Our March speaker was George Hanson, the President of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance and managing partner of Clayton Consulting.
George Hanson has a multifaceted background formed by being involved in many economic activities on Vancouver Island. In 2007 the Vancouver Economic Alliance was an idea to establish a non-government entity with the philosophy “together we’re better”. The objective was economic vitality and sustainability with representation from all groups at the grassroots level.
The “Island Economic Summit” established 15 years ago is a State of the Island report card. For 2021 the key observations are:
- Expect the economy to be uncertain
- Skilled labour shortage will slow growth
- Tourism will remain stressed (and aquaculture and wood industries challenged)
- Increasing cost of housing will continue
A major economic driver has been the establishment of the (FTZVI) Foreign Trade Zone-Vancouver Island. This allows manufacturing and logistics companies access to duty and tax deferrals and a single point of access to government. Vancouver Island has enormous growth capacity to absorb overflow from Vancouver. Duke Point and Nanaimo Harbour are major opportunity areas. Seaweed aquaculture could become a 1 Billion $$ industry creating 30,000 jobs.
Another program has the objective of raising awareness of buying Island products, a program called “Island Good”. This Product Branding program has shown to provide a Market Share Advantage for Island products. Watch for the “Island Good” label on products when doing your shopping.
Thank you George for your work in developing the Island economy and the success we are now starting to see for the future. We are all so glad we live here, and that the Island offers such a promising future for our children and grandchildren.
More on Island Good:
For more on Island Good, to sign up for their newsletter or check out how you can send someone an Island Good gift box, follow this link:
To read about their 3rd anniversary success story, click here.