How well is our Island positioned for business recovery from the pandemic? As it swept across the planet, COVID-19 dealt swift and harsh blows to economies around the world. Vancouver Island was no exception, with a survey by the BC Chamber of Commerce revealing over 70% of business owners expected a more than 50% drop in revenue.

When stay-at-home orders were first issued and communities began to feel its impact, Douglas magazine partnered with CHEK News to explore the issues, the challenges and the opportunities this immense change presented. The series Conversations in a Crisis interviewed business owners and community leaders who were grappling with the pandemic and fighting their way through it.

Now that we’re starting to look to a different future than the one we’d all envisaged, we’re changing the focus of the series. We’ve renamed it Road to Recovery, and we’ll once again be covering the challenges, issues and opportunities business is experiencing — but this time as we emerge from lock down into a brand new world.

Joe Perkins hosts the series, which airs Sundays at 5 pm on CHEK News, both on television and livestreamed via their website.


GUESTS

Sunday, June 21

Devesh Bharadwaj, Pani Energy and Jill Doucette, Synergy Enterprises discuss the impact of the pandemic on the green economy. Will businesses still support climate change mitigation as they work on their own recovery?

Sunday, June 28

Dr Richard Gale, Director of Camosun Innovates shares how the R&D hub for Victoria business has stepped into help protect healthcare workers and the community from COVID-19, and how they’re preparing for a potential second wave.

Sunday, July 5

If the long-awaited dream of building a film studio in Victoria becomes a reality, can it help our economy recover from COVID-19. District of Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes and Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission‘s Kathleen Gilbert share their thoughts.

Sunday, July 19

When the pandemic first hit, we interviewed Calen McNeil, co-owner of Big Wheel Burger and Zambris restaurants. He pulled no punches in sharing the pain of an immediate shut down of operations. We followed up with Calen to see how he’s faring now.

Sunday, July 26

Dallas Gislason, Director of Development for South Island Prosperity Partnership and Ray Brougham, owner and CEO of Rainhouse Canada discuss the manufacturing industry on Vancouver Island and its role in protecting us from future supply shortages.

Sunday, August 2

Joe Perkins talked to Laura Day of Victoria’s Migration Boutique to learn how the downtown Victoria retail sector is coping and adapting.

Sunday, August 9

Chief Rebecca David discusses the Pauquachin First Nation‘s purchase of the Ardmore Golf Course in Victoria this past February, and what it means for her community.

Sunday, August 16

Tourism marketing guru Kirsten Soder, Executive Director of Destination Campbell River, tells us how the mid-north Island region is faring during a summer lacking the usual visitor demographic.

Sunday, August 23

Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO of South Island Prosperity Partnership and Dan Pontefract, CEO and founder of The Pontefract Group, discuss the emerging trend of microcredentials and upskilling as vital tools in aiding business recovery from COVID-19.

August 30

Port Alberni has experienced a rollercoaster ride of economic prosperity and recession over the last few decades, but as COVID-19 hit city leaders were optimistic about several lucrative projects in the works to build their business base. Joe Perkins talks to Mayor Sharie Minions to find out how they’re doing and what their rebound plans are.

September 6

Ruth Mojeed, founder of The Inclusion Project, tells Joe Perkins how her new initiative, the Employment Equity Partnership, will help address systemic inequalities and barriers to equitable employment.

September 13

The Victoria HarbourCats baseball team did not get the chance to play ball this summer. Joe Perkins talks to Managing Partner and GM Jim Swanson about how they’ve coped and what their plans are for 2021.

September 27

Esri Canada’s Dan Ruscheinski tells us how big data helps businesses forecast and solve problems.

October 4

The Southern Gulf Islands have had their own unique experience coping through COVID and working to recover from its impact. Francine Carlin, Chair of both the Salt Spring Island Community Economic Development Commission and the Rural Islands Economic Partnership tells Joe Perkins what’s hindering them in their attempts to rebound.

October 11

Max Young has just opened a second location of his family’s bulk food stores For Good Measure. We ask Max what it’s like opening a grocery store during a pandemic, and what he sees as the future for the bulk food industry, during and after COVID-19.

October 18

Pacific Football Club‘s CEO and GM Rob Friend tells us how they salvaged their season during a pandemic.

October 25

The pandemic means no more in person networking or conferences to help create business relationships. Personal branding strategist Pamela Sylvan tells us how to build and maintain our professional brand when we are limited to the digital realm.

Recommended Reading:

The Stay At Home Economy Might Be Here For Good

Will Victoria Flatten The Curve of a Projected Recession?

Four Ways to Increase Brand Trust For Your Business