Growing the People Who Power BC

February 19, 2018, marks the beginning of Chamber of Commerce week in British Columbia, an opportunity for the over 125 Chambers of Commerce in the province to showcase their true grit, business insight, and sense of community.

Chambers and their members are the people who power BC. Whether that means acting as a cheerleader or loyal advocate on behalf of our members or stepping in at the right moment with a best-fit benefit or tailored resource, Chambers and Boards of Trade have been supporting businesses in BC for well over a century, and this week is all about celebrating that fact. The importance of Chambers and Boards of Trade are also recognized by our local and provincial governments, with the Province of British Columbia once again issuing an official proclamation to celebrate the week.

Every day, Chambers actively strengthen local businesses through networking events, mentorship opportunities, professional development activities, and community engagement. Whether hosting events and business awards, supporting young entrepreneurs, or organizing unique travel experiences for companies interested in learning more about different international markets, Chambers know what’s on BC’s mind.

Chambers have their finger on the pulse of business and can provide keen insight when advocating the government on the important issues that face their members.  This year, we celebrate the success of some of the Chambers advocacy efforts. For example, the provincial government has reinstated the small business tax benefit for Credit Unions. In many communities, credit unions are the only source of local business financing. Keeping the credit union tax rate low ensure sufficient dollars flow into community businesses, allowing new and established businesses to secure investment dollars.  Another example is the phase-out of the PST charged on electricity bills for businesses. This will translate into immediate savings for business owners, allowing them to invest back into their own operations. Whether you’re a mining company or a dry cleaner – this will make a difference.

Chambers’ knowledge of their members, their local economy, and their communities helped form advocacy efforts around amending ALR regulations to provide much-needed balance for B.C. farmers and small businesses, particularly in the craft brewery and distillery industries.  We can all raise a glass (of craft beer or cider) to that! These types of changes support economic growth and create jobs for many businesses and entrepreneurs in the province and cannot be done without the insight provided by the Chambers of Commerce in BC.

As BC celebrates Chamber Week 2018, swing by your local Chamber, join in some Chamber Week events, and celebrate the many ways BC Chambers support local business, strengthen our communities, and grow the people who power BC.