Trail chamber update, 2017

The Trail & District chamber plans for self-sustainability

Audry Durham is the executive director of the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce, additionally supporting the communities of Rossland, Fruitvale, Montrose and Warfield.

Audry Durham is the executive director of the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce, additionally supporting the communities of Rossland, Fruitvale, Montrose and Warfield. — Photo courtesy Trail & District Chamber of Commerce

The biggest change that the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce wants to see in the local business community is, simply, more business. To promote that improvement, the chamber is focused on increasing traffic to its member businesses.

Audry Durham, executive director of the Trail chamber, said that the organization provides an online member directory that is high in rankings, and groups businesses into categories to make it easy for people to find options when they need a product or service. The chamber also supports any special events and promotions within the business community and provides direct referrals.

A Business-After-Business gathering at SOAHC Estate Wines welcomed Trail chamber of commerce members and other guests. — Photo courtesy Trail & District Chamber of Commerce

As the chamber heads into the second year of its strategic plan for self-sustainability, Durham looks forward to producing more events for the membership:

  • The 2016 Business Excellence Awards event was a sellout, and this year’s event will take place at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall on September 30.
  • The chamber held its first breakfast meeting in August with a keynote talk by a representative from the Bank of Canada.
  • The first of a series of chamber luncheons will take place on September 21, 2017.
  • Business-after-business gatherings will take place on the second Monday of each month.
  • The chamber hosts and co-hosts seminars, webinars and workshops.

The chamber’s biggest annual fundraising event is the Kootenay Healthy Lifestyle Expo, held the second weekend in June. The event showcases the health sector businesses from Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, Rossland and Grand Forks.

The Kootenay Healthy Lifestyle Expo is held in Trail on the second weekend in June. — Photo courtesy Trail & District Chamber of Commerce

“The money raised goes right back into the chamber for marketing the businesses from our area,” said Durham. “We also are hosting a Highway 3B Foodfest on March 10, 2018, to promote our food and beverage sector businesses.”

Since expanding its support to include the business community of Rossland after that community’s chamber of commerce was discontinued in 2015, the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce has had an increase of about 50 per cent in its Rossland memberships, to a total of 70 Rossland businesses on its roster.

“By far,” Durham said, “our best resources are our staff and board of directors. Without them, we wouldn't have been able to make the changes we have.”

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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