Kamloops Chamber of Commerce executive director Deb McClelland (left) and Community Futures Sun Country general manager Debra Arnott at a recent meeting in Ashcroft to discuss the idea of a regional Chamber. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Regional Chamber of Commerce concept getting support

Process starting with communication, group building, and strategic planning

by Ken Alexander

Community Futures Sun Country general manager Debra Arnott says she is really excited about the prospect of having a Regional Chamber of Commerce for Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and the region.

Noting that Community Futures has been providing one-on-one support to small businesses and non-profit groups for the past eight months as part of the transition following the 2017 wildfire, she says they keep hearing people saying they want a Chamber of Commerce to support small businesses. Ashcroft and Cache Creek have had Chambers of Commerce in the past, but they no longer exist.

Community Futures took the lead and organized community meetings in both the villages to discuss options, including a Regional Chamber of Commerce. Arnott invited Deb McClelland, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce executive director, to attend both community meetings to share her expertise and many years of experience.

The Ashcroft meeting was held on October 10 and the Cache Creek meeting on October 16 , and both were smashing successes. There were 25 people at the Ashcroft meeting and 16 at the Cache Creek meeting, and the reaction at both meetings was much the same.

“It was extremely positive,” says Arnott. “Obviously people are ready to move forward with a regional Chamber of Commerce.”

Arnott says the District of Logan Lake has also approached her about getting some information. “I’m going to be meeting with them on Nov. 1.” Community Futures has included Clinton in all of the emails, Arnott notes, adding she is just awaiting an invitation.

“Hopefully, they will give me a call and say they are interested in participating.”

Arnott says that with all of the recent disasters in the region, including flooding and wildfire, businesses and their communities are collaborating in the region. “I think this is perfect timing to start pulling everybody together and start sharing resources.”

It was mentioned at the meetings that there is going to be a fee, and everyone nodded as it was expected, she says, adding it would be up to the membership to decide on a fee structure. However, that will come down the road, as Arnott says there are a lot of things to go through, including looking at the Business Act and going through the organizational process.

“Once all of this paperwork is in place, we will get everybody into the room and then have a discussion to start a strategic planning session.”

Arnott says she talked to BC Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Val Litwin recently about the preliminary discussions regarding a Regional Chamber of Commerce in the Sun Country region.

“He’s providing me that mentorship and guidance in how I should reach out. He said we were definitely on the right track by getting into the community and talking about a regional concept.” She adds that Litwin says they are there to support the concept.

After it’s all set up and structured, Arnott says the BC Chamber would come in at the six-month mark to meet with the membership. “That would give me a couple of months to go into the communities and share this concept and get some input from individuals.”

If people want to be involved in the whole process, they should let her know so she can include them in the email distribution list. “I’m going to be sending out some updates, so everybody is in the know.” For information or to get on the email list, contact Arnott at darnott@cfsun.ca.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

Mobile harm reduction service making weekly trips to Cache Creek

Service provides free kits, instruction, information, and referrals to those who need it

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

“The Great Regional Air Hug” being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

Most Read