All “For Planners” content is part of the Economic Resilience Action Plan (ERAP) for the South Kootenay. ERAP is the written plan that helps guide our community volunteers in times of economic disruption. To learn more about ERAP or volunteer to participate in an Action Group please visit our About Page.
Table of Contents
Economic Resilience Action Plan (ERAP) Overview
The Kootenay Region Economic Resilience Action Plans are a network of plans developed to aid communities in times of economic disruption. Each participating community developed locally focused plans through a community engagement process and subsequent plan reviews by community leaders.
The overall process was led by a team of partners including Community Futures, the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at Selkirk College (ARIC), of which the Rural Development Institute (RDI) is part, and the Community Economic Development Program at Simon Fraser University (SFU CED). The work was funded by the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute at Selkirk College through a Rural Dividend Fund grant from the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development (MFLNRORD) as well as from the Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary, Central Kootenay, East Kootenay, and Town of Golden and Columbia Basin Trust.
Trail and Region led its first community engagement process on March 4, 2020, and its second on April 22nd, 2020. The engagements included a wide range of stakeholders from the following organizations, businesses, and government agencies:
Canadian Armed Forces
City of Rossland
City of Trail
Columbia Basin Trust
Community Futures Greater Trail
Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation
RDKB Emergency Management
RDKB Emergency Operations
RHC Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Shopper’s Drug Mart Trail
South Columbia Search and Rescue
Trail and District Chamber of Commerce
Trail Transit Services
Village of Fruitvale
West Kootenay EcoSociety
The purpose of the ERAP is to provide guidance for the roles and activities necessary to prepare for, respond to, and recover from economic disruption. The term “economic resilience” will be used inclusively of all phases of emergency management related to such disruptions.
Economic disruption takes many forms, and this plan assumes an All-Hazards approach that is inclusive of natural disasters, technological and human-caused disasters, pandemics, major employer losses, economic downturns, or any other incident that may cause significant economic damage or may require active intervention by local and regional authorities. In other words, the ERAP is intended to be adaptable to every situation of economic disruption.
In part, the ERAP serves as an immediate action plan for economic disruption, and can be used to initiate activities for effective response and early recovery. However, most incidents of economic disruption will require an incident-specific recovery plan, which will be developed with strategies and activities particular to that recovery. The ERAP enables and supports those plans but does not include defined activities for every recovery herein.
Principles and Priorities for Economic Resilience
Each community has a different approach to planning for economic resilience, and each has different principles and priorities for attending to their own economies. These principles and priorities guide the actions and investments made by communities to prepare for and respond to disruptions. Trail and Region has identified the following principles and priorities to guide their ERAP:
- Regional cooperation and collaboration
- Focus on maintaining population and
- physical wellbeing of citizens
- Avoid leadership drain and brain drain
- Bounce forward
- Promote equity in how businesses are
Equitable Access to Support Services
The Greater Trail area has an increasing population of non-white business owners. Some business owners are indigenous or Metis. Traditionally, non-white business owners have a more difficult time accessing government or non-profit supports and services. It is recommended that special care and attention be paid to these groups during emergency response and recovery activities to ensure they have the same opportunities for resiliency that everyone else has. Working with groups like the Circle of Indigenous Nations Society (COINS) and the South Kootenay Metis Society can help ensure fair delivery of opportunities to all groups.
Note that there may be language barriers to the delivery of information before, during and after a disaster. Working with groups familiar with tailoring messaging to reach various groups is an important component in ensuring successful plan implementation.
Connection to Existing Roles and Plans
The ERAP exists outside of the BC Emergency Management System (BCEMS) but is intended as an enhancement to existing emergency management plans and roles. As such, this plan has been developed in connection with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Management Program (RDKB EMP) to find areas of coordination and collaboration for the increased resilience of the Trail and Region communities.
Within the Trail area, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is the entity responsible for emergency management. The ERAP is intended to be a companion plan to existing RDKB emergency response plans. The RDKB Emergency Program is primarily charged with keeping people safe and preventing property damage as primary goals. The development of this ERAP as a helpful dependent plan to the RDKB emergency program materials to ensure that the needs of the Greater Trail business community are addressed in times of crisis in tandem with other emergency management activities that may not be underway in parallel processes.
