The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce, which has had its doors shut for the past 10 months is very much alive and will be open for business come Nov. 15.
At the chamber’s AGM in January, a quorum could not be met with existing membership so the chamber was forced to close its doors.
Local resident and business owner Karen Brown sought guidance from the Economic Development Office, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and Corporations Canada to consider reopening chamber.
“It was evident that the chamber was very much missed. It was the piece that was missing… there was no longer a voice for business in the area,” Brown says. “Although I wasn’t a member of the last board of directors, I have served on many boards and committees in the past.
“You find that the same people volunteer time and time again for various causes and, quite frankly, people get tired. If they aren’t supported, frustration can set in, energy levels drop and the drive and inspiration to move forward is lost.”
Brown then approached several business people in the community.
“My goal was to get a group of people together who represented a diversity of business in the area – from construction to accommodations, to marinas to retail and restaurants.
“I also tried to choose people to represent all areas of the South Shuswap, not just Sorrento and Blind Bay.”
As well, Brown tried to recruit some youthful members to the board to get a fresh perspective on what younger families are looking for in the South Shuswap.
The final key was to ensure that if they were going to work together, board members first had to meet and share their individual ideas as to what a healthy, thriving business community could look like. From their first meeting, it was apparent this group could work well together.
Chamber directors for the upcoming year are Dan Baskill, Dave Brice, Dee Crinion, Brad Davies, Fiona Harris, Brad Long, Brad Scott, Gareth Seys, Tim Thompson and Erika Zazzi. Development officer and Tourism Shuswap rep Robyn Cyr will take part as an appointed director.