Island COMEBACK a Regenerative Initiative
To Keep Our Island Vibe Alive
Together We Can Make A COMEBACK…
Quadra Island, BC – May 25, 2020 – Quadra Island has joined a pandemic economic response and recovery initiative called Island COMBACK. Created by a diverse cross-section of BC’s rural islanders, this grassroots gift certificate and donation program will assist our most vulnerable businesses and community groups during the pandemic and beyond. Rural islanders are interconnected, strong, and caring. Island COMEBACK’s goal is to help each island be better able to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Island COMEBACK is an e-commerce site designed to promote and sell gift certificates for Quadra Island artisans, businesses and non-profits. It also serves as a donation platform allowing Quadra community groups and organizations to receive funds to see them through the pandemic. It calls upon our local community, and the world, to support the recovery of our rural island culture, and economy by purchasing a gift certificate or making a donation to local artisans, businesses and community organizations across all sectors.
Discovery Island Chamber of Commerce Secretary Mark Lasby says response locally has been positive, “Islanders take pride in our uniqueness and in reaching out to local organizations and businesses everyone sees the benefit of being part of a recovery program that has been created by islanders for islanders.”
Island artisans, businesses and organizations can sign up and register for free to generate immediate funds. Those who benefit, include small sector businesses, artisans, craft food and beverage makers, farmers, restaurants, and wellness providers, as well as community service organizations. Please visit islandcomeback.ca/register for more information and to register.
This response and recovery initiative has been developed and sponsored by the Rural Islands Economic Partnership (RIEP) along with our rural island partners. RIEP’s long-term mission is to build economic resiliency for BC’s rural islands and to “keep the island vibe alive.”
The rural islands of BC participating in Island COMEBACK include Quadra, Bowen, Cormorant, Cortes, Denman, Gabriola, Galiano, Gambier, Hornby, Lasqueti, Malcolm, Mayne, Pender, Salt Spring, Saturna, Pender, Texada, Thetis and the area of the Broughton Archipelago, as well as Indigenous communities with traditional or reserve lands on these islands. To learn more, please visit: islandcomeback.ca and to register visit: islandcomeback.ca/register.
Now is the time to come together, together we can make a comeback.
C Me Communications – Salt Spring Island, 2005
Quadra Real Estate Team ( Bill and Sarah Bradshaw) have 2 boxes of the first issue of the Strathcona Collective Magazine.
This is a "coffee table" style magazine that showcases the best that our local region has to offer.
Strathcona Collective have asked Quadra Real Estate Team to pass along to any Quadra businesses that would wish to have a copy (or copies) for display, to please get in touch and pick the copies up from Quadra Real Estate Team.
Here is a link to their website: https://strathconacollective.ca/
This is a free publication and they are hoping to get these magazines out to as many local businesses as they can.
Sarah Bradshaw can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an article from Small Business BC that is being distributed on behalf of Strathcona Regional District Emergency Management.
The Chamber (DICC) is a group of local business owners, managers, leaders of non-profits and volunteer organizations who meet monthly to discuss the goings on for Quadra and surrounding islands and is led by an elected board of volunteer directors. Each meeting is open to all members and we openly welcome anyone interested in becoming a member. Our current membership stands at over 100!
Aside from the opportunity to network with fellow islanders, there are other more tangible benefits of membership such as insurance, medical and health benefit programs for small businesses, brochure racking on our local ferries, stores, and Visitor’s Info Centre. (See links below)
A sometimes-heard perception about the Chamber is that it is strictly a tourism development board. While tourism is certainly at the heart of a lot of discussions, we are also working on forestry, fishing, hiking and biking trails, seniors housing, rental accommodations, transportation and a multitude of other topics. The marketing activities of the tourism board (which was a sub-committee of the Chamber) in the past years have clearly had an effect, and we can all see the increase in economic activity on the island.
Tourism marketing has been put on a back burner for the time being while we focus more on broader economic development. Aside from representation to local, regional and provincial governments, through membership funding, the Chamber has been able to offer financial support for various causes such as:
$1,300 towards the senior’s housing initiative.
$10,000 for portable outhouses to be placed at various strategic hiking & biking trailheads.
$1,000 annually for Canada Day celebrations.
$500 Newcomers welcome meet and greet.
$1,500 supporting the Visitors Information Booth.
$1,000 Quadra Island Food Bank.
$2,000 Quadra Island Cycling Coalition.
One of the hottest topics lately has been the desperate lack of rental accommodation for locals and seasonal staff required for various businesses. Without going into too much detail, there is an interesting new mechanism introduced by the provincial government, where the tourists visiting our region will pay a small surcharge on their accommodations. These funds go directly back to this community for marketing and development of tourism services, but most importantly; a portion of these funds can be used for the development of affordable housing. This has the potential to alleviate some of the issues we are currently facing. More information on this can be found online: www.destinationbc.ca/what-we-do/funding-sources/mrdt/.
I invite anyone who is interested in learning more about the Chamber to contact one of the Directors listed below, or better yet, come out to one of our regular monthly meetings held every 3rd Thursday of each month.
Your current board, currently consisting of:
Lynden McMartin – President
Valerie Stapinsky – Vice President
Judy Hagen – Treasurer
Mark Lasby – Secretary
Sarah Bradshaw – Director
Coleen Marlow – Director
Andreas Hagen – Director