Economic Development and Recovery Program

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The District of Central Saanich has worked with businesses to recover and explore new opportunities to retain and expand the local economy and has brought on a term position to work on this and launch a Community Economic Development Task Force.

The new Community Economic Recovery Coordinator, Patrick Earl, has worked in multiple communities in BC and Alberta in municipal economic development roles, from large industrial-based to small rural communities. He has worked primarily in tourism and agriculture sectors and, through the pandemic, assisted businesses in looking at diversification, marketing collaboration, customer service and helping businesses get online.

The District of Central Saanich has worked with businesses to recover and explore new opportunities to retain and expand the local economy and has brought on a term position to work on this and launch a Community Economic Development Task Force.

The new Community Economic Recovery Coordinator, Patrick Earl, has worked in multiple communities in BC and Alberta in municipal economic development roles, from large industrial-based to small rural communities. He has worked primarily in tourism and agriculture sectors and, through the pandemic, assisted businesses in looking at diversification, marketing collaboration, customer service and helping businesses get online.

  • Community Economic Resiliency Action Plan approved by Council

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    The District of Central Saanich Council approved the Community Economic Resiliency Action Plan on June 27, 2022.

    Each action item within the plan is categorized into four themes and then into near and long-term actions. The near-term is targeted within the next twelve months, and the long-term is more foundational around economic development fundamentals.

    The Action Plan is available in the Documents section of this page and in the Resource Library of the Central Saanich website at https://centralsaanich.ca.

  • B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

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    The B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program supports producers and food processors through three business planning streams:

      1. Business plan coaching
      2. Business disaster recovery planning
      3. Specialized business planning

      The Specialized business planning Stream provides succession/transition support.

      • What this program offers: up to $5,000 in business planning and services and coaching for individuals and up to $20,000 for groups, from a qualified business consultant to develop a plan on one or a combination of the following:
        1. Business structures
        2. Production economics
        3. Business strategy
        4. Cash flow and financial analysis
        5. Value added ventures
        6. Risk assessment and mitigation
        7. Human resources
        8. Succession / Transition planning
      • Who is eligible: Business entities including sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, or other associations of persons (including cooperatives) who meet the following three eligibility criteria:
        1. For Primary Agricultural Producers:
          • Producing fresh food or agricultural products which are 100% grown or raised in B.C. AND
          • Reported total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency.
          • All proprietors, partners, members, or shareholders must be residents of British Columbia.
        2. For Agriculture, Food and Beverage Processors
          • Processing food, beverage, or agricultural products which are processed and packaged in B.C. with 51% or more of the direct cost of producing the product in its final form (i.e. the sum of raw materials, direct labour, variable processing, and packaging) originating in B.C. When the main raw materials are available in sufficient quantities from B.C. producers, they must be used.
          • You reported total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency.
          • All proprietors, partners, members, or shareholders must be residents of British Columbia.
      • Steps to apply
        1. Step 1: Identify and approach a Qualified Business Consultant from the list available on the program website to work with you on your project and application.

      Step 2: Complete the application in collaboration with Qualified Business Consultant.

      • Section 1: Applicant Eligibility and Information, to be completed by Applicant.
      • Section 2: Project Proposal, to be completed by Consultant and Applicant.
      • Section 3: Declaration and Consent, to be completed by Consultant and Applicant.

      Step 3: Consultant or applicant submits application to Agribusiness@gov.bc.ca.

      Note

      1. If you have any questions regarding the process OR selecting a consultant, please contact program staff at Agribusiness@gov.bc.ca or 1-888-221-7141.
    • Canada Digital Adoption Program - Grow Your Business Online Grant

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      As part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, the Government of Canada has partnered with Small Business BC and Digital Main Street to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant to small businesses across the country.

      Eligible businesses will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with costs related to adopting e-commerce, with support provided by a network of E-commerce Advisors.

      About the Program

      With Canadian consumers moving online at a rapid pace, the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) can help get your business online, grow your e-commerce presence, or help digitalize your business’ operations.

      The Grow Your Business Online program is designed to help small businesses take advantage of e-commerce opportunities and reach more customers online.

      • $2,400 Micro-Grant
      • E-Commerce Advisory Support
      • Improved Digital Strategies

      Business Eligibility

      The Grow Your Business Online Grant is offered in British Columbia through Small Business BC and is currently open for applications from businesses that meet all the following criteria:

      • Is a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
      • Is a registered or incorporated business
      • Is a consumer-facing business
      • Can be accessed by consumers or provides in-person services to consumers
      • Has at least one employee (other than the business owner)
      • Must commit to maintaining a digital adoption strategy for six months after participating in the program
      • Must consent to participating in follow-up surveys, sharing information with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada) and having the name of the business published as a recipient of funding.

      Ineligible Businesses:

      • Corporate chains, franchises, or registered charities
      • Representatives of multi-level marketing companies
      • Real estate brokerages
      • Non-profit organizations

      Learn more at https://smallbusinessbc.ca/grow-your-business-online-program/

    • Camosun Innovates - Camosun Technology Access Centre

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      The Camosun Technology Access Centre (CTAC) is an applied research and innovation centre that provides dedicated access to specialized technology, equipment and expertise to local and regional companies.

      CTAC works with companies to enhance their productivity and innovation without competing with local small and medium-sized enterprises.

      Using rapid prototype systems like 3D printers to build custom prosthetics and water-jet cutters that can slice a precision cut through thick stainless steel, they help clients develop, test and refine products without prohibitive overhead costs.

      Cutting-edge technology

      Camosun Innovates uses cutting-edge technology such as 3D printers, robotic systems and 3D scanners to allow faculty and students from different disciplines to turn their ideas into reality.

      Grants and funding

      Funding opportunities and grants are available to support your business goals. Their skilled grant writers can help prepare NSERC, NRC-IRAP and other fund proposals to leverage the financial support available for small- and medium-sized enterprises. Camosun is pre-approved to apply for a wide variety of funding and grants, including eligibility for grants that support industry research and development and productivity enhancements for local industry.

      Research Ethics Approval

      Camosun believes in maintaining the highest of ethical standards in the research conducted at the college. They take this responsibility very seriously, and have established an ethics approval process based on nationally recognized standards. This process is managed by the Research Ethics Board (REB).


      To learn more about Camosun Innovates and what they can potentially do for your business, visit https://camosun.ca/innovates/technology-access-centre/working-together

    • Work ramps up on Keating Cross Road flyover project - BC Gov News

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      Improved safety and traffic flow are en route for families and commuters as the Province commits $57.6 million to build the Highway 17 Keating Cross Overpass Project.

      The $76.8-million project is being delivered in partnership with the Government of Canada and the District of Central Saanich. The Government of Canada will contribute as much as $16.7 million through the New Building Canada Fund’s National Regional Project stream.

      “Investments in road infrastructure ensure Canadians have access to alternative and safe options for commuting,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, federal Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, on behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Adding a flyover overpass in Saanich will create jobs, reduce travel time and build stronger communities. Our government is proud to help support a strong regional economy.”

      The project will replace the northbound left turn onto Keating Cross Road with a flyover overpass, eliminating the need to turn across busy highway traffic and reducing congestion. This improves access for neighbourhoods and businesses in the Keating area, including the Keating Business Park, which supports more than 3,000 jobs. It will also allow people to spend less time in traffic and more time with their families.

      “This project will help make Highway 17 safer for everyone who uses it and will help decrease congestion and improve connectivity for residents and local businesses,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The Patricia Bay Highway plays a critical role in connecting communities on the south Island to the services and goods they depend on, and I’m excited for work to get underway.”

      Project features include:

      • installation of bus-on-shoulder facilities that support future plans for bus rapid transit on the Patricia Bay Highway;
      • realignment of the southbound on-ramp to Victoria to make it safer for drivers getting onto the highway;
      • widening of Keating Cross Road and construction of a new sidewalk on one side to support active transportation, such as biking or walking; and
      • closures on Highway 17 at East Saanich Road, Martindale Road and Danica Place to improve safety for all travellers.

