City of Vernon – Economic Development Advisory Committee Presentation

As talk of ‘recovery’ begins, many are curious to know how the agriculture sector has been impacted by COVID. In a presentation to the City of Vernon Economic Development Advisory Committee last week, Land to Table was able to share some of what we are hearing from small-medium scale producers and processors. This included:  

  • Local, small-scale meat producer sales, direct to consumers can’t keep up with demand.
  • Farmers’ market sales are unpredictable this year, perhaps due to weather or because many are growing their own food. Those who have suffered the most include farms or processors with the majority or all sales at farmers’ markets but also those who have a high number of sales to restaurants.
  • Some small businesses were able to take the time during the lock down to innovate and think about how to sell their food products in a different way.

In light of COVID and climate change, we know we can’t return to ‘normal’ but need to think ahead about long-term trends, and consider carefully how to build an economic recovery that is both COVID and climate resilient. We think that the local food system will play an important role in this.

We are also collaborating to support the following opportunities:

New Recovery Loan for your Ag Business

Is your farm, processing or agriculture based business experiencing a downturn due to the pandemic? The Regional Recovery and Relief Fund is a new government loan designed to support sole proprietors, partnerships & social enterprises to help you get through this time!

Terms, until Dec. 2022, include:

  • No Interest
  • Loans of up to $40,000
  • If 75% of the loan is repaid, the remainder is forgiven and does not need to be paid back!

Community Futures North Okanagan reviews and approves your loan locally, with a vested interest in supporting our business community! Learn more & contact Scot McNair in Vernon with any questions about the RRRF loan! | 250-545-2215 Ext. 249

Grower Support Survey

This has been a difficult year for growers, with many having to move to online sales platforms and upgrade websites to help drive sales. However, not everyone has had the time, capacity or ability for online sales or to manage the logistics that come along with it, while others may be experiencing limitations with these systems.

Community Futures has funding available to provide sales and marketing support to regional growers but would like to learn more about your needs.

If you are a grower or local food business and would be interested in accessing support, please complete this 6 question survey—it should take only 5 minutes of your time.

Survey link: