Chamber Chatter, Oct. 23, 2013

A brief report on what is happening at the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce

The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce has been BUSY!

A new service agreement in place with the District of Sooke has allowed a new chamber office located at #103, 2015 Shields Road and a new staff-person to administer the office,.The chamber’s board has been able to make tremendous strides in a short period of time to turn the organization back into being a strong resource and advocate for the business community.

Over the past number of months the chamber’s sole focus has been on following its core purpose defined as:

• being a supportive resource for local businesses to achieve greater success,

• to facilitate new economic development opportunities,

• to foster positive business relationships with the community,

• to constructively influence public policy and governments in supporting free enterprise,

• being acknowledged and endorsed by the District of Sooke as the organization to create a healthy and prosperous business environment for the Sooke region. The chamber has been providing regular monthly reports to mayor and council to clearly communicate activities and initiatives, as well as to provide the district with recommendations to proactively plan for opportunities and challenges that are identified.

Some of the most impactful initiatives currently being worked on by the chamber for the Sooke region are:

• Creating a strategy to manage a conference, convention & festivals portfolio.

• Developing a four-year strategic plan for economic development.

• Providing an architectural design guideline for buildings in the downtown core.

• Reviewing the Sooke region’s sign bylaw.

• Developing a marketing plan to facilitate more tourism exposure of Sooke to various demographics.

A few other exciting things happening at the Chamber are the creation of a new chamber website

and a social media platform on Twitter (@sookechamber),

a strategic alliance with nine other south Vancouver Island chambers for greater regional exposure and

partnership with government to offer LiveSmart Energy Efficiency program for small businesses.

The chamber’s 65th anniversary event is on November 26.

The chamber’s Annual General Meeting is on December 17.

The chamber is also doing a targeted recruitment of new Board of Director members for 2014 and is specifically seeking people in Sooke who have professional experience in finance, law, marketing, tourism, land development, education, and government relations. Incoming chamber president Michael Nyikes has stated he needs dedicated leaders in these different areas of business expertise to step-up-to-the-plate and assist him in taking the chamber to the next level.

Nominations for new Board of Director members will be accepted until November 15 and interested candidates are encouraged to contact the chamber office at info@sookeregionchamber.com or 250-642-6112 for more information.