Case Studies

Table of Contents

Community Futures Business Ambassador’s Program (Cariboo, BC)

As part of the Wildfire Business Transition following the 2017-2018 wildfires, Community Futures Sun Country partnered with CF Cariboo Chilcotin and CF North Cariboo to initiate the Business Ambassador’s Program. Qualified business ambassadors were hired to provide on-the-ground support to businesses and leaders of not-for-profit organizations. They assisted with conducting impact assessments on their operations and facilitated access to recovery programs that would meet the needs of each business or organization. The Business Ambassador’s Program was an important wrap-around service that accompanied CF Sun Country’s loan programs, enabling them to provide social support and technical assistance to business owners during the stressful and challenging phase of recovery. This initiative received $200,000 from Northern Development Initiative Trust and $140,000 from the Cariboo Beetle Action Coalition for initial funding. Western Economic Diversification provided an additional $1.3 million to help businesses with long-term rebuilding. For more info: CF Sun Country

Basin Business Advisors (Columbia Basin Region, BC, Canada

Servicing the business community across the Columbia Basin in BC, Basin Business Advisors provides entrepreneurship support and economic capacity building for existing businesses and agriculture producers. BBA works primarily one-on-one with business owners to provide advising and assessment services to business owners. During the COVID-19 pandemic, BBA is supporting local business owners through hosting webinars so businesses can share practices with one another. They have also supported businesses in pivoting activities when ‘normal’ operations are no longer possible, as well as advising business owners on key steps to preserve assets and stabilize their personal situation where possible in the event that they need to close their business. Funded by Columbia Basin Trust, the BBA program is administered and managed by Community Futures Central Kootenay. Delivery of the program is done in partnership with Community Futures in the Basin. For more info: Basin Business Advisors

Community Futures Boundary

Following the devastating flood of the Kettle River in May 2018, Community Futures Boundary was contracted by the RDKB flood recovery team to reach out to all affected businesses and agricultural producers to provide support. Economic impact analyses were completed, case management support was provided, and economic development incentives were identified. Throughout the 18-month recovery process, CF Boundary continued to work as an advocate for area businesses and supported their economic recovery.

Social media usage after disaster (Ft. McMurray Wildfire of 2016)

During the Ft McMurray Wildfire in summer 2016, 88,000 residents had to be evacuated. The Regional District of Wood Buffalo’s communications department used social media platforms to send current updates and important messages to community members. Through Hootsuite, the communications team monitored incoming messages and stayed updated on what current hashtags were circulating related to the wildfires in order to ensure that their messaging was widespread.

Economic Impact & Recovery Assessments (Fort McMurray, AB):

Following the May 2016 wildfires in the Wood Buffalo region, Economic Developers of Alberta (EDA) provided support to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in three phases:


  1. Establishing a Woof Buffalo Business Recovery Hotline to register business and provide immediate resources and relief;
  2. Deployment of an Economic Opportunity Assessment Team to conduct qualitative assessments of economic challenges and opportunities for the RMWB; and
  3. Compilation of a report “Embracing New Economic Realities” which included a set of recommendations from 200 businesses specific to short, medium and long-term recovery. For more info: Economic Developers Alberta

Tourism Kelowna Impact Surveys (Kelowna, BC):

After the 2003 wildfire, Tourism Kelowna conducted three Tourism Outlook Surveys to determine the intermediate impact on the tourism industry. A Traveler Intention Survey (TIS) interviewed 500 domestic tourists by telephone was also completed. These measured not only impacts to businesses, but also future outlooks for subsequent tourism seasons. For more info: Hystad and Keller, 2008

Resilient City Zoning (Santa Rosa, CA, USA):

To expedite the rebuilding of sites that were damaged in the October 2017 wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, the City established the Resilient City office and created Resilient City Zoning (-RC) for impacted areas. The zoning is combined with primary zoning in place for the district and provides for streamlining the permitting process and expedited review for reconstruction or repairs of damaged properties. Fees for planning permitting, temporary housing structures and demolition are waived for the site.

ReSTART/Container Mall

The ReSTART initiative installed temporary retail shops made from shipping containers, which were able to withstand the aftershocks that the city experienced. The container mall was managed by the Central City Business Association, leasing retail space to tenants through
6-month contracts. ReSTART was well-loved by the public and remained open for years after. Many tenants re-opened in other parts of the city or other towns. For more info: Christchurch Central City Business Association

Message Sent

Thanks for contacting us