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Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC Photo courtesy: www.tourismkelowna.com Photographer Brian Sprout - Picture BC

Welcome to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber works to ensure the Okanagan region will become the most economically prosperous region - and the most desirable place to live and work - in Canada. As the area's leading membership driven business organization, we are committed to providing value to our members. *The Election for the 2015/16 Term is now over. Click here to see results.
 

Events

Get involved & expand your reach with over 60 Chamber events each year! Connect with the Community calendar too!

 

Chamber News

Keep informed with all that’s happening at the Kelowna Chamber!

 

Join Today!

Become a member, and join the other 1200+ members that strengthen the community and build better businesses!


  • Calling Professionals & Students
    Mar 03, 2015

    Finding a job (or reliable employees) can be tough, let’s face it. The good news? It doesn’t have to be.

    With our program Launch Students into Business having already taken off several months ago, the New Year promises to connect over 25 students with industry professionals in their field, building meaningful relationships and valuable connections for Kelowna’s up-and-coming young professionals. 

    With this network of connections and their enhanced skill sets, we aim to provide these 3rd&4th year students with the resources needed to plug themselves into the community, enabling them to start their careers with confidence and ease.

     So, this is a call to action. A call for those who want to better themselves, or their organizations. We’re looking to take on more students and connectors and are looking for individuals interested in teaching workshops with us to further the students’ skill sets.

    For professionals, this is your chance to meet some of these soon to be grads first hand. To give them that helping hand you would have appreciated starting out, and to get your business in front of them, in an otherwise crowded market.

    Students – this is an opportunity for you to meet the people who will help you build your future. Why not get your foot in the door?

    We are after all types of backgrounds: business, trades, arts, you name it. As BC’s 2nd largest chamber, we have the member base to support all varieties of backgrounds and are eager to do so.

    To learn more or to get involved in the program, please contact Stephanie at stephanie@kelownachamer.org or call 250-469-7357. 

     

    -KCC Contributor 

  • Is this the end of the Commodity Supercycle?
    Feb 26, 2015

    These are tough times for commodities. Oil is grabbing all the headlines, with prices plunging 50% since June of last year. But agriculture prices are also soft, especially corn, which is down 53%. Metal prices have been weak for a while, particularly iron ore and copper, which are 40% lower than where they were two years ago. So is this the end of the commodity supercycle? And, what does that mean for business? A commodity supercycle is a period of unusually strong industrial and urban development, where demand for natural resources outstrips supply, sustaining decades of high prices. Think of post World War II or the industrialization of the United States. There is strong evidence that we’ve been riding a commodity supercycle. From the late 1990s to 2008, almost all commodities were experiencing real price growth rates exceeding 10% per year. Oil prices rose 1,062%, copper prices soared by 487% and corn prices were up 240%1. The real price of food increased almost 80% to reach the highest levels in history. Commodity prices crashed during the great recession of 2009 but they recovered quickly and kept on climbing. Why the soaring demand for commodities? During this time period, there was an explosion in the size of the middle class. According to the World Bank, the emerging market middle class (people earning between $2 and $13 per day) rose from 894 million in 1992 to 2.06 billion in 2005. It’s an incredible story: more people were lifted out of poverty than at any time in human history. And the first things people want when they join the middle class are pretty simple: better food, a nice home with a refrigerator and maybe even a vehicle. Look at the adjacent graph of car sales in China. Quite amazing, but if we graphed car sales in Indonesia, refrigerators in South Africa or home construction in India, the graphs would all look similar. All this requires enormous natural resources. For decades, producers of energy, metals and agriculture struggled because they could barely keep up with demand. Then in 2013, with record resource production, demand growth suddenly began to slow and commodity prices fell. So is the party over? Emerging markets have slowed, but we have to look at long-term prospects. The IMF is forecasting that emerging Asia will average 6.5% growth through 2020; Latin America and Africa will grow at 3.2% and 6% respectively. The OECD is forecasting that the global middle class will increase from 1.8 billion in 2009 to 3.2 billion in 2020. That’s a lot of new consumers and a lot of commodities needed as people get wealthier. So the commodity supercycle is not over, but when demand depends so much on emerging market strength, we have to anticipate volatility. Prices will recover but not to the lofty heights of 2007. This is good news for Canada because we have some of the most efficient natural resource producers in the world. Visit Powerofcanada.ca for more information.

     

    -Hendrick Brakel, CCC 

  • Chamber Myths De-bunked
    Feb 20, 2015

    This week we recognized Chamber week by hosting an event each day of the week to provide you with the opportunity to network, dine and engage to learn what we do for the business community. 


    Have you caught yourself wondering what a Chamber of Commerce is and what it does for business? Here are some myth's - debunked.

    * Myth #1: The Chamber of Commerce is a Bank. We are not a bank, we are the most broadly-based business organization working on behalf of small to large businesses.

    * Myth #2: The Chamber is a private club. We are an accessible, modern, organization supporting local business in their community.

    * Myth #3: Chambers are a part of Government. Chambers of Commerce engage with all levels of government as a voice, advocating on behalf of businesses, but are not government.

    * Myth #4: All we offer is Group Insurance Benefits. Chambers have a long list of exclusive member benefits to offer businesses, Group Insurance is just one of many.

    So if you've been on the fence, now is the time to join your Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and access Canada's largest business network. It's just smart business.

    -KCC

  • Chamber of Commerce Week
    Feb 13, 2015
    February 16, 2015, marks the beginning of Chamber of Commerce Week in Kelowna, as officially proclaimed by Mayor Colin Basran, as well as across BC. Chamber week is an opportunity for Chambers of Commerce throughout British Columbia to showcase their work on behalf of business communities across the province.

    This year, Chambers are celebrating the theme of "Leadership in Action" - a theme which highlights the leadership Chambers bring to their business communities, working hard to enhance B.C. as a business-friendly jurisdiction with strong opportunities for all British Columbians.

    And this leadership delivers results. Following on B.C. Chambers' active advocacy, the federal and provincial governments working in partnership, were able to deliver a significant win for B.C.'s businesses: the launch of the Canada Job Grant in B.C.

    Thanks to the hard work of Chambers in B.C., working closely with a responsive government, employers will be able to apply for up $10,000 in training funds. The Canada Job Grant, funded by the Government of Canada and administered by the Province of B.C., is an innovative cost-sharing program that helps employers offset the cost of training for new or current employees. 

    And that's just one of many positive changes that the Chamber network has led for B.C. businesses. Among many areas of impact, B.C.'s Chambers have been a key voice:
    * encouraging balanced budgets at all levels of government;
    * continuing to call for solutions to B.C.'s skills gap; and
    * encouraging municipalities to actively support local economic development.

    As members of the BC Chamber of Commerce, Chambers throughout the province are part of B.C.'s most extensive business policy development process. This process brings B.C. businesses' innovative ideas and on-the-ground insights to B.C.'s decision makers, and helps shape an ever more business-friendly province. Chamber network policies span from fiscal and tax policy to infrastructure to industry-specific issues.

    At the local level, Chambers throughout B.C. are catalysts for change, bringing together business and community leaders to figure out how to take each community forward.
    Here in Kelowna, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has been working with the Okanagan Water Basin Board. The Chamber developed a policy resolution that was taken successfully to the provincial and federal Chamber levels, calling for support in keeping invasive mussel species out of BC. The Federal Government acted swiftly to propose regulations to protect our fresh water lakes. 

    Taxation and equity for business played a role in the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce work relating to the Property Transfer Tax, asking that the Provincial Government increase the 1% PTT threshold from $200,000 to $525,000 with 2% applying to the remainder of the fair market value; and index the 1% PTT threshold of $525,000 using Statistics Canada's New Housing Price, and make adjustments annually. 

    Credit unions in the province are being impacted due to changes in the small business tax regulations, bringing the Chamber to recommend that the government extend the small business tax benefit permanently to credit unions to meet their unique needs with regulations and tax regimes that keep them strong and viable.

    Another policy, developed collaboratively with the valley Chambers of Commerce relates to the call for the Provincial Government to sign an agreement to negotiate with the Government of Canada to conclude a fair and equitable feasibility process to determine the economic impact of a national park in the South Okanagan-Lower Similkameen.

    So as B.C. celebrates Chamber Week, don't miss the opportunity to swing by the Kelowna Chamber for their open house on Monday from 4:30-6 pm, or register for one of the other Chamber Week events, at kelownachamber.org/events & join us in celebrating the leadership, energy and can-do attitude that B.C.'s Chambers bring to our communities.
     
    -KCC