Businesses in Greater Victoria’s hospitality and retail industries have not rebounded from the effects of COVID-19 restrictions as quickly as sectors such as construction and development. Recommendations released Thursday (Aug. 27) by the South Island Prosperity Partnership address the challenges faced by certain industries and steps to be taken to accelerate the region’s overall economic recovery. (Black Press Media file photo)

Roadmap to recovery: South Island Prosperity Partnership releases 40-point plan

Recommendations provide broad strategies to jump-start economy in Greater Victoria and beyond

The South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) hopes a new 40-point list of industry recommendations will jump start a new phase of economic growth and help lift the region out of the COVID-19 doldrums.

On Thursday (Aug. 27) SIPP’s Rising Economy Taskforce released far-reaching recommendations from each of its 10 committees, representing sectors as specific as “Agriculture, Food and Beverage” and as broad as “Inclusive Economy.”

The recommendations, compiled through a four and-a-half month process that involved more than 120 stakeholders from business, government and the non-profit sectors, provide a detailed action plan that aims to accelerate economic recovery on the south Island. In general, they call for investments in such areas as retraining workers, providing further access to financial supports for business and strengthening shop local themes.

RELATED STORY: South Island leaders form taskforce to address economic crisis amidst COVID-19

“This challenge necessitates unprecedented collaboration,” SIPP CEO Emilie de Rosenroll said in a release. “When we work together, our region rebounds faster, dreams bigger and achieves more. Collaboration, commitment and energy are critical now to help our region recover from this recession and develop the resiliency to withstand future economic shocks.”

In the coming months, the task force will guide a region-wide response and develop recovery priorities that maximize the impact on the economy. Key components of that plan include helping stakeholders identify common interests and developing partnerships, as well as engaging industry expertise to help even out economic recovery across all sectors.

Recognition that real estate, development and construction have rebounded strongly, while tourism, retail and hospitality – which employ far more local workers – are struggling to make up lost ground showed an uneven dependency on the latter for the region’s prosperity and an urgent need for diversification.

SIPP chair Craig Norris called the committee recommendations “inclusive, innovative and actionable over the next 18 months.” The result of a comprehensive, collaborative and coordinated effort that began in April, they provide an effective and sustainable route to recovery and will help focus local efforts to move forward, he said.

ALSO READ: Pandemic has brought Canada together, pushed Americans apart, poll suggests

The release of SIPP’s full economic recovery strategy happens the week of Nov. 16-20 during Rising Economy Week, a mostly virtual event bringing together leaders from industry, government and non-profits to share ideas and strategies for responding to the effects of the pandemic. Find more information on that event at southislandprosperity.ca.

The full committees report can be accessed online at bit.ly/2QwGyvm.


 

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