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Cowichan recovery dashboard highlights challenges for tourism, housing and labour

Opportunities to provide meaningful support to Cowichan businesses being identified

Economic Development Cowichan has been publishing a regional dashboard of indicators to track progress towards recovery in response to the unprecedented economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region.

Past reports are available on the EDC website.

The latest dashboard, published this week, shows the continued effects of the pandemic on the tourism industry, with air traffic and tourist information centre visitation still very low.

Housing availability and affordability also continue to be major issues for the region. Housing inventory is still quite low, with not enough new housing units coming onto the market to slow rising home prices and meet demand.

In recent months, labour shortages have become a major topic of conversation and concern, especially for accommodation, food service, retail and healthcare positions. The reasons behind the shortage are varied and include an aging population as well as changing employee needs and expectations, such as more flexible or remote work arrangements.

“This latest dashboard reflects trends we are seeing not only in Cowichan, but across the country,” said Barry O’Riordan, manager of Economic Development Cowichan. “Our task is to identify opportunities where we can provide meaningful local level support to Cowichan businesses challenged by these large-scale changes.”

This will be the last quarterly recovery dashboard published by EDC. The series will be relaunched in the coming months with a new format that will allow for more timely reporting on significant trends and a broader view to increase the report’s usefulness.

Subscribe to EDC’s email newsletter to be notified when the new series is launched.