Chamber springs forward

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is once again moving into a busy season for events for the business community.

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is once again moving into a busy season for events for the business community.

Kicking things off Tuesday is the semi-annual Business After 4 Trade Fair, featuring exhibitors from Vernon and the North Okanagan. As usual it is combined with the regular Business After 5 co-hosted by the chamber and the Downtown Vernon Association and will be located at the Prestige Hotel.

Recruiting and retaining qualified, competent employees is a growing challenge for small business, especially in Vernon. Join Heather Press of Sebring Talent Agencies for a valuable seminar on how to recruit and retain staff on Wednesday, April 25, 5:15 p.m. at the Chamber U training room (upstairs, Century 21 Executives).

Admission for chamber members is complimentary, non-members $15.

There has never been a more exciting and inspiring time to be part of the automobile industry in North America, particularly in B.C.

For the first time, B.C. is part of the research, development and manufacturing of cars. Find out more on Thursday, April 26 at the Chamber Breakfast, featuring guest speaker Blair Qualey, president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. He will give a presentation on Steering the Province Along a New, Greener Highway.

May is also getting busy with the Valleywide Business After Hours, on the waterfront in Summerland, Thursday, May 10. The weather is always great and this is one of the few events to network with people outside of Vernon.

Tuesday, May 15 – The Regular business After 5 will be hosted by Carrington Place. Come and see one of Vernon’s premier retirement developments.

Thursday, May 24 – We are hosting the annual Mayor’s and Planner’s Breakfast. There has been so much going on in the past year at all levels of municipal government, not to mention newly elected councils. This will be a great time to get the latest on development and planning in the region.

Thursday, May 31 – Try a totally new experience for Vernon – speed networking. This is a structured networking program that has become very popular in other chambers, so we are introducing it this May with a tourism theme.

Tourism is one of our most important economic drivers, and one of the most effective ways of increasing visitor spending is to be able to effectively refer them to other businesses and experiences. We invite all businesses that are direct tourism providers and businesses that want to increase their exposure to the tourist economy to register for this event. It will be fast and fun and you’ll learn more than you ever imagined about all the great things there are to experience in the Vernon area.

George Duffy is the general manager of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.