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Happy New Year! This month we will help you plan your new year ahead with our partnership with the Conference Board of Canada, to bring you a half-day seminar on Thursday January 26 at the Coast Capri. The subject: Economic Outlook and Analysis – Kelowna’s Business & Food Sector, by the Deputy Chief Economist, The Conference Board of Canada, Pedro Antunes.
As well, we are hosting an interactive panel “Women of Wine” at the Kelowna Yacht Club on Tuesday January 24, moderated by wine maven John Shreiner. On the panel are three exceptional women, deeply involved in the wine business in professional capacities, and who will bring us fascinating insights from their careers. Plus, KYC’s outstanding lunch, served “family-style” will be followed by an optional wine tasting of product from the three wineries taking part.
January also sees our call for new Board Directors of who the elected will be sworn in at our March AGM with Keynote Brad Bennett, Chair of BC Hydro.
On January 25, we’re inviting our members to join us at Silver Star for a ski day – lots of great activities, skiing, and some aprés-ski warmers. Click on our Chamber web events for all the details.
Now to the nitty-gritty: we asked some of our industry-leading members to take a look back at 2016 and cast an eye ahead to 2017 for us, as a year-end wrap up. We’ve included some of their comments here, and will run the balance in this month's Business Examiner. We’re grateful to read so much good business news.
NOT-FOR-PROFIT “At the KGH Foundation our favourite saying is “giving changes everything”. And indeed, over the past year countless lives have been saved by the critical equipment and services provided through gifts from donors at KGH. Community pride is alive and well in Kelowna, and year over year the demonstration of this spirit grows through philanthropy.
"Over the coming year we see the community coming together as never before on some critical projects that will change the face of Kelowna. These projects will be fundamental in making Kelowna a better place for our friends, our families and ourselves to live, and our community pride will be vital in making these changes possible.” - Doug Rankmore, CEO, KGH Foundation.
“Simply a great year with strong growth in tourism numbers. Awareness of the Okanagan as one of the key culinary destinations in North American continues to gain recognition internationally.” - Tony Stewart, CEO & Proprietor, Quails Gate Estate Winery “2016 has been up and down in the markets we’re in. Next year looks like it will be a bit better, especially in forestry, Class 8 truck business, and the Oil and Gas industry. We’re expecting markets to improve; they were pretty flat this year. Yes, there’s uncertainty right now in the US, but we’re planning that 2017 will be a better year for us.” - Steve McKay, President, Northside Industries.
“Now in its 10th year, Enterprise Flower Studio saw continued growth in 2016, adding another member of staff to its team. Increased investment in technology, improved product sourcing, and greater efficiencies have led to a boost in sales to both commercial organizations and residences.
"Enterprise Flower Studio is able to deal with large-scale events, notably the Royal visit in September. We anticipate further growth in 2017 due to increased population in and around Kelowna, and more businesses appreciating how incorporating flowers brings both flair and value.” - Zena and Kevin Tucker, Owners, Enterprise Flower Studio.
“Locally RJC has enjoyed a successful 2016, including great relationships with our clients and a growing team. The year ahead looks positive, and we’re excited to continue providing our clients creative thinking and practical results.” - Michael Blackman, Regional Manager/Associate, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., Engineers.
“Hazmasters Kelowna experienced a healthy growth in 2016. This growth is contributed to by the strong housing market, re-development and infrastructure in our surrounding area. The branch moved to a business location that added more exposure of our products and demands for these products.
"The abatement, disaster, safety and training classes have been strong with the recognition and awareness that is being exposed in the market. We feel positive going forward into 2017 and expect to develop with the demands of our industry to successfully fulfill our customers’ business requirements.” - Brigita O’Brien, Branch Operations Manager, Hazmasters Kelowna.
Thank you to all of those who participated in the "Collective Perspective" survey sent out last month by BC Chamber President. The results discovered a strong confidence among the business community in both the current health of their businesses and their future outlook on the economy.
“This pan-provincial snapshot offers a unique look into the hearts and minds of B.C. businesses,” said Val Litwin, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “We hope this survey will be useful to all parties heading into the provincial election.”
Nearly 1200 businesses of all sizes, representing all sectors of the economy and from all regions of the province participated in the survey.
- An impressive 92% of businesses believe their businesses are in good or acceptable shape today (refer to pg. 8 of report).
- Approximately 4/5 of B.C. businesses surveyed expect that they will grow their businesses over the next five years (refer to pg. 12 of report).
- A large majority of respondents believe the government is supportive of B.C.’s business community, with the provincial government taking the highest praise, followed by the federal government and then local government (refer to pg. 16 of report).
- Respondents expressed that many sectors of B.C.’s economy will become “more important” over the next five years to ten years, with Tourism, Clean Technology, International Trade and Health Services emerging as the top sectors (refer to pg. 17 of report).
- Respondents also expressed that even the province’s most well-established industries like Forestry and Mining will become “more important” to the business landscape over the next three to five years (refer to pg. 17 of report).
Under the section “what matters to business success” our respondents identified the four most important factors affecting their business where they need more help (refer to summary graph on pg. 25 of report):
Because your plans for 2017 hinge on knowing what's up with the economy, in addition to supporting this survey, we've partnered with The Conference Board of Canada to bring you Pedro Antunes, their Executive Director, Economic Outlook and Analysis, and Deputy Chief Economist, for Kelowna's Business & Food Sector Outlook Conference.
Attending this 1/2 day conference will give you an in-depth look at the economic conditions of Canada, B.C. and Kelowna, how they interact with the global economy, and where business is headed in 2017.
For the full agenda and speaker list; please visit the event agenda page. Register today for only $249 using priority code: MP - KCC
For more information, or for group pricing please contact Natasha Chipilova at the Conference Board at 613-526-3090 ext. 478.
With many people feeling busier at work than they’ve ever been, some are simply forgetting to take breaks. In fact, our survey found half of employees feel they can’t leave their desk to take a break, despite 90 percent of employers saying they support breaks throughout the workday. That’s not good, considering taking a break is one of the best ways to recharge and refuel throughout a busy day.
While you can’t physically force employees to take a break, there are certain ways to encourage them, one of which is changing up the current ordering process for your breakroom to make it more inviting and enticing. Given that 76 percent of those surveyed said they could unwind and de-stress if they had a well-stocked, comfortable breakroom available, it’s time to start thinking about your current purchases.
Not sure where to start to kick off your breakroom ordering process? Here are a few suggestions.
Purchase healthy snacks: Employees want healthy snacks – 57 percent of survey respondents said they’d want snack options such as nuts, protein and granola bars added to the breakroom. Consider changing or adding to your purchasing decisions to include healthier choices.
But, have something for everyone: Not everyone craves mixed nuts on their breaks – some people are looking for candy, cookies or chips, and that’s okay. In order to make sure there’s something for everyone, offer a good mix of sweet and salty treats in the breakroom.
Purchase a variety of beverages. While coffee is important for many employees to stay alert and productive throughout the day, not everyone drinks it. Make sure to also order tea, as well as soft drinks and sports drinks, to satisfy different preferences in the office.
Think about comfort: Furniture is a major consideration for the overall comfort and appeal of the breakroom. It’s important to purchase tables and seating that invite employees to unwind and socialize with colleagues. It’s also crucial to order ergonomic furniture that offers proper support to avoid injury.
Providing employees with an inviting place to take a break that also offers something for their particular taste will help them feel appreciated and more productive throughout the day. For more information on how you can incorporate new breakroom products into your current budget, click here to browse options from our office supply benefit provider.