Three new employment positions in Cowichan have been approved for funding through Island Coastal Economic Trust’s (ICET) Rural Business and Community Recovery Program. Funding has been awarded to Stz’uminus First Nation, Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, and Economic Development Cowichan for new temporary term positions focused on economic recovery.
With this funding, Stz’uminus First Nation will look to hire a part-time Business Recovery Advisor. Their role will be to support the Coast Salish Development Corporation group of businesses to reimagine and adapt their business models and strategies to address the challenges and opportunities of the post-pandemic business landscape. This will include an increased focus on digital delivery, domestic procurement and market diversification.
“The Business Recovery Advisor, funded by the ICET Rural Business and Community Recovery Program, puts us in the position to adjust to a radically changed environment, recover from the impacts of the pandemic and build a stronger organization, supporting Stz’uminus vision of becoming a self-sufficient Nation through economic development,” said Ray Gauthier, CEO, Coast Salish Development Corporation.
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce will seek a full-time Economic Recovery Specialist to develop programs and services to support immediate stabilization and recovery for business, including personalized one-on-one coaching and referrals. The Specialist will also be responsible for business retention and expansion information gathering, as well as the development of the response and supports to address both challenges and economic growth opportunities.
“The Ladysmith Chamber (and the local business community) are extremely grateful to the Island Coastal Economic Trust for this latest round of support,” said Mark Drysdale, Manager of Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce. “This new funding will build on previous contributions to our community and will allow us to bounce back quickly once the pandemic begins to recede in the rear-view mirror. We are tremendously excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work on this exciting endeavour that will have significant short and long term benefits for our community.”
Economic Development Cowichan (EDC) plans to hire a part-time Economic Development Analyst to coordinate the delivery of direct business recovery supports in the rural areas of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. The Analyst will work with stakeholders and groups to implement sub-regional economic recovery initiatives and provide support to advance recently completed community economic development plans, such as those in Shawnigan Lake, Cowichan Bay and Cobble Hill. More details on this position will be posted to the EDC blog in the coming weeks.
“This grant is a big win for the region,” said Barry O’Riordan, Manager of Economic Development Cowichan. “Village/town cores have been hard hit during COVID, yet their continued vibrancy is critical to the economic and social health of our communities, including addressing climate change. This grant will allow Economic Development Cowichan (EDC) to provide dedicated staffing resources to sub-regions to help shape what recovery means at a local level.”
EDC is grateful to have been chosen during the competitive selection process for this program, and congratulate all successful project proponents in Cowichan and across the ICET region.
For more information on ICET and the Rural Business and Community Recovery Program, as well as a full list of successful projects, visit https://www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/news/20-new-employment-positions-approved-island-and-coastal-communities.
(Photo Credit: Tourism Cowichan)