CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WEEK

This year the BC Chamber of Commerce thought it would be appropriate to title Chamber Week ?Community Leaders in Action?.

I totally agree this is a very good name. Our Chamber of Commerce like all the others consists of a group of people encompassing Business Leaders, Professionals, and Community Groups working together as Executive members and Board Members to form our working Board. These people do not get paid for the hours they give to the Chamber. Without them there would be no Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

Then we cannot forget all our Members, who complete the Chamber. They volunteer to help with functions, they pay to attend and participate at the functions, and again without them there would be no Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

So to all of you out there that are Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce members, you ARE the COMMUNITY LEADERS IN ACTION.

February 16th marks the beginning of Chamber of Commerce Week, an opportunity for local Chambers across the province to demonstrate the outstanding value they provide to their communities.

While each Chamber of Commerce is as unique as the community in which it operates, the value of every Chamber is grounded in three common areas of importance: advocacy, benefits and services.

The advocacy efforts of local Chambers represent some of the most important work that they do. Through provincial and national avenues, Chambers bring local issues of concern, not only to their members, but to the community at large, to the attention of government. By giving these issues a voice beyond the local level, Chambers provide much needed input to public policy which benefits their local economic and social well-being.

Benefits and services constitute two other areas of Chamber focus. Chambers provide direct benefit and service programs for their members, helping them to put their very best foot forward in business, which in turn stimulates their local economies. Beyond their memberships, however, Chambers are hard at work promoting and assisting their communities; whether by hosting and organizing local events, or by running the area visitor centre and promoting tourism, their contributions are a tangible part of the municipalities and regions they represent.

Chambers of Commerce are leaders in action. Chamber of Commerce Week serves not only to recognize and applaud that action, but also to bring further awareness to members of the public, and members of Chambers alike, of the true breadth of the Chamber Network?s influence and importance in British Columbia.

As Members you know there are many benefits for you. The BC and Canadian Chambers are working on ways to make even more all the time. Please feel free to contact the Chamber office 250.242.0015 and talk to me, so I can update you on what is available. Two of the biggest benefits are the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance, and TD first Date Merchant Services or VersaPay. These last two companies will save you a lot of money on debit and credit card transactions if you are only using a regular bank. It would be like you getting your Membership for FREE.

VersaPay Corporation for example charge 1.69% plus 15 cents per Visa/MC transaction, and they only charge 7 cents per Interac Transaction. These are not introductory rates ? they are valid for the life of your contract. You do not need to change your bank accounts either, they deposit right into your account.

There is also PAYWORKS. That is an opportunity for you to get your payroll done at a reduced rate. For businesses with bigger payrolls, wouldn?t it be nice to have someone else take care of it for you.

Members of 2008 you should be proud of yourselves. Our Membership grew from fifty eight to eighty nine. You paid your dues, you took part in our activities, and you even encouraged your friends to join. Job well done ? thank you.

Chamber events in 2008:

In 2008 the Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce had two major events:

Golf Tournament on June 21

Christmas Gala December 6. Both of these events were a success and together they made the Chamber around three thousand dollars.

Also:

1. we arranged for people to come into town and teach us about the GST and PST,

2. we had a mixer, that was held on Chamber Week in February of 08

3. a Luncheon where Energy Services BC were the guest speaker and they helped our

businesses get their names out to oil and gas companies for work

4. we organized the Grizfest Parade for 2008

5. being an Election year we held an All Candidates Forum for Mayoral and Councillor

candidates

6. plus in 2008 we had a by election for which we held an All Candidates Forum.

7. our AGM in 2008 was the most attended Chamber of Commerce AGM in our

District. The District 12 Director, Dave Lantz, who was our guest speaker last year

was amazed and pleased with the response for the AGM. I hope we can do it again.

The Chamber of Commerce has also worked with The District of Tumbler Ridge and Northern Lights College to co-host a Superhost workshop.

Myself as Manager, I attend all the Council Meetings possible and with my Chamber Board approval am on the Mayors Task Force Seniors Needs Committee and am a Community Liaison for Measuring Up The North.

As all of our current Members are aware, we have an email list, and our Members get sent the Canadian and BC Chamber information, Government information, and various other information is passed on to all members. I also pass on grant information to different organizations that may be able to use it.

We try as your Chamber to be useful in the Community, we with the help of the Tumbler Ridge News, have a Chamber Chatter and a Spotlight each week. The spotlight is where we make the public aware of what that Business can supply Tumbler Ridge. We want our Businesses to be first in the Communities mind, for the products they supply our Citizens and not only for what they can give for functions, and donations.

Thank you to all the Chamber Members in our Community for a job well done. You are truly COMMUNITY LEADERS IN ACTION.