100 MILE HOUSE – May 29th to 31st saw the 64th Annual BC Chamber of Commerce meetings in Kelowna. The Chamber, often looked at as the ‘old boys club’, is actually a business and community activist and lobby group that is doing its best for society as a whole. Chambers realize that businesses are made up of individuals (employees and families) and their actions need to benefit everyone involved.

Chamber Chair, Leon Chretien, attended the Kelowna event and is pleased to announce that collectively Chambers across BC actively worked on 55 policy recommendations that effect governing changes when placed on the “books”. The process works by individual or collaborative Chambers recognize a “hole” or “opportunity” in the marketplace and community at large. The local Chamber then works at drafting a policy that will bring focus and thereby change to the perceived deficiency. 49 of the 55 policies changes and additions were successfully voted in to effect with 6 being deemed irrelevant.

Of note, a few Chambers in non-tourism economies asked for the February Family Day to be aligned with the rest of Canada. This was voted down, as BC’s economy benefits greatly from tourism. While it is expensive for some businesses, the overall result is great for hotels, ski resorts and the like, which have potential for back-to-back sell out weekends.

There was also discussion about the Pacific American State’s decision to examine the abolition of Day Light Savings Time Changes. Chamber members voted to work with those States, and follow suit in regards to changing time twice annually or not.

PST reform was also suggested by new policy and with a comment of note, “Every extra day British Columbia operates under the broken and archaic PST, we do our economy, our businesses and our residents a major disservice. We need to take action on our tax problem now – both by passing measures to mitigate the damage the PST does, and then by launching dialogues towards a new, made-in-B.C., value added tax that will take our economy and our province forward”.

Another policy of note was in regards to Jobs BC and Canada Job grant programs that are great in theory but cumbersome to access in many cases. 1,000,000 skilled jobs will be open over the next 10 years from both retirements of the Baby Boomers and economic growth. This is a huge gap to fill without a perfectly executed plan and the new policy will ensure the track we are on is a great one.

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Many topics were discussed at the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce Board Retreat held on June 5th. The Chamber remains dedicated to promoting the area for business and growth. The board put together some ideas for generating revenue to be able to implement some of the ideas put forth by the board to enhance the recreation, tourism, and housing in the South Cariboo. Appointment of officers was as follows:

Leon Chretien – Board Chair, Carl Gimse – Vice Chair, Ralph Myhill-Jones – Secretary and Rick Takagi – Treasure.

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Hot July Nights Car & Bike Show will be held July 15th – 17th in 100 Mile House, an event the South Cariboo Chamber is excited to be a part of. Please visit www.southcariboochamber.org for a link to Hot July Nights website for more information.

– Shelly Morton is the Executive Director of the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 250-395-6124, or [email protected]