The Kootenay Technology Sector Assessment
One of the fastest-growing industries in British Columbia is the technology sector. Its rapid growth in rural areas is evident, as technology empowers the rural economy to be more competitive in the marketplace. In the Kootenays, many companies have integrated technology into their operations, and there is a noticeable presence of start-up businesses within the tech sector. However, businesses in rural communities face unique challenges that we see further amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, a better understanding of what the Kootenay tech sector will need to thrive is vital to retain and attract businesses in this region. The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) and Selkirk College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC) have been working together to measure the tech sector’s impact and its economic health within the region.
For this report, the Kootenay region includes businesses located within the three regional districts of the Kootenays (Central Kootenay, East Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary), and the two municipalities of Golden and Revelstoke, in accordance with KAST’s operational area. A business is considered tech if the company relies on technology, develops technology, or uses technology to drive its revenue.
Information collected through an online survey helps assess the tech sector’s business climate in the region and gives an overview of the local workforce. The survey paints a picture of the tech sector’s state, exploring business structure, financial health, the impact of COVID-19 and highlighting benefits and challenges unique to the location. Survey results provide vital information for economic impact analysis and outlook, helping guide future economic and community development strategies that strengthen and expand the regional tech sector.
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