A Homegrown Strategy for Prosperity
The Gabriola Chamber launched an initiative in 2017 to explore and develop a support system for local businesses and entrepreneurs. The Community Economic Development team was formed by entering into a service agreement with the Regional District of Nanaimo for Tourism and Economic Development. With the service agreement in place, the Chamber applied for and was awarded funding from the BC Rural Dividend for implementation of an Economic Readiness Plan. After wide community engagement and facilitated sessions with residents and business owners, an advisory group was formed and a community economic development officer (CEDO) was hired to begin the work. Our Community Economic Development Strategy is about looking at ways to collaborate, cross-promote and create full-circle systems on the island that feed and support the local economy.
- In our first year, foundational structures have been implemented and positive impact is underway, creating a new sense of island entrepreneurship
- The development of four inter-connected websites has provided a strong community profile and online presence for the Gabriola area. Visit: www.hellogabriola.ca
- The CEDO has coached 22 local entrepreneurs
- Growth of volunteers engaged in community projects
- $134,000 dollars leveraged to broaden the extent of our funding