Economic Impact Assessment

Table of Contents

Scope of the Economic Impact Assessment Plan

The Economic Impact Assessment AG Plan focuses on the protocols necessary to understand the short-and long-term economic impacts of the disaster on local businesses and workforce. This includes both collecting primary data as well as analyzing and communicating mixes of primary and secondary data that is collected after a disaster.

AG Plan Lead and Committee Members


AG Lead: Lower Columbia Initiatives Corp. / RDI / Selkirk College 

AG Members: TBD in a disaster

Additional Case Management and Support Organizations

  • BCEDA (BC Economic Development Association)
  • Community Skills Centre
  • Kootenay Career Development Society (KCDS)
  • Tourism Rossland
  • KAST
  • BC Chamber of Commerce
  • Insurance agents and corporations

Incident Quick Start Checklist

  • Convene the AG committee.
  • Receive reports on damages and impacts from Economic Liaison to the EOC
  • Deploy rapid assessment survey template to businesses
  • When possible, deploy ground assessment teams to visit businesses and pursue deeper qualitative interviews with owners or staff.

Pre-Disaster Protocol

The Economic Impact Assessment Action Group will undertake the following activities to remain prepared for activation of the plan when an emergency event happens.  Activities identified include the following:


Creation/maintenance of action plan.

  • Maintenance to be conducted annually by action group
  • AG Lead is responsible for ensuring maintenance of the AP
    • Updating AG members
    • Confirming roles for each member
    • Assessing whether any changes have taken place which necessitate alterations to this section of the ERAP.

During Disaster Protocol

The following steps can be utilized during an emergency event to start the economic impact assessment process.  


There may be emergency response funding available from the BC government / EMBC to contract out portions of the effort needed for economic impact assessment. The AG Lead should consult with the RDKB EOC about this. 


Convene the Economic Impact Assessment AG

  • Determine whether in person or virtual meetings are more appropriate
  • AG Lead will initiate contact with other team members

Convene an Initial Meeting

  • Customize the BCEDA Economic Recovery and Resiliency Toolkit for use during the emergency. BCEDA toolkit
  • Determine outreach to business approach – using a variety of methods to make contact:
    • In Person
    • Phone
    • Online intake form / email

Identify other organizations which can potentially assist with data collection

  • Trail & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Community Futures
  • Community Skills Centre
  • Tourism Rossland
  • Kootenay Career Development Society (KCDS)
  • KAST
  • Insurance providers – there may be privacy issues, but they will have considerable data on their insured businesses.

Report to Executive Committee and Economic Liaison on outcomes and action items.

Data collection

  • AG Lead is responsible for keeping track of data collection efforts through regular check-ins with responsible parties.
  • AG Lead is also responsible for maintaining records.

Data Analysis

  • Provided that data is collected virtually, analysis should be straightforward. Survey software normally comes with this capability.
  • If data is collected on paper it will need to be entered into a database for analysis. The AG Lead is responsible for determining how this will be accomplished. It may be necessary for extra resources to be brought in for this.
  • When data is collated in a virtual format it should be analyzed for dominant trends or extreme cases. Trends should be reported in writing to the Executive Committee and Economic Liaison. An example of this may be if numerous businesses are facing cash flow problems due to loss of revenue.
  • Extreme examples may need to be reported to the EOC by the Economic Liaison. An example of this may be where major damage is sustained to the local grocery store, and where food shortages are expected. This issue goes beyond an economic impact and may become a humanitarian issue.

Subsequent/Final Meeting

  • This may be during the crisis or after emergency is contained and/or resolved.
  • Review initial findings: trends and extreme cases.
  • Discuss whether further action is required:
  • This would normally include reporting of the key findings to the appropriate body.
  • This may include adjustments to the Economic Impact Assessment Tool or to this plan to ensure all needed data is being collected.
  • This may include an assessment of businesses that the AG has been unable to reach and may require additional outreach attempts using different methods.
  • AG is responsible for jointly producing a report which will be issued to the Executive Committee and via the Economic Liaison to the EOC.
  • The AG should determine whether further short-term economic impact assessment is required.
  • If the crisis is resolved, then the AG can transition to the implementation of long-term economic impact assessment.
  • If the crisis is unresolved, then ongoing short-term economic impact assessments may be necessary. Return to Step 3 – Data Collection.

