Chamber News: Armstrong chamber backs business

Armstrong-Spallumcheen chamber executive director Patti Noonan discusses the benefits of membership.

Achamber of commerce must fulfill the needs of its particular community, and you would be hard pressed to find two chambers that are exactly alike.

In Armstrong-Spallucheen, the chamber provides four services – a visitor centre, benefits, advocacy and community programs.

Visitor Centre – As a member of the visitor centre network, in partnership with Tourism B.C., the City of Armstrong and Township of Spallumcheen, we provide business and visitor information, answering more than 13,000 requests each year. Staff assists an average of 10,000 people per year, including requests from those looking to relocate to our area.

We also distribute community brochures to visitor centres throughout B.C. and Alberta.

Benefits – We are proud to offer an array of benefits to our members: networking, education, cooperative advertising, discount programs, seminars and workshops. Networking events include traditional business after business events as well as a business-4-breakfast event.

As a member of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, the discount programs we offer our members are similar to other chambers: VISA and Mastercard merchant processing, group insurance plans, fuel discounts, hotel discounts, payroll program.

Advertising opportunities are diverse: online business directory, Monday morning memo, brochure and business card racking, highway signage, tradeshows, community brochures, regional tourism guides, joint radio and print advertising. We are pleased this year to showcase a number of members in our new Rtown promotional piece, showing in hotels and fitness centres throughout the area, in addition to the arrivals area at Kelowna Airport.

Advocacy – One of the Armstrong-Spallumcheen chamber’s most important roles is that of an advocate for members and business. In this role, we work with all levels of government – municipal, regional district, provincial and federal – to promote the interest of business in our community. This advocacy takes place in response to emerging issues and requests from the membership, at the direction of the board of directors.

Community Programs – Participating locally is the motto adopted by our board of directors, and they believe in leading by example. You will find directors and members involved with programs and events including: Feed the Valley, all-candidate forums, Armstrong Funtastic, Canada Day, Interior Provincial Exhibition, 4-H Stock Show, minor hockey, Kindale – the list goes on and on.

The chamber is also proud of it’s involvement in the creation of the Celebrate Canada – Countdown to Canada Day event, the IPE parade, Harvest Pumpkin Festival, Music in the Park, Downtown Light-Up, and Home for the Holidays. We invite everyone to join us for one, or all, of these events, and please join us for the first stop of the Kraft Celebration Tour 2011 – and a live broadcast of TSN SportsCentre – Aug. 19.

In providing these four integral services, the Armstrong-Spallumcheen chamber is working to fulfill the needs of our community, both business and residential. It is through participating locally that we are building a stable foundation for new and existing businesses.

For more information on how the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce can benefit you, visit www.aschamber.com.

Patti Noonan is the executive director of the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.