One of the primary roles for a chamber of commerce is to be a voice, and a resource, in areas of community planning and taxation as they relate to business.
The chamber is well positioned to do this, but we need more involvement from members to be as effective as possible.
We have nearly everything in place now to be able to communicate the business message to the various governments. Representatives from the chamber of commerce are appointed to many advisory committees and other steering groups within the Vernon area, and we have good links to the provincial and national governments.
We have formed a policy and action team to start evaluating and creating our positions and they are anxious now to get going. The next step is to begin spreading the message that the chamber is back in the game and to get members to use the chamber to express the views of the business community.
We have been relatively silent for awhile but, with a new mandate from the board and the development of a structure and process, the chamber is repositioning to once again be more decisive and active.
We are forming volunteer business groups made up of members at large aligned along loosely grouped sectors. So far, we have had interest to form a business, arts, creative, culture cross sector group and a real estate, development and building construction sector. Other key sector groups are also being sought since we need to get a balanced representation from our membership.
With the economy being sluggish, this is a critical time for businesses to get involved. Members are encouraged to contact me at the chamber office if they are interested in participating in one of these groups or others.
George Duffy is the general manager of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the chamber office: (250) 545-0771.