Building Resilience to Thrive

After the tumult and financial bleeding of 2020, I think it is safe to say our local business community is cautiously optimistic for a new year and a new beginning in 2021. While the impacts to our economy from the pandemic have not magically evaporated at the stroke of midnight on New Years Day, there is light at the end of the tunnel – albeit perhaps a little way off yet. We have been told by the federal government that every Canadian who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have it by September 2021. The thought of getting back to business as ‘normal’ is welcome relief.

Many of us embrace the opportunity of a new year to take stock of where we are at and make resolutions for the year/s to come. Small and medium businesses are no different, and there is no shortage of learnings and experience from the past year to take stock of. Looking forward, 2021 presents itself as a year of opportunity and growth with a lot of us envisioning what our business could and should look like on the other side of the pandemic. 

We have learned that thorough rainy day business planning and leadership skills are essential for resilience when trying to navigate extreme external forces that are out of our control. This is the perfect time for business owners and managers to set their businesses up to thrive post-pandemic by putting in the effort now to build that resilience. I know there are a lot of places to turn to for business advice, training, and professional development right now. The Fernie Chamber has worked hard to connect our member businesses with great webinars and other training opportunities – but there are tons of them. You could do webinars all day everyday for the rest of the year!

If there is one opportunity I could recommend for local businesses wanting to take stock and regroup this January, it is the Building Resilience to Thrive program. This program is offered by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business in partnership with the BC Chamber of Commerce network. The course requires little time commitment, with only one hour-long session per week for six weeks – and results in a formal education certificate. Professional development credits from the program can be applied to many post-secondary education programs. The course is taught by award-winning professors at the Gustavson School of Business – part of the University of Victoria. 

The Building Resilience to Thrive program provides essential tools and resources that are applicable for anyone looking to advance their professional development and come back stronger post-pandemic. To remove the financial barrier to participate, the course is being offered at a fraction of the cost of similar accredited programs for as little as $35 for Fernie Chamber members, and $70 for non-members. There are two cohorts of the program – one from January 12 to February 16 (every Tuesday from 12-1pm), and one from February 24 to March 31 (every Wednesday from 12-1pm). For more information and to register, contact the Fernie Chamber of Commerce at or check out our website

Here is to a much more positive and prosperous 2021!