Barry O’Riordan

DUNCAN – In response to the unparalleled economic impacts of COVID-19, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and community partners have compiled the results of a second survey to assess the changing effects of the pandemic on the local business community.

The survey, conducted in August, was completed by 101 owners and/or operators representing a broad cross-section of Cowichan businesses.

The results show that the Cowichan economy has experienced a modest improvement since the first survey conducted in May, yet suggests we should not expect to recover to pre-COVID-19 employment and business levels in the foreseeable future.

The services sector has been hardest hit, particularly businesses that are heavily reliant on tourism. The survey also shows businesses are responding to the crisis with increased sanitation protocols and reduced operations, while struggling with consumer confidence.

Despite this, many businesses are innovating, engaging more in the digital economy and introducing new products and services.

The full results of the COVID-19 Post Disaster Needs Assessment Surveys can be reviewed on the CVRD website.

This was the second in a series of surveys that will be shared with the business community in the coming months, and will feed into the work of Economic Development Cowichan and other economic development organizations in the region.

Barry O’Riordan is Manager of Economic Development Cowichan