The work that the Chamber of Commerce does in Peace Region communities is being recognized this week.
“I truly understand and appreciate how our Chambers of Commerce support and stimulate local economies and help create vibrant communities throughout the province,” said minister of state for small business Naomi Yamamoto.
In Fort St. John, the Chamber of Commerce provides a voice for those people are who are involved with business.
“When there’s different issues like for instance bureaucratic red tape or taxation or maybe cross-border jurisdictional issues, really any level of government federal, provincial, municipal where we have a role in speaking for business,” said Brad Brain, president of the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce.
One of the main things the chamber works on is finding solutions to the challenges of operating a business according to Brain.
Jerimy Earl, vice-president of the Dawson Creek and District Chamber of Commerce explained that they are also a voice for small business in Dawson Creek.
“Often times, business owners, especially in our community, don’t have the time to go out engage with the elected officials and the government agencies on their behalf because they’re busy … earning a living,” said Earl.
The Chamber of Commerce assists both Dawson Creek and Fort St. John local businesses resources to help them be successful within the community.
“We work as advocates and as a resource for them so that they minimize the time they spend dealing with bureaucratic red tape,” said Earl.
It also provides an opportunity for business owners to network and share ideas with their peers according to Brain.
Even though the chamber does work all throughout the year, Brain explained that having a week to be recognized is a positive thing.
“I think lots of the time people will take stuff for granted even things that are right under their noses … it’s nice to recognize the efforts of a person or organization,” he explained.
Earl also believes having recognition is good because it reminds them that the Chamber of Commerce is available for those in the business community who would like to take advantage of what they have to offer.
“It just lets some of the people in the city and the region know – it reminds them that we’re here,” said Earl.
However, Earl explained that celebrating the Chamber of Commerce isn’t just about the chamber itself, it’s also about the members.
“When I started in the community, I began in the non-profit sector working for charity and I got to see first hand how much the local business communities contributes to improving the quality of life here in Dawson Creek and in the region,” he said.
Earl added that being apart of the Chamber of Commerce is a way he feels he can help.
“I thought it would be a great way to give back to the business community and by extension the community and the region and I think most of the board directors feel the same way.”