Disaster Subsided – Economic Recovery Phase

Most recent short-term economic impact assessment findings are reported to the Executive Committee. This may inform action taken by other AGs, local government, etc.


Long-term Economic Impact Assessment Planning Meeting;

  • Scope, duration and costs of this assessment should be determined first. Funding may need to be sought in order to carry out the long-term assessment.
  • As above, data collection methods and parties responsible should be determined. Data collection may be based on the Economic Impact Assessment Tool used during the short-term assessment in order to provide data continuity between assessments.
  • However, the long-term assessment may include more data points for investigation since time is no longer a critical factor.
  • Ideally one party (external or internal) will take on the project management and execution, hereafter referred to as “the Researchers”. AG members supporting with in-kind contributions as appropriate.
  • The AG should determine intended purpose, required outcomes, and reporting format for the assessment.

Data Collection & Analysis

This will be undertaken by the Researchers.

Data Reporting

  • The AG will review the report submitted by the Researchers and issue approval provided that all requirements are met.
  • The report will then be disseminated to the Executive Committee, other AGs, economic development agencies, local government, and other parties as appropriate.
  • This report should form the basis of all economic recovery action taken by parties’ responsible for furthering this.

Final AG Meeting

  • AG should conduct a thorough review of “lessons learned” during both the short-term and long-term economic impact assessments. Any required changes to the AP should be made based on this review.
  • The AG can now be deactivated and resume.

Economic Impact Assessment Tool Template

A basic survey format is included below that could be used as a basis for the kinds of information that may need to be included during business engagement to gauge economic impact.


  1. Nature of the disaster:___________________
  2. Areas affected (please circle or highlight one or more selections):
    • Trail
    • Rossland
    • Warfield
    • Montrose
    • Fruitvale
    • Area A
    • Area B
  3. Businesses to contact (w/ contact details):
  4. Keys items to request information on:
    • Staffing:
      • Communications
      • Safety & Mental Health Concerns
      • Loss vs. Retention
    • Building/Capital:
      • Is site safe to access and use?
      • Is it temporarily vacant?
      • Damage / Losses / Complete Loss
      • Insurance (Yes, no or underinsured)
  5. Financial:
    • Immediate cash flow problems
      • Revenue loss
      • New/Increased costs
    • Borrowing Power
    • Eligible / applied for Disaster Financial Assistance
  6. Supply Chain:
    • Inventory
    • Disruptions

Inventory of Existing Programs and Assets for Economic Impact Assessments

A basic survey format is included below that could be used as a basis for the kinds of information that may need to be included during business engagement to gauge economic impact. 


  • The primary source for tools, guidance and resources is the BCEDA. The BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) has tools for benchmarking the economic status of communities and conducting economic impact assessments. They also can provide access to the BC Business Counts resource to house economic related data.
  • The Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute issues reports and data regularly, and communities may contact them for more specific data.
  • The BC Chamber of Commerce gathers business data at regular intervals and in the case of COVID-19 conducted provincial surveys to get data on COVID-19 impacts.

Action Plan for Future Preparation and Mitigation Activities

  • Further refinement of business impact assessment tools and templates, and customization of the BCEDA economic impact assessment toolkit would be beneficial.
  • Link the development of data sources to streamline the use of these resources during an emergency (such as when business retention or expansion programs are undertaken).
  • Have AG team members take specialized training from the BCEDA or other sources when available.
  • Engage with Selkirk College to determine its capacity to lead ongoing business data collection and analysis as well as to be equipped to respond quickly with economic impact surveying and data analysis.
  • Plan to gather economic benchmark data at regular intervals to identify trends and to measure impacts against.
  • Identify existing data sources (for example, business license numbers, provincial data) that can be leveraged to understand economic impacts.

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