Peachland Chamber announces Canada Day lineup:

The Chamber has announced its Canada Day evening concert lineup! The Elderly Brothers are starting things off at 6 p.m. at Heritage Park. At 7:15, Niki Martinus takes the stage, followed by the 3/4 Crush Band at 8:30. The Chamber has been hosting this part of the July 1 festivities since 2014 – and they could use some sponsors! Contact the Chamber of Commerce for more details.

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Peachland Proud was the theme of the 2022 Business Excellence Awards held April 30. Hats off to the organizers and volunteers – and to Cibo & Vines and 1st & Beach restaurant for the food truck-style dinner!

 

These photos are courtesy the night’s official photographer, Matthew Abrey:

 

 

 

 

 

 

..there’s more photos on the Chamber’s Facebook page!

 

Here are the evening’s winners (image courtesy the Chamber):

The Peachland Ambassadors also received a special plaque in honour of their 75th anniversary!

Here are the nominees for the 2022 Business Excellence Awards:

 

 

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The Peachland Chamber welcomes the province’s easing of COVID-related restrictions. Here’s a press release sent by Patrick Van Minsel, the Chamber’s general manager:

The Peachland Chamber of Commerce welcomes an easing of Covid-19 health mandates as a way of supporting businesses and our community.

On March 9, the provincial government announced that the requirement for masks in most settings will be removed as of 12:01 a.m. March 10 (they can still be required in health care settings). On April 8, the proof of vaccination card will be eliminated.

We are very pleased to hear that B.C. is able to move ahead with a substantive change to the health mandates and we are confident that this will be a major catalyst for economic recovery.

The removal of masks means businesses and customers can return to relationships where importance is placed on smiles and connections. And when vaccination passports are no longer required on April 8, businesses and non-profits can welcome everyone. We encourage the public to use the lifting of restrictions to maintain their support for local businesses as they are the backbone of our community.”

On March 11, the overnight child and youth camp order will be rescinded while on April 8, businesses can transition from a Covid-19 safety plan to a communicable disease plan.

The Peachland Chamber continues to urge residents to be respectful towards business owners and their employees.

Even with the lifting of mandates, there will be business owners and staff who are still comfortable wearing masks and having their clientele masked. As businesses and non-profits, they have always had the right to set specific requirements for those entering their workplace. We need to be kind and understanding.

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It’s time to celebrate Peachland businesses! There’s so many hard-working locals who deserve recognition after the last couple years we’ve had – and the Chamber of Commerce is celebrating by bringing back the annual Peachland Business Awards! Tickets are available starting March 25 for the Saturday, April 30 event.

But first, the nominations: You can vote using this link, and here are some of the categories: Employee of the Year, Excellence in Community Service, Tourism & Hospitality, Food and Trades, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Your vote enters you in a draw for two tickets to the April 30 evening – plus you’re boosting businesses you feel have done Peachland proud!

Sponsorship opportunities are also still available. Read below for more on that..

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For the first time since 2019, Peachland’s Business Excellence Awards are being planned for Saturday, April 30! Organizers are hoping local businesses will help make it an even better evening, with some sponsorship opportunities:

Event sponsors will get not only social media exposure, but priority experiences, like having an opportunity to speak at the awards gala and the nomination celebration, which is planned for April 25. You’ll also be sponsoring and presenting Peachland’s Business of the Year Award and your company logo will be on the program and other marketing material for the event.

Award sponsors will also get the exposure, and they’ll be given a chance to show the entire event audience a promo video highlighting their business. You’ll also be able to present an award the evening of the 30th.

Food and Wine, entertainment and decoration sponsors are also available. You can also sponsor a table.

Six tickets to the April 30th gala are included, no matter the level of your sponsorship. Contact the Peachland Chamber for more on pricing and other opportunities. It’ll be a fun night!

 

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What does the Peachland Chamber of Commerce think about the BC Budget? It was released Tuesday, Feb 22.

Here’s a press release from Chamber general manager Patrick Van Minsel:

The BC budget may get a passing grade from some for its focus on continued pandemic recovery and renewed efforts to address climate change, however, it missed an opportunity to send a strong signal to the business community that government understands the challenges they have faced for the past two years and is prepared to provide tax relief.

The Peachland Chamber would have liked to have seen a bolder vision on how the government plans to ensure we remain a competitive jurisdiction globally – one which welcomes entrepreneurs who see the value of investing in British Columbia. We were hoping to see tax relief for small businesses which have continued to see increases in the cost of doing business throughout the pandemic. Providing tax relief was among the top items the Peachland Chamber referenced in its pre-budget submission to the government last fall. Unfortunately, the budget provides very little to get small businesses excited and certainly doesn’t stimulate entrepreneurship to the degree we were hoping for.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson delivered the provincial budget in the legislature Tuesday, and it included new funding commitments for emergency preparedness and disaster recovery, climate action, and homelessness. These are all subjects that will resonate well with local government including the District of Peachland. From an Okanagan perspective, the Peachland Chamber was pleased that the government has set aside additional funding to assist the tourism sector is recovering from the pandemic, something the Chamber called for in its pre-budget submission to the government.

