Campbell River’s economic development office is changing with the times.

The office is looking to provide increased support for local businesses during the pandemic.

Over the last four weeks, staff has worked with the Campbell River Area Angel Group to help businesses learn more about things ranging from adjusting cash flow management, working remotely, health strategies to flatten the curve, e-commerce, and free business tools to help during the pandemic. 

Economic development officer Rose Klukas calls the COVID-19 situation “unprecedented,” adding that they’ve pivoted their immediate focus to “help empower and inspire the local business community.”

“Communities have faced hardships, including things like mills closures and natural disasters, and with COVID-19 affecting everyone all around the world, we’re continuing our series of virtual meet-ups to help businesses be better informed to deal with change.”

All webinars are recorded and available on the events page of TECHatchery.ca.

“In crisis, people can feel very alone. These weekly meet-ups maintain community connection and keep us learning from each other,” Klukas added.

Upcoming events include:

Wednesday at 8:00am – Vancouver Island Regional Library will join the meet up to talk about free business resources available to anyone with a library card.

Thursday at 6:00pm – Conversation with Minister Claire Trevena – B.C. Government’s COVID-19 Supports for Business

“This global health crisis is causing hardship for people and for our business community. Every level of government is aware of the significant impact COVID-19 has on people’s health and on the economy,” Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams said. 

“Federal and provincial governments are working hard to provide financial relief programs, and every day new announcements are made. Local governments, as mandated by B.C.’s Community Charter, are working hard to provide support through business retention and expansion programs.”

Klukas said that the many resources available during this storm can also be stressful. 

“We’re pleased Minister Trevena is available to answer questions from Campbell River business owners as part of this series. It’s all part of helping connect you with what will work for your situation,” she added, pointing to TECHhatchery.ca for links to all resources, webinar topics and blog posts.

City economic development is currently finalizing details of a business recovery program set to start the week of May 15th. 

Working with Spring Activator, this will include a collection of virtual tools, access to mentorship, support for unique issues and connections with business development experts.

The City is also collaborating with other community organizations like Destination Campbell River, CRAAG, Campbell River Chamber of Commerce, Strathcona Community Futures and regional economic development organizations to share these resources and expertise.

“The world has been affected greatly by COVID-19 and Campbell River is no exception,” city manager Deborah Sargent said.

“Doing business looks different now and into the future. It’s heartening to see many Campbell River businesses have already made changes to operate in this new business climate. We’re committed to supporting businesses by helping them pivot.”