The ERAP operates as a bridge between existing economic development and emergency management plans, filling in the gaps of economic resilience that may exist between them. For the purposes of this plan, the additional plans reviewed and considered include:
- Fruitvale 835 Official Community Plan Bylaw
- Montrose 669 Official Community Plan 2008
- Trail Official Community Plan
- Warfield Integrated Official Community Plan – Final 2017
- Warfield Integrated Official Community Plan – Implementation Guide Final
- Official Community Plan Schedule E – Design Guidelines for Downtown Rossland
- Official Community Plan Schedule G – Red Mountain Sector Plan
- Official Community Plan Schedule K – Multiple Family Design Guidelines
- Official Community Plan Schedule H – Red Mountain Design Guidelines
- Official Community Plan Schedule I – Redstone Sector Plan
- Official Community Profile Schedule J – Mid-Town Transition Area Neighborhood
- Official Community Plan Schedule F – Topping Creek Best Management Practices
- Rossland Official Community Plan 2018
Maintenance of this ERAP
Upon activation of the Economic Resilience Action Plan, the Executive Leadership team will need to consider what the initial funding needs are for implementation of the plan. An assessment of immediate activities will need to be taken as the team begins operations. Some of the activities which may require funding include:
- Short term hiring of staff or engagement of contractors.
- Costs to undertake initial economic impact assessments.
- Development of short-term economic recovery plans.
- Community outreach and determine immediate needs for various business sectors.
- Activation of economic case management staff and systems by partner organizations.
- Costs to organize meetings, equipment or space rentals, or other ancillary costs.
During the initial phases of an emergency, challenges often arise within the financial capacity of local organizations, local government and community support organizations. Funding from government may take time to roll out, so in order to ensure there are funds available for the initial recovery activities, the following steps may be considered.
- Communications with the RDKB Emergency Operations Centre or Emergency Program, the BCEDA and the MFLNRORD Regional Economic Operations Branch is essential.
- Explore local organizations and non-profits that may be able to assist with funding the implementation and activation of the ERAP or associated activities. In the case of the RDKB, any financial support would require expense authorization approval by Emergency Management BC. All other procurement and contract guidelines between organizations should be established.
Provincial and Federal relief funding programs may be available to impacted businesses. These funds would be better managed and distributed by local organizations, as opposed to large national non-profit organizations with little or no connection with the community and longer distribution times.
Updating the Plan
The ERAP committee and participating organizations should meet annually to review this document to ensure operational readiness and plan familiarity. Regular reviews and updates to the ERAP is critical to its success and to maintain the value to its users.
Community Futures Greater Trail will be the lead on this initiative and will be responsible for version control and ongoing maintenance of this plan. Desired outcomes of this plan will assist local businesses to be better prepared for the next economic downturn. This can be stimulated by providing training materials and a Business Continuity template to be made available at www.BizDAP.ca
Plan Review and Update Frequency:
- Base Plan – Annual review, with full update every 3-5 years. Only upon foundational or administrative changes in the communities and organizations should a full update be required of the base plan. Community Futures Greater Trail and ERAP committee members hold responsibility to review and update the plan.
- Action Group Sections – Annual review, with full update every 3-5 years. Annual reviews of contact information is important with staff turnover at partnering organizations
Exercising the Plan
The success of any emergency plan depends greatly on two factors:
- How familiar participants and contributors are with it.
- How much training BEOC staff have had specific to their role.
Regular exercising parts of the plan will ensure that when the BEOC is activated, staff and supporting agencies are familiar with each other and familiar with the business practices of the business emergency program.
Exercising the plan can be tied in with local organizational meetings, or a meeting specific to the BEOC. A standing agenda may include a short tabletop exercise or review, focused on one specific portion of the plan.
To ensure that partner agencies are familiar with the ERAP and BEOC processes, it is recommended to hold an annual tabletop review of the plan, with a full activation exercise every three years.