      The final design is nearing completion and the project tender is expected to be posted by fall. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2025.

      “Council appreciates the recent provincial investments in Central Saanich, and we look forward to celebrating the elimination of the left turn across the highway,” said Ryan Windsor, mayor, Central Saanich. “We are immensely pleased that this safety improvement is around the corner for residents, businesses and peninsula visitors.”

      Improving the Highway 17 corridor is a priority identified in the South Island Transportation Strategy, an integrated approach to travel choices by increasing the infrastructure needed to build connections and capacity and improve safety and choices for sustainable travel.

      Learn More:

      Learn more about the Highway 17 Keating Cross Overpass Project: gov.bc.ca/keatingoverpass

      Learn more about the South Island Transportation Strategy: https://gov.bc.ca/southislandtransportationstrategy


      Original release...

    • Province extends deadline for flood-recovery help for farmers - BC gov

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      B.C. farmers whose farms were damaged by floods in November 2021 can now apply to the Canada-BC Flood Recovery for Food Security Program until Aug. 31, 2022.

      The program helps farmers return to production by reimbursing them for uninsured expenses they incurred on activities such as:

      • cleanup, repair and restoration of land, barns and animal shelters, and water and waste systems;
      • returning flood-affected land and buildings to a safe state for agricultural production;
      • repairing uninsurable essential farm infrastructure;
      • repairing structures such as livestock-containment fences;
      • renting temporary production facilities;
      • installing drainage ditches and land-stabilization materials;
      • animal welfare activities such as replacing feed, transporting livestock, veterinary care and mortality disposal; and
      • replacing perennial plants not grown for sale.

      The enrolment deadline for farmers to begin their claim process is being extended from June 1 to Aug. 31. Processing of claims will continue after the deadline and farmers can continue submitting documents outlining their expenses after that date.

      Funding for the Canada-BC Flood Recovery for Food Security Program is provided by the governments of Canada and British Columbia.

      Learn More:

    • Government of Canada launches consultation period for renewal of Federal Tourism Growth Strategy

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      Tourism tells our story to the world, and the workers in that industry make possible the memorable experiences people carry with them for the rest of their lives. Minister Boissonnault will work with the tourism sector, provincial and territorial counterparts, and Indigenous tourism partners to renew the strategy and set a course for growth, investment and stability. The Minister also spoke about supports for small and medium-sized enterprises and his vision for the tourism and hospitality industry in the coming years.

      The COVID-19 pandemic has had an undeniable and unique impact on Canadian tourism. To help the tourism and hospitality industry weather the challenges of the past two years, the Government of Canada provided $23 billion in emergency support. Now, with travel safely resuming and the industry beginning to turn the corner, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for tourism to thrive and grow even stronger. The government is deeply invested in seeing the tourism industry thrive again and reach its full potential as a job creator and economic driver in communities all across Canada. As announced in Budget 2022, one of many measures that will help fuel the resurgence of tourism is the renewal of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

      The strategy will focus on important areas such as workforce challenges and destination development, which have become increasingly significant since the first strategy was launched in 2019.

      Tourism stakeholders, business owners and employees, as well as members of the public, are invited to visit New Federal Tourism Growth Strategy to provide input and help lay the foundation for the future of Canada’s tourism industry.

      About the consultation

      Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is conducting a public consultation on the development of a post-pandemic Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The consultation period will run for 64 days, from May 18, 2022, to July 20, 2022.

      Context

      In 2019, the Government of Canada launched Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The objective of the strategy was to unleash tourism's potential to drive economic growth and job creation in all regions of the country.

      The context in which that strategy was drafted is very different from today's. Canada's tourism sector was booming, bringing in record numbers of international visitors in 2017 and 2018 and accounting for one in ten jobs. The strategy was designed to build on this momentum.

