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In 2019 a spate of mill closures across British Columbia heavily impacted many rural communities. Although there were many supports for workers, there were far fewer supports for the communities themselves to begin planning out their economic futures. In response, SFU CED developed a program of CED Assessments During Economic Disruption, which focuses on supporting municipalities and regional governments to identify economic assets and opportunities that support diversification and innovation for enhanced community well-being. Oftentimes these assets and opportunities are already known in the community, but they are not recorded in a single document that can be used to tell the story to senior levels of government and external funders. Besides bringing a fresh eye to these situations, SFU CED also works with municipalities to articulate their assets beyond major employers or traditional sectors, and begin to attract resources and supports to further develop new opportunities.
In late 2019 SFU CED brought CED expert teams to Clearwater and Fort St. James BC., and in 2020 we are working with 100 Mile House and other communities.