On June 8 and June 24, 2021, the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) held roundtable discussions with the COEDC Advisory Council and industry representatives for the following industries: Small Business & Tourism; Arts, Culture & Recreation; Manufacturing; Aerospace; and Construction & Development.
Participants were asked:
1. What is the current state of your industry?
2. How has Covid-19 impacted your business to date?
3. What actions/ supports would you recommend to support long-term recovery in your industry?
4. What do elected officials in the region and other orders of government need to know about your industry?
Final Actions Proposed by Industry are highlighted below:
Small Business & Tourism
Continued local support is essential for small business.
As travel restrictions lift, marketing region as welcoming & open for business to increase traffic.
Demand for foreign workers and immigration support services to meet current and future staffing needs of the region.
Continued need for eCommerce training, implementation programs, and digital adoption services for new and existing businesses.
Arts, Culture & Recreation
Education and communication to promote and encourage local support for the planned restart/ reopen of industry activities.
Continued government support for industry organizations that operate out of community-owned facilities.
Support for businesses/events that have positive impact on community through subsidies on costs paid to local/prov gov't (licenses, permits, RCMP etc).
Continue/expand programs to meet funding gaps to support the industry until events return to pre- pandemic levels, including CERB, CEWS, CEBA and RRRF.
Continue talent attraction endeavors to showcase the region's rich amenities in addition to supporting post secondary training & talent attraction initiatives.
Encourage governments to explore incentives & stimulus programs aimed at affordable housing solutions.
Support labor sharing arrangements amongst industry to offset seasonal turnover and increase retention rates in the region.
Encourage governments to prioritize BC Aerospace companies for federally funded projects (currently heavily weighted in Eastern Canada).
Communicate air travel safety to increase consumer confidence and "forward bookings" so industry can plan for future demand.
Improve access to talent through post-secondary education and talent attraction initiatives.
Construction & Development
Explore innovative affordable housing solutions, for example, rezoning properties for increased capacity.
Opportunity for governments to reduce barriers for new construction to encourage affordable housing developments.
Support labor attraction initiatives aimed at attracting skilled and uncertified tradespeople to the region.
Results from the discussions help guide the future focused long-term economic recovery plan for the region.
Access the full 2021 Industry Roundtable Summary here
Access the full 2021 Industry Roundtable Slides here
For More Information Contact:
Manager, Economic Development