Editor's Note: Greg Osoba works at Cortes Natural Food Co-op.
Staff shortages in the retail and hospitality sectors have been exacerbated during the pandemic in both urban and rural communities.
CKTZ News reached out to Cortes Island business owners and workers for their perspectives. Common issues they raised include a shrinking labour pool, affordable and available housing and an economy reliant on seasonal workers to meet the demand of summer residents and tourists.
Pre-pandemic, over the past several years, Cortes Island has seen a steady increase in visitors — from curious adventurers to retirees, to those fleeing high cost city life who can work remotely.
Retail and hospitality jobs have been created to meet increasing tourism demand yet the labour shortages remain.
Listen to the full CKTZ story below: