Chamber of Commerce president’s message for 2018

Chamber of Commerce president’s message for 2018

Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce ready to plunge into 2018

The Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce just completed the 2018 Strategic Planning session on Feb. 14.

The board of directors had very positive conversations around what we ought to be doing as the “Voice of Business” in 2018, says Chamber president Julia Dillabough.

“We feel we have gained positive strides in the past few years and plan to build on those positives.”

The Policy and Advocacy Committee (PAC) has been able to churn out several successful resolutions at both the federal and provincial Chamber levels, she says, adding these resolutions were then brought to the government official to create change.

“We look forward to our next potential resolutions during our 12@12’s. This is a chance for Chamber members to bring issues to a lunch with several others who may be struggling in the same way. The PAC then gather the information about what the business community needs, and take it to the next level. (For example, the Reid Street shut down, new bylaws in affect, roads and highway issues, taxation, etc.)

If you have an issue that is affecting your business be sure contact our manager Sonja Jmaeff to bring it to the committee level, Dillabough says.

The Business Excellence Awards showcases our local businesses and 2017 was yet again a huge success, she adds.

“It is a night for our business community to celebrate everyone’s hard work over the past year. We have received more nominations each year from the community stating why they feel a business or business person should be nominated.”

Two years ago, she says, the Chamber started to give the people in the community the opportunity to cast votes.

“This proved to be very popular so get ready to cast your vote this coming fall. Stay tuned for who will be the entertainment for 2018, if you feel you have a gig worth showing off let us know. We love local!”

The Chamber president says they are looking forward to hosting its annual trade show that was unfortunately put on hold last year due to the arena construction.

“We are excited for the 2018 show to be setting up in the new West Fraser Centre at the end of April. This two-day event has been moved to the end of April; we wanted people to be able to showcase their business and encourage people to get their spring, summer and fall activities planned earlier to get a jump start on 2018.”

Space is limited so make sure to book your space right away.

The Chamber is looking forward to hosting as many of our local businesses as possible. Contact our local office and speak with Sonja Jmaeff or Natalie Hinder to book your spot.

“This year we also hope to create more of a spin for the Young Entrepreneurs and Business Management. We recognize in order to keep our community successful we need to encourage growth and new blood into our community.

“We are looking to engage with people that are not just ‘young’ but those who may still feel they are young at heart and want to start something new, but need direction and mentorship.

We hosted a 12 @12 to get this off the ground with a positive response, says Dillabough

“We were able to listen to several people’s stories of where they struggle and where they have success. We want those involved to continue to see the value and potential that the Quesnel business community has to offer even through the start-up struggles.

“Myself being one of these young people just five short years ago, I definitely needed the encouragement and assistance. I was lucky enough to have a mentor walk through my door about four years ago.

“Something I confess I may not have been in the same locations without this mentor. I will be speaking at a couple of the “Project Come Back” information sessions in the last week of February where we hope to gain more momentum for this drive.

A couple of areas the Chamber is looking to improve, but are only at the tip of the iceberg:

• Communication within our volunteer-based organization, which will in turn have a trickle-down effect to provide better communication with our members. We hope to provide up-to-date information on what we are accomplishing throughout the year and where we aim to be. Check out our Facebook page, join us on Twitter, to stay up-to-date and see what is happening and trending.

• To engage with the municipal government when our members need us to be the voice.

• Look at our function with an objective analysis, so we as the Chamber are promoting a sustainable business culture for Quesnel and district.

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