In its second year of operation, the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) held its annual general meeting on Nov. 27 at gallery 2 in Grand Forks.
BCRCC President Todd Benson feels the chamber has grown since the first year but there’s always room for development.
“It’s continuing to grow with membership and we’re hoping to hit 250 members,” he said. “We think that as we grow, people will see that the chamber will benefit everybody. We’re still young and still trying to build what we have.”
Benson noted the chamber is looking to advocate membership and build its networks between businesses. This includes continuing with its Biz after Biz events that occur on a bi-monthly basis, and regular updates with online newsletters and emails.
“We would like to see more of our members out because this is their meeting,” he added.
This year’s guest speaker was British Columbia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO John Winter and he pointed out that awareness is key.
“If businesses are aware that there is a thriving, active, dynamic organization like a chamber, they will want to join,” said Winter. “The problem with too many chambers in the past is that they tend to be very inwardly focused, such as the beautification of Main Street as their top goal, instead of the issues of small businesses.”
The chamber has to focus on the needs of its members, he added. Businesses are all different but also share several common goals, whether it’s location, economic sector or the market they deliver to.
“Growth in the rural communities for membership isn’t happening, whereas in urban communities they are. It’s also happening more so in the south, as opposed to the north,” Winter concluded. “It’s commendable that this organization, and these people here, are taking the challenge of creating something as diverse as these communities are and bringing them together.”
Joining the current board of Benson, Dylan Zorn, John Fair, Mark Grimm and Dave Marshall are Wendy Darbyshire, Chuck Bennett, Christopher Stevenson and Pru Zerny.
The purpose of the chamber is to promote and build a strong business network that promotes Boundary Country. This also involves encouraging business and community development, and enriching the region in a sustainable way.
For more information, visit boundarychamber.com.