      However, the Canadian tourism sector was uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From its onset, tourism workers and businesses felt the full impact of public health measures and border closures. Despite the challenges, the tourism and hospitality sector was resilient, and it remains a key economic driver and job creator, especially for young and rural Canadians. Thanks in part to an estimated $23 billion in support provided through the federal government's emergency programs, the sector has survived and retains its potential as an important driver of economic growth, jobs and prosperity for communities all across the country.

      A new post-pandemic Federal Tourism Growth Strategy

      As Budget 2022 notes, Canada's high vaccination rates and the lifting of travel restrictions are providing important relief as the sector begins to turn the corner. To continue supporting Canada's tourism sector and help bolster its recovery, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, will work with tourism businesses, provincial and territorial counterparts, and Indigenous tourism partners to develop a post-pandemic Federal Tourism Growth Strategy that will plot a course for growth, investment and stability.

      The Government of Canada launched the formal engagement period to develop the new strategy on May 18, 2022. It will build on the work already done since the launch of the original strategy in 2019, with a particular focus on:

      • labour gaps and instability
      • investment attraction and destination development
      • long-term economic growth across the country

      Have your say

      The Government of Canada wants to hear from Canadian tourism stakeholders from coast to coast to coast as it charts the path forward for the sector. To share your views on how Canada can build on its reputation as a world-class destination, please send an email to tourisminfo-tourismeinfo@ised-isde.gc.ca. The deadline for submitting feedback is 11:59 pm (ET) on July 20, 2022.


    • Tourism Events Program (TEP) - BC Gov

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      The Tourism Events Program aims to strengthen B.C.'s reputation as an events destination by providing supplemental marketing funds to event organizers to amplify the reach of an event and attract additional overnight visitors.

      The Tourism Events Program (the program) provides funding for up to 10% of your total event budget up to a maximum of $250,000 per event (minimum of $10,000). You can use these funds to cover a range of marketing expenses.

      Objectives

      The program supports the marketing and growth of events with the aim to:

      • increase tourism benefits for communities by driving visitation from outside the region and the province
      • increase economic benefits by showcasing key regional tourism attributes and extending visitor stays
      • enhance BC’s reputation as an events destination and develop a year-round sustainable calendar of events
      • support community resilience through economic growth, job creation, and providing positive benefits for the community
      • support broader Provincial tourism priorities identified in the Strategic Framework for Tourism 2022 - 2024

      Support will be considered for events that:

      • can provide an estimation of economic impact, including overnight visitation and length of stay;
      • focus marketing activities on driving visitation from outside the local area;
      • align with key tourism strategies and broader government priorities;
      • demonstrate financial sustainability and management capacity;
      • are positioned and staged to provide the greatest benefit to communities (outside of peak season or holiday periods) and help to build a year-round calendar of events;
      • appropriately showcase and celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion; and,
      • support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

      More information...


    • Round 2: BC Farmers' Market Expansion Program

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      An additional $142,500 has been added to the BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program to help set up markets for future growth and long-term success while contributing to resilient local food systems.

      More information...

    • SmartMove - Hire a Newcomer - ISS of BC

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      SmartMove helps you attract and retain newcomer talent through its innovative methods and reputation for understanding newcomer employment issues. This is a pilot project funded by Immigrants, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and is delivered in partnership with Small Business BC and Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC).

      Increase your labour market attraction and retention of newcomers by taking part in SmartMove’s training for small businesses, Diversity/Inclusion Specialist consultations, and using its AI competency matching and interview simulations.

      Services

      • access to online learning resources on hiring and retention best practices, and anti-oppression and inclusion training (approx. 10 hours of content)
      • live webinars hosted by an HR expert to recap content and answer business-specific questions
      • 24/7 access to online ‘Ask an HR Expert’ help desk support for up to a year
      • plug-in to our database to optimize job descriptions, and receive tailored candidate matches for open positions
      • retention and follow-up support from an Employer Relations Specialist to support hiring requirements

      Learn more...

    Page last updated: 28 Jun 2022, 02:35 PM