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Quesnel chamber of commerce president praises local business resilience

Tim Lofstrom is also the regional principal at the College of New Caledonia in Quesnel
CNC Quesnel regional principal Tim Lofstrom is now the president of the Quesnel Regional Chamber of Commerce. (Quesnel Observer File Photo)

Tim Lofstrom knows the challenges local businesses are facing.

Lofstrom isn’t just the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce president. He’s also the regional principal for Quesnel’s College of New Caledonia campus.

“We’re at an intersection point for a lot of community initiatives, both economic and educational,” he said.

“Part of our role as a community college is to support meaningful employment for citizens within the region, so it’s really important to have a sense of connection with local business as to what the labour market needs are and what their employees ongoing educational needs are.”

Lofstrom said he wasn’t planning on becoming president, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity when asked to put his name forward.

“It wasn’t something I aspired to, It wasn’t something I really had in mind,” he said.

Lofstrom became president in late-2021. He said chamber manager Kathy Sommerville was the driving force for most of the chamber’s activities.

READ MORE: Quesnel’s best businesses honoured at excellence award ceremony

Nearly every business sector has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Lofstrom pointed to tourism and restaurants as being especially hit hard.

“We’re all trying to figure out what it looks like moving forward out of the pandemic situation, we have employers who are desperate to get staffing,” Lofstrom said.

“How do we fill those staffing needs moving forward in public service sectors that are really changing.”

Lofstrom questioned if industries will experience a long-term labour shortage, or will see staffing issues resolve after COVID-19 isn’t as much of a factor.

“We just don’t know that yet,” he said, noting that when employment goes up, generally the college sees enrollment decline.

Lofstrom was sure to praise local businesses for finding a way through the challenges related to a global pandemic.

“The resilience of local business owners has been remarkable through this whole thing,” he said.

“We’re really proud to work with them and represent them and find ways to help them move forward in the best way possible.”

For more information on the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce, including how to join, visit their website

READ MORE: Pandemic doesn’t hold back new business popping up in Quesnel

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