk about their resettlement needs. Once the loan is approved, McNair said, the funds are quickly made available to help people get settled as soon as possible.

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The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program launched in 2020 to bring skilled workers to the North Okanagan and Shuswap and provides a fast track to permanent residency, McNair said the newcomers loan program also helps support these families that choose to make Canada their home.

If you are a person who has secured employment in the North Okanagan and are in need of a small loan to help support your start in the region, make an appointment with McNair.

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If you are a non-Canadian looking for employment in the North Okanagan, you may qualify for our Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot Program.

Applications for the newcomers loan program are now open. For more information or to apply, visit or call Community Futures North Okanagan at 250-545-2215.

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