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What does the Peachland Chamber think about the Feb 8 provincial throne speech? Here’s a press release from Chamber general manager Patrick Van Minsel:

The B.C. government has a vision for the new legislative session, but the Peachland Chamber of Commerce wonders what it all means for business.

On Feb. 8, Premier John Horgan and the government unveiled its speech from the throne.

The throne speech raises many questions but provides very few answers as the document lacks any significant detail.

The throne speech highlights specific actions the government will take in the coming months, including:

· Tying minimum wage increases to the rate of inflation.

· Introducing a cooling-off period on home purchases during a volatile market.

· Helping prepare people for future jobs with a generational commitment to developing the talent B.C. needs over the next ten years to close the skills gap.

· Managing B.C.’s lands and resources through a new ministry that supports the goals of reconciliation, economic development, and environmental protection.

Business owners and non-profits will want to know precisely how linking minimum wage increases to the rate of inflation will impact them. For example, how often can employers anticipate that labor-related costs will climb in a year and which metrics are chosen for those increases?

As for the housing market, there is no question that affordability for British Columbians is a significant issue. However, what does a cooling-off period mean? What should buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals expect?

There was also no information on how training will be rolled out to address the labour shortage or how a new ministry will balance economic development with a focus on the environment and reconciliation.

More details on these initiatives may be part of the provincial budget Feb. 22, and we hope the budget and the budget process, of which the Chamber was a part, contains the necessary information for businesses to plan and execute meaningful measures to come out of the past and focus on our vibrant future.

The government must understand that damaging the viability of businesses will not result in a healthy and vibrant economy. However, we are receiving hints through the speech from the throne that business owners may field the brunt of costs. We hope for properly laid plans to meet the goal of building a stronger B.C. for everyone and look forward to the details of the budget.

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Lakeside Autocare owners Laurie and Frank Kouwenhoven were the lucky winners of the Chamber’s gift basket draw!

 

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It was a successful AGM on Monday, Nov. 29. Here’s your 2021-2022 Peachland Chamber of Commerce board of directors:

 

Left to right is Chamber president Greg Sewell (Lauren Heights), Nicole Moreau (Royal Lepage), Murray Wood (Eagles Nest B&B), Bella Huang (Hainle Vineyards), Vice-president Adriana Preston (Century21), Secretary Curtis Urlacher (TNI), and John Anderson( Supplement King). Not pictured is treasurer Andrew Grieve (Acubed Holdings) and Colin Aves (Southern Comfort Air Conditioning.)
The Chamber would like to thank Bella Huang for providing wine from her Hainle Vineyard Estate Winery, and Dave Collins of Coldwell Banker, who kept everyone happy with the appetizers before the meeting got underway. It was the Chamber’s first in-person event in a very (very!) long time!
Here’s what president Greg Sewell had to say:
“As I look back on 2020-21, I am incredibly proud of the commitment to growth that I have witnessed by our Directors and members alike. 2021 was a year of transformation, and as we continued to support local businesses, we rallied to rise and thrive against the challenging economic environment. I am honoured to be elected for a second term as President, as it is truly my passion to support and grow our business community.”
You can look forward to more Chamber events this year – stay tuned!

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The Peachland Chamber of Commerce is concerned the provincial government’s recent paid sick leave program does not strike a sufficient balance between the needs of employees and employers. This was written by the Chamber’s general manager, Patrick Van Minsel:

On Nov. 24, the provincial government announced a minimum of five paid sick leave days a year will be available to workers in B.C. starting Jan. 1, 2022. The legislation includes part-time workers.

There is no question that employers in both the private and non-profit sectors want to do what is best for their employees as a healthy workforce is critical to success. In fact, many employers already invest significantly in their workforce, including Employer Health Tax, Work Safe BC, vacation pay and extended health benefits.

It’s important to remember that most businesses in B.C. are not large corporations. Ninety-eight per cent are small businesses. Our concern with the government initiative is that it puts additional pressure on already tight financial margins for employers in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. When all the employee-related costs are combined, the impact is more than 30 per cent above wages. We had hoped the government would embrace a compromise that benefits both employees and employers.

We recommend to the government that it reimburse employers up to $200 a day for permanent paid sick leave, like what is currently available for Covid-19 related paid sick leave for up to three days per employee.

Alternatively the government could cover the cost of permanent paid sick leave for a fix period so businesses and non-profits could adjust their financial plans to reflect this new cost. 

As we have previously indicated businesses and non-profits are committed to a healthy workforce, but significant challenges arise from the cumulative impact of government taxation, employee benefits and the rising cost of living for utilities, rent, fuel and food. With fixed expenses climbing, employers may have to make tough decisions regarding equipment purchases, hiring new staff or providing raises. If employers can’t cut expenses elsewhere then this will create inflationary pressures as those costs will have to be passed on to consumers.” 

-Peachland Chamber of Commerce, Patrick Van Minsel – General Manager

 

Here’s what the Peachland Chamber of Commerce has to say about the Sept. 20 federal election:

The Peachland Chamber of Commerce will continue to provide its members and the community with a strong voice federally.

On Sept. 20, the Conservatives topped the polls in our riding while the Liberals continue with a minority government nationally.

Congratulations to Dan Albas on his re-election as member of Parliament for our riding and we look forward to working with him on issues essential to a vibrant community and economy.

We want to thank Mr. Albas and the candidates for the Greens, Liberals, NDP and People’s Party for participating in the democratic process and providing local voters with a choice on the ballot.

Leading up to election day, the Chamber held an all-candidates forum and the issues discussed included the labour shortage, the cost of housing, post-pandemic recovery, access to childcare, agricultural support and the link between economic development and reconciliation with indigenous communities.

Thanks to our more than 125 members, representing all business sectors and non-profits, the Chamber is able to advocate for meaningful change that supports the entrepreneurial spirit and creates opportunities for residents and families to succeed.

Advocacy is a fundamental component of the Chamber, and we will use the outcome of the election to renew our efforts on behalf of Peachland, whether it’s with our local MP, the federal government, or the opposition parties. We will also work actively with regional chambers, local government, and industry sectors to ensure our members are heard in Ottawa.

The Peachland Chamber is urging all parties to come together for the common good of the country.

A minority government is a chance for MPs to pursue policies that move our communities and economy forward. Businesses work with diverse partners to succeed, and we expect similar cooperation among our elected officials.

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The Chamber is also starting a youth division! The first official meeting will be 6 p.m. Monday, September 27 at 5878 Beach Avenue, TNI – Chamber 2.0 Business Centre Building. According to a note to Chamber members, the goal is to create strong young leaders and help young entrepreneurs. Chamber GM Patrick Van Minsel and the youth representative Paige Allin met with interested young people in August and determined there was enough interest to start. At the first meeting, you will elect your youth division chair, vice-chair, and secretary, learn about Robert’s Rules of Order and discuss upcoming topics of interest. Once elected, your president and one other director will have a seat and a vote at the senior Peachland Chamber board of directors. There will also be programming specifically for young entrepreneurs.

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A message from the Chamber’s Executive Director, Patrick Van Minsel:

On April 8, the provincial government announced that it will provide more than $50 million to help the 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness centres affected by the March 30, 2021, provincial health orders. The new Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant will provide affected businesses with up to $10,000 in one-time funding to help with expenses like rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance and utilities. The grant can also help cover unexpected costs that resulted from the restrictions, such as the purchase of perishable goods.

The Peachland Chamber Executive Director Patrick Van Minsel echos the released statement of the BC Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Fiona Famulak.

“We applaud the B.C. government’s quick action to provide additional financial support to the many businesses impacted by the COVID-19 circuit breaker measures that came into effect on March 30, 2021. Those measures have had a devastating impact on businesses across the province. Today’s announcement of the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant signals that the government heard our Network’s feedback, understands the impact felt by businesses in the last 10 days, and the need to respond quickly.

We are particularly encouraged to learn that the criteria and roll-out process associated with the grant will help to ensure:

  • both established and start-up businesses have the financial support they need;
  • funds are accessed easily and quickly; and
  • business owners can apply the funds as they see fit.

Today’s announcement is a win for business and demonstrates what can be achieved when private and public sectors adopt a collaborative approach to problem-solving.

That said, we know that businesses need more help and that our advocacy efforts are not done. We will therefore continue to listen to businesses’ feedback through our most recent BCMindReader.ca COVID-19 Pulse Check Survey and share the insights with the government so that they are informed and can take steps to respond effectively and in a timely manner.”

As noted above, to ensure affected businesses can access funds easily and quickly, the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant has a streamlined application process. Applications for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant are expected to open the week of April 12, 2021.

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The Chamber hosted a talk on Jan 18 to discuss the pace of development in Peachland. A total of 24 stakeholders participated. Here is a press release written by the Board of Directors (president Greg Sewell):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There’s some new faces in director positions at the Chamber. Their AGM was Nov 23, 2020 and 27 Chamber members were in attendance via Zoom. Eddy Labreque and Andrew Grieve have been elected for the first time and they join returning directors Greg Sewell, Cam Banman, Erin Chadwick, Nicole Moreau and Rocky Rocksborough-Smith. Greg Sewell is the new Chamber president, replacing Larry Guiilbault who has stepped down after five years of service. Those in attendance recognized the longtime work of three other directors who have stepped down: Dave Collins, Murray Wood and Darlene Hartford, who has put in an amazing 20 years of volunteering. Congratulations!

 

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Have you heard about the Chamber’s Humans of Peachland series? Local writer Matthew Abrey is talking to some familiar faces, along with others you may not have met. They all have stories to tell, and you can check them out right here!

 

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To combat COVID-19 – related losses, the Chamber partnered with VantageOne Credit Union to bring you shoppeachlandbc.com, where you’ll find all sorts of local business. