Policy Committee Update
What an interesting time for our Chamber and it’s board, in the past 8 weeks we have welcomed 3 new Board members, indoctrinated the new President Dave Bond with speaking or attending 12 events on our behalf, revisited our strategic plan, created two provincial policy resolutions and activated two new committees. A pretty good showing for a volunteer group with steady day jobs!
Our policy committees will be taking forward two resolutions to the BC Chamber AGM at the end of May. We collaborated with the South Okanagan Chamber to urge the provincial government to sign an Agreement to Negotiate with the Government of Canada that will conclude the feasibility process and move to the stage of negotiating various details respecting the establishment of a National Park Reserve in the South Okanagan -Lower Similkameen; and we worked with the Kelowna office of the Canadian Home Builders Association on some recommendations for changes in the implementation of the PST that could mitigate some of the impacts to business and in-bound business investment. Our interest is to keep BC attractive as a place to invest and do business.
Affordable housing in BC also remains a significant issue. The implementation of the PST has had the effect of providing tax relief for new housing in excess of $850,000 in value. We believe it would be appropriate to target the relief in the cost of housing in BC residents of average means. This would have the effect of decreasing the cost of homes and increasing the stock of homes for average British Columbians.
Our Chamber values collaboration with other groups in Kelowna and the valley and takes pride in working together to effect good results for business.
2013 Total Office Makeover
The United Way Total Office Makeover has been completed. A huge thank you to Total Office, Sticks & Stones Design Group and The Juice for making this happen.
See the photos here.
Kelowna Hotel Celebrates Tie for TOTA Environmental Award
Always striving to reduce their carbon footprint, the BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites has tied for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's (TOTA) Environmental Responsibility Award. With the hard-earned award, the Kelowna hotel hopes to inspire the rest of the tourism industry to go green.
April 3, 2013 KELOWNA, BC—Sometimes a tie is even better than a win. The BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites is only too happy to share the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association’s (TOTA) Environmental Responsibility Award with Spirit Ridge Resort located in Osoyoos. "A tie is great," says Brenda Rayburn, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Best Western Kelowna Hotel. "It is a strong statement on how our industry is moving in the right direction regarding environmental stewardship." Rayburn continues, "In handing out the award, Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA’s CEO, stated they had received a volume of submissions in this category and in the end it came down to a tie. This was not the case only a few short years ago." In the beginning, the Best Western hotel was one of few Kelowna hotels competing for rare environmental awards. Rayburn adds, "Our recognition has crossed boundaries and borders and it is imperative we hold ourselves accountable in our environmental sustainability efforts. I am honoured to be able to share
that our efforts are part of our culture and part of our everyday work environment in our hotel".
Over the years the Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites has been recognized several times as the "greenest" hotel in Kelowna, often reducing its annual carbon footprint by nearly 300 per cent. Their green initiatives have included projects big and small, from building an environmental wing and installing electric car charging stations to most recently exchanging exterior lighting to LED. "Today," the Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites, CEO and partner Greg Salloum says, "more and more hotels in Kelowna and in general are recognizing their responsibility in being less wasteful. We hope we are inspiring other businesses to take a look at how they can reduce their own carbon footprint." He adds, "We aim to set the bar high and we hope one day that what we do will become common place and future generations will not have to worry about the polar ice caps melting, flooding and the deterioration of our planet wastefulness brings."
For more information, contact:
Director of Sales & Marketing
BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites
Chamber Breakfast: HST to PST Transition with Mike Boven
On Friday, February 15th the Kelowna Chamber hosted a breakfast presentation put on by Mike Boven from BDO Canada regarding the impending transition from HST to PST. Click here for the PDF of his full presentation.
Invitation to participate from your Kelowna Chamber of Commerce CEO
Happy New Year from our Board. We are excited to start 2013 by responding to many of the current issues that impact business vitality. We want to hear from our members on issues impacting their ability to do business. Our Provincial policy committee will be developing policy recommendations to bring forward to the BC Chamber in the next 8 weeks. We will be proactively working with and lobbying government to constructively influence public policy on a variety of issues in support of a healthy free-enterprise system.
