The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce is well aware of the tremendous changes facing our community as the population grows over the coming years. An illustration of the pace of change is that the population in the region has grown by 17 per cent in the past five years in spite of a relatively slow provincial and national economy.
The chamber’s view is that this growth will demand careful management and the chamber intends to work closely with the District of Sooke to see that infrastructure costs are offset by increased economic development.
The chamber will concentrate on a number of strategies to bring appropriate investment into the region.
One strategy will focus on marketing the region as a destination for the much discussed ‘Baby Boomers,’ reflecting the enormous potential investment by these post-55’ers as they buy houses and in some cases start small businesses. They are already coming here as part of their own personal plans to enjoy this great community and to put down roots that will take them through the rest of their lives. Many communities of our size throughout North America have created formal plans to accelerate Baby Boomer relocation and through the chamber, Sooke will begin to target this lucrative market. Another aspect of the chamber’s commitment to the region’s economy is to encourage appropriate small businesses to relocate to Sooke from other parts of Vancouver Island and the mainland. Such companies can create employment that is locally focussed as opposed to commuting to Victoria. This is also part of the chamber’s broader commitment to grow the business portion of the regional tax base to lessen the pressures on the residential base.
To assist small business owners in their professional development the chamber has established a business library at the chamber office where chamber members may sign out books and tapes.
This fall will also see a series of small business seminars beginning with a no-fee evening at the Sooke Library as an introduction to a more detailed course on such issues as marketing, financial management and networking. Details will be announced in the coming weeks on the chamber website (sookeregionchamber.com).
Sooke shoppers are advised to keep their eyes open for stickers proclaiming “Better Buy Sooke.” This is a new chamber initiative aimed at raising shopper’s awareness of the many advantages of shopping locally, supporting local business and creating local employment.
The annual Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament and Dinner takes place at DeMamiel Creek Golf Course in Sooke on Thursday, September 18.
Barbecue lunch at noon followed by a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Nine holes then a gourmet barbecue dinner.
The cost is $45 for chamber members, $55 for non-members.
If you are interested in sponsoring a hole or fielding a team, call the chamber at 250-642-6112 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.