It’s Chamber Week! Time to celebrate over 120 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade across British Columbia, and showcase their true grit, business insight, and sense of community.
Chambers, and our members, are the people who power B.C. Our business network’s goal is to collectively further the interests of business, to network, promote, and advocate for their needs. Through our chamber network’s close connections with business, we drive insight, which helps government and key stakeholders understand B.C. businesses most pressing needs – we know what is on BC’s mind.
To celebrate chamber week, the Hon. Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, has shared his own words about what Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade mean for BC’s business network.
From our President
The Province of BC has proclaimed February 15th-21st Chamber of Commerce Week to recognize the unwavering commitment of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce (NDCC) and Chambers throughout BC, in supporting local businesses, boosting economic development opportunities, and providing vital resources for businesses in our community.
Chamber President Tanya says “For well over a century, chambers have diligently kept their ear to the ground to identify the issues impacting businesses the most and have worked with government to drive these insights into tangible action. The Chamber has been doing that in our region for 128 years. “The Nelson Chamber was formed in 1893 as the South Kootenay Board of Trade, four years before the City of Nelson was incorporated, and has proven to be a strong, resilient and effective business advocacy organization”. Whether acting as advocates on hot-button topics or providing tailored resources to help our members reach that next level, Chambers are experts in getting business done.”
Finley notes “2020 was one of the toughest years we have endured together as a community. 2020 challenged us all to be resilient, persevere, adapt, and work hard for the urgent needs of Nelson and Area business and to keep our businesses open. For many business sectors, the need continues through 2021.
The Chamber and our partners at Community Futures in the Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership worked tirelessly through the pandemic, working collaboratively with the City of Nelson on business outreach, business economic pulse checks, hosting sector consultation roundtables, and engaging in effective advocacy to senior levels of government for programs to assist businesses through the pandemic. The work is clearly not over as we tentatively tightrope through the winter and spring and try to avoid business closures before the pandemic is under control.
We have been proud to support all business in Nelson and Area and throughout BC by powering decision making from government, influencing fiscal support programs, and recommending a way back on our road to economic recovery.
Chamber Executive Director Tom Thomson notes that “the Chamber is a volunteer, not for profit organization, that is a strong credible voice for close to 550 small and medium sized businesses, representing thousands of employees in Nelson and area. Our goal is to foster growth, and healthy economic development, and to work as the voice of business through our advocacy efforts and economic development initiatives. Thanks to all our existing members.”
Membership with the Chamber makes good business sense! As a member of the Chamber, you are joining hundreds of area businesses enjoying access to our business advocacy with all levels of government, access to benefits that go straight to your bottom line , and business contacts and connections that can result in new business opportunities. You also make a difference by supporting your Chamber’s efforts to drive economic development and provide outstanding business support in Nelson and area.
We continue to focus on Business Retention and Expansion activities. Working to strengthen existing businesses by investing in initiatives like our Think Local First and Buy Local campaigns, Open for Business-Wearing is Caring poster campaigns. As well as working with partners in rolling out business educational workshops and working with secondary and post secondary schools to ensure training and skills alignment, as well as developing strategies that can be implemented with all levels of government to address employee housing needs in our region.
Now, more than ever, Nelson and Area needs its Chamber of Commerce to help them through. We have rolled up our sleeves and are ready to do whatever it takes to ensure our business community sees this pandemic through. We have been here in the past; we are here for you now and we will be here for you as we revitalize our economy post-pandemic.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, we sincerely thank you for all you do in our community. Without members, a Chamber of Commerce simply would not exist. Working together, we can help build a stronger Chamber, and in turn a stronger economic region. We look forward to our continuing partnership in the coming year to strengthen our regional and provincial economy.
Tanya Finley, President
Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce