Business Focus: Creston chamber collaborating with Creston businesses and organizations

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Jim Jacobsen is the executive director of the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Jacobsen is the executive director of the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The World Dictionary defines collaboration as a verb meaning “to work with another or others on a joint project or projects.” Synonyms include teamwork, partnership, alliance and co-operation.

At the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, we are busy collaborating with numerous businesses, groups and organizations on a variety of projects, all with the goal to improve the business climate and quality of living in the Creston Valley for residents, workers and visitors.

We work with our membership to promote and support local businesses. We do this through business referrals, business-to-business support, shop local strategies, the Home and Garden Show (April 12 and 13), operating the Visitor Centre, offering workshops and newsletters to share information and resources.

Let’s Get Together is a group of business people and community organizers co-operating to make local special events bigger, better and more successful. By working together on planning events, we can avoid pitfalls (such as booking two events on the same night), share resources, share advertising costs, cross-promote and draw out-of-town audiences for multi-day/multi-event getaways. A key component of this strategy is utilizing the free community events calendar at www.crestonevents.ca.

We are proud to be working with our local artisans on several fronts. The chamber building is the site for an ongoing art show in partnership with the Community Arts Council of Creston, the Creston Art Club and Artistic Visions. Plans are in the works to host Art and Culture Week followed by the annual Focus on Youth visual arts show. The space is possible because of the support we received from our dedicated board members, member businesses, and the Creston Valley and Creston Rotary clubs.

The Creston Valley Food Action Coalition is another important alliance. In addition to being a tenant in our building, we are working with their organization and others in the agriculture sector to improve the local food economy. One key collaborative project that supports tourism, agriculture, and economic development was the new tourism website, www.CrestonValleyBC.com.

And there is countless and ongoing collaboration with key stakeholders: the Town of Creston, Regional District of Central Kootenay areas B and C, Kootenay Employment Services, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, College of the Rockies, Columbia Basin Trust and Tourism BC. And we need to collaborate with you!

We are looking for people that are genuinely proud of our valley and eager to promote the uniqueness of our region. We need persons to act as greeters at the Visitor Centre, share their knowledge of the area and generally help us help visitors so they stay here and play here. It is not a huge time commitment. It can be as little as a few hours as needed (at special events or during busy tourist times) or as much as a shift every week. If you are interested in being an ambassador, please call Jim at the chamber of commerce at 250-428-4342 or, better yet, stop by the chamber and see what we are all about!

Jim Jacobsen is the executive director of the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce.