CVCC offers advocacy and opportunity

The Columbia Valley Chamber has new offerings and opportunities for its members

Susan Clovechok is the executive director at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce

Susan Clovechok, the executive director at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, appreciates a new online tool that enables the chamber to be more responsive to the immediate issues of its members. — Photo courtesy Susan Clovechok

Susan Clovechok, executive director of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, appreciates the practical support of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, which recently provided B.C.’s municipal chambers with a useful new tool called MindReader, to assist them in responding to the needs of their members.

Chamber members are encouraged to register for MindReader, providing basic data that includes their community location, the type of business they are in and the number of people they employ, along with other information. MindReader then integrates feedback from those businesses, relevant to their geographical area, business sector and size of business.

“It makes it easy for businesses to participate and have a voice,” Clovechok said. “It’s going to enable us to be much more responsive to issues of the day in any location in the province—to capture what’s really on the minds of our membership.

“MindReader supports our advocacy with real-time information, facts and figures. We say we speak for business, and we really do.”

Improved initiatives for tourism

There are two destination marketing organizations in the Columbia Valley, one for  Invermere/Panorama and one for Radium Hot Springs. The two have collaborated over the past few years on marketing and advertising projects, and Clovechok said they are ready now to form an actual tourism marketing co-op.

The co-op’s steering committee is seeking a facilitator to help them with the work that’s necessary to get them established as a society.

Spreading the word

The CVCC recently worked with Summit Youth Centre to create material for the chamber’s YouTube site. With the support of Imagine Kootenay, students interviewed and filmed five Columbia Valley business people who spoke about doing business in the Valley, and why they love it.

As well as shedding some light on a few of the businesses that are situated in the Valley, the videos pointed out opportunities for young people to consider when making career choices. They highlight reasons to stay in the Valley and reasons to come back.

In addition to the usual calendar of event sponsorships and member support activities, a few other notable projects are keeping the CVCC busy:

  • Evaluating the status and future of Columbia Valley Transit
  • Working with Eden Yesh on the new Community Investment Co-Op, enabling local investors to invest in local businesses
  • Helping to inform voters on what to look for in candidates for local government office, in preparation for the municipal elections. “We need to pick the best leaders possible,” Clovechok said. “We want to create some awareness about the significance of the job and the challenges of it as well.”

Proven worth

“I would like nothing better than to have more capacity to provide more services to our membership,” said Clovechok. “But my perspective is that if we do a good job of providing support to our membership, our membership will grow as a result.

“Where we prove our value to the community is in the way that we advocate and create opportunities for businesses to succeed.”

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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