Business

Nanaimo Economic Development Update

Nanaimo is a place where diversity and inclusion are the fabric of our community.

From the first inhabitants to the most recent newcomer, our community has always been founded on the concept that we are in this together, and neighbours supporting neighbours is the best way to foster a warm and welcoming community.

Accepting each other and valuing our differences is a strength and will be an important cornerstone of our future prosperity.

As with many jurisdictions in Canada and around the world, we face a significant number of retirements in the coming years as baby boomers leave both the workforce and their roles as business owners in our community.

Demographic changes will increasingly become a challenge without the infusion of knowledge and resources from other destinations.

As a community we need to embrace this opportunity and welcome new perspectives while fostering time-honoured traditions.

For many industries this is a problem that faces them now, and will only get more acute in the years to come.

It is predicted in the next 15 to 20 years that fully 70 per cent of our population growth and an overwhelming number of our workforce entrants will come from immigrants choosing to make Canada their home.

Reaching out to these newcomers and ensuring we engage underrepresented communities in our workforce development will be crucial in overcoming this challenge.

As if that wasn’t enough, according to a Royal Bank study, it is expected that more than 25 per cent of business owners over the age of 50 will choose to retire in the coming five years, putting into question whether their businesses will continue on in our community.

With this “gray wave” facing our community, welcoming new entrepreneurs and fostering bright young minds in Nanaimo to buy these businesses can no longer be seen as a nice “to do” – it is a must.

Together we can and must continue building a welcoming community as the foundation of our cultural, environmental, social and economic vibrancy.

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Community Events, September 2014

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