Chamber of Commerce takes pulse of local business

Trent Ernst, Editor


Last week was a busy week for the Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

On Tuesday, the Chamber hosted an evening for home-based businesses to discuss issues facing them.

The next day, they, along with representatives from the Government of BC and the District of Tumbler Ridge went on a business walk to take the pulse of local businesses.

Chamber Manager Carmen Drapeau says they haven’t collated all the results yet.

“In fact, we’re not quite finished doing it,” she says. “There are a few businesses we still have to talk to.”

Drapeau says the general sense is what one would expect. “Nearly everyone is affected by the shutdowns,” she says. From contractors to local store owners, everyone is feeling the pinch.

Not all businesses have escaped unscathed. In the past year, Country Creations, The Duck Stop, Alpha Fire and Safety, and Jarrick Hair Salon have all closed downtown.

But that doesn’t mean that all the businesses are in danger of going out of business.

“Some of the businesses are doing okay,” says Drapeau. “They’re hanging in there. They can see an end in sight. With the new projects starting up, hopefully they’ll have the job fair soon. It’s like we’re crossing a big gorge; they just want to get to the other side.”

As part of the business walk, Drapeau says, the question was what can the Chamber do to help them. “Would a workshop help? But what we heard was ‘we need people, we need connections to the big projects.’”

Later this week, says Drapeau, the Chamber is having a meeting with representatives from the Meikle Wind Project and Borea Construction, the prime contractor, later this week, “We’re going to hand them a list of businesses and tell them to use them first. The message from the local businesses is “we’re here, we’re available.”