The Kelowna Chamber’s policy committee is also looking for additional members. If you enjoy working to see positive changes in our business climate, join this active group of business professionals. We meet about 6 times a year, discuss options for current business problems, research and involve industry groups, then develop sound recommendations to take to provincial and federal government through the BC and Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The Kelowna Chamber policy committees have had good success in seeing legislative change and reductions to business barriers and Chair, Curtis Darmohray welcomes your input and involvement. This is a great opportunity to learn and bring change from the local level.
Contact me today to advise us on issues impacting your business and volunteering to work on the Provincial and Federal policy committees or other Chamber initiatives.
Chief Executive Officer
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
Direct line 250 469-7356
Local MLAs speak to Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
Local MLAs Norm Letnick, Ben Stewart and Steve Thomson focused on economic issues when they took the stage Friday (Dec. 8, 2012) at a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Click here for the full article.
Province must return to balanced budget
The BC Chamber of Commerce announces its support for the responsible approach taken by the provincial government today in the face of disappointing resource revenues figures.
"Our members recognize that these figures are a result of weak global economy and slumping natural gas prices which have created a situation where BC’s resource revenues are significantly down from projections,” said John Winter, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “We fully endorse the Province’sfocus on returning to a balanced budget, and urge Finance Minister de Jong to do so by 2013 through spending restraints.” Click for full press release
Canada’s first Business Walk on October 4
The program adds a new component to Small Business Month as representatives of organizations that serve the business community take the time to connect face to face with business operators in an informal, casual way and determine how conditions can be improved. Click for full press release
Energy and Cash Savings Continue for Small Okanagan Businesses
Three Hundred and Fifty Businesses In the Thompson Okanagan to Benefit from the second wave of the LiveSmart BC Business Energy Advisor Program Click for full press release
Best Western LEED-ing the Way
The Best Western PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites continues to charge forward with environmentally responsible initiatives. Not only has the hotel installed an EV charging station, they have just received LEED Silver Certification for their new environmental wing through the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). Click for full press release
STARTUP CANADA Is Coming in September
Seven provinces down, three to go. The momentum is building as Startup Canada, a grassroots, entrepreneur-led initiative created to support and inspire entrepreneurship, sweeps across the country on its National Tour that includes 40 stops through 10 provinces over seven months. Click for full press release
Accelerate Okanagan Introduces Two New Community Managers for Penticton and Kelowna
Ashley Ramsay and Andrew Greer are the Community Managers in Kelowna and Penticton. CEO Jeff Keen says, "Accelerate Okanagan needed to become more outward facing. AO plays a big role as a community builder, so we have to be active, outward facing, and engaged. We want to do more of that in the future, with clients, members, partners, and the broader community. You can’t do that sitting at a desk." Click for full press release
Help Your Business Take Off With Micro Business Training
The BC Chamber of Commerce today welcomed the announcement of the Micro Business Training Pilot Program by Premier Christy Clark at our 60th Anniversary AGM & Conference in Penticton. “This program leverages the unique ability of the Chamber of Commerce Network to deliver skills training to micro business owners in the sectors which need it most,” said John Winter, President & CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. Click for full press release
BC allows Canadian wines to be shipped across provincial borders
"British Columbia is prepared to take the lead on opening up the Canadian marketplace for our world-renowned B.C. wineries," said Coleman, Minister responsible for liquor. "Today, we encourage other jurisdictions to take immediate steps to reciprocate by opening up their borders and allow all Canadians to order wine over the Internet."
Click for Full Story
BC Wine Lovers
Business Vancouver: Marketing
Changes to recent laws regarding the inter-provincial exchange of win does not mean that businesses will change their behavious. Judy Bishop writes that comfort and familiarity often overrules new opportunities.
Click for full story
United Airlines Will Link Kelowna With Los Angeles
Kelowna's YLW in December of this year will have year round Daily service to LAX! "California is the largest transborder market for Okanagan residents and currently accounts for 28 per cent of the outbound travel to the US," says Airport Director Sam Samaddar. "Between the high-tech industry and the wine industry, there are strong business ties between our two regions." Click for full press release
Strategic Aviation has Partnered with First Growth Management
Fraser Campbell of First Growth Management says "Our strategy is to invest in companies we believe to have the people and the market placement to achieve success in their sector. We are impressed with Strategic Aviation as a company, the strength of its reputation in the field, and the opportunity for growth." Click for full press release