The province has distributed almost 19 million in new grants to support rural communities in the fifth intake of the Rural Dividend.

The funding was awarded to 153 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations around the province.

In the Cowichan Valley, Community Futures Development Corporation Cowichan snagged almost 87,000 dollars.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District got 16,000, Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area Society was awarded nearly 100,000 dollars, O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE Co-operative at Shawnigan Lake was given 10,000 dollars and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, Duncan got 100,000 dollars.

Also in our listening area, the Penelakut Tribe near Ladysmith got better than 95,000 dollars and the Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce snagged 80,000 dollars.

The grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province.