Rural has a variety of definitions but for the Community Futures organization its communities with a population under 100,000. In Essex County we have 7 rural municipalities, all of which contribute significantly to the success of the Windsor-Essex region. Our small towns offer pleasant lifestyles, waterfront access, unique shops and fantastic restaurants.
Recently I attended the 2022 Community Futures National Event in Ottawa, Rural & Resilient. The focus of the conference was rural recovery. It was an opportunity to share best practices, lessons learned from the pandemic, and to explore new ways of doing things, all with the goal of building a path forward through this changing world of ours.
What really struck me is that the challenges our businesses in Essex County face are very similar to those faced by businesses across Canada. While each region has its own nuances, every business owner was faced with a new reality they had to navigate.
Prior to the conference I really hadn’t given a lot of thought to what resilience is. As we listened to speakers talk about resilience, I realized that the businesses I’d worked with throughout the pandemic had an innate ability to adjust to their circumstances. The definition of resilient is “tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. While we’re still working on the recovery part, most of the adjustments have been made but it wasn’t easy. Whether you call it our ‘new normal’, or our ‘next normal’, either way we are now settling into the reality of how things have permanently changed.
Being resilient does not mean coping with everything alone. The connections you made during the pandemic will be the same connections that will help you navigate the recovery process. Please reach out to the Team here at Community Futures Essex County if there are connections you need help making, or if there are concerns you still need to address. We are always pleased to assist you however we can.