Cortes Island is a community with a year-round population of approximately 1,100 residents. The Island is situated at the entrance to Desolation Sound – a world-famous destination for boaters – and has a popular summer tourist season. However, since the 2008 recession, the Cortes economy has been affected by declines in ferry traffic and tourism, declining school enrolments, increasing median age, and decreasing average incomes.
Through this project, the Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association has created a community-driven economic development action plan to support a diverse and efficient local economy. The project includes the establishment of an economic development readiness committee, a summary of existing Island economic trends, identification of investment strategies, as well as creation of robust monitoring and results-based management processes to measure both progress and outcomes.
The resulting five-year action plan will assist the community to prioritize key economic activities, investment strategies, and pilot projects.