What a difference a summer makes. Over the past few weeks, the Chamber of Commerce has made a mile and then some on important changes that will better prepare us to deliver value to members. Here’s what’s been accomplished and put into motion so far:
Dragon’s Den at PCSS in October – October is Small Business month in BC (and elsewhere) and the Chamber, in partnership with Juice FM, will be holding the first annual Dragon’s Den business competition in the Prince Charles theatre. Anyone can enter and pitch their business ideas to a panel of “dragons” who will vote on the best – and perhaps most entertaining – idea. A $1000 first-place prize and just general tomfoolery will prevail, making for a fun evening out. To enter the contest, phone the Chamber at 250-428-5151 or go to our website and follow the Dragon’s Den links. Entrance to event is free. (watch our Facebook page and website for further details).
Student hire – the Chamber has secured grant funding from Columbia Basin Trust to take on a student intern for the school year. This student will spend up to 10 hours each week helping out around the office and with community events like the upcoming Dragon’s Den event, as well as our grand opening in October (watch our Facebook page and website for details).
Workshops – our first members’ workshop was slated for September 21, with Constable Miles Welford from the local RCMP lined up to talk about crime prevention and trending in the Creston Valley. Future workshops include a fire codes and fire extinguisher training session in October and a November lunch and learn session on customer service with Chamber board member and Baille-Grohman owner Bob Johnson. (watch our Facebook page and website for details).
Youth engagement – the Chamber also hosted its first youth engagement session this summer in the form of an Arduino and robotics workshop conceived and delivered by Jenny Tyler. Four bright young minds spent three days programming and building circuit-based masks, clothing and other devices. Plans are under way to extend the workshops as a first step in the Chamber’s plans to convert the building’s downstairs into something of a maker space for a widening range of digital arts and media production.
Key meetings – the executive has been inviting and holding important meetings with key leaders in the Creston Valley, including the Town of Creston, folks from the KES-led Economic Action Partnership, the RDCK and Community Futures. These have been extremely positive and productive meetings that are not only helping us chart our way with some of the community-based events we have planned, but to see where we can contribute to overall community-based planning going forward.
Office renovations – the conversion of old main floor storage space into two new Chamber offices – complete with a service window – are nearing completion. This will free up the existing space as a rental office and generate a bit more operating cash for things like workshops, etc. We’re training our efforts on the downstairs as well, with more updates on that to come in future posts. Come bro see the upgrades.
The Chamber would like extend heartfelt thanks and acknowledgement of the efforts of all firefighters this season who worked tirelessly and at risk to protect life and property.
Mark Wolfe, President
Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce