Salt Spring Island has joined a pandemic economic response and recovery initiative called Island COMBACK. Created by a diverse cross-section of BC’s rural islanders, this grassroots gift certificate and donation program will assist our most vulnerable businesses and community groups during the pandemic and beyond. Rural islanders are interconnected, strong, and caring. Island COMEBACK’s goal is to help each island be better able to recover from the current crisis. There are 18 rural islands taking part including Salt Spring.
Island COMEBACK is both a people-first, e-commerce site designed to promote and sell island created non-perishable and durable goods and services, and a donation platform allowing Salt Spring community groups and organizations to receive funds to assist with their immediate needs. It calls upon our local community, and the world, to support the recovery of our rural island culture, and economy by purchasing a gift certificate, making a donation or by doing both.
Jessica Harkema, Executive Director of the Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce says response locally has been positive, “Islanders take pride in our uniqueness and in reaching out to local organizations and businesses about this important initiative, everyone understands the benefit of being part of a recovery program that has been created by islanders for islanders.” Harkema adds, “It will also promote connections within each community and across each island, something we can all be proud of.”
Island businesses and organizations can sign up and register for free to generate immediate funds. Those who benefit, include small sector businesses, artisans, craft food and beverage makers, farmers, restaurants, and wellness providers, as well as community service organizations. Businesses can also accept donations if there is a current need, while also offering gift certificates if they choose.
This response and recovery initiative has been developed and sponsored by the Rural Islands Economic Partnership (RIEP) along with rural island partners. RIEP’s long-term mission is to build economic resiliency for BC’s rural islands and to “keep the island vibe alive.”
The rural islands of BC participating in Island COMEBACK include Salt Spring, Bowen, Cormorant, Cortes, Denman, Gabriola, Galiano, Gambier, Hornby, Lasqueti, Malcolm, Mayne, Pender, Quadra, Saturna, Pender, Texada, Thetis, including Broughton Archipelago, as well as Indigenous communities with traditional or reserve lands on these islands. To learn more, please visit:
Now is the time to come together; together we can make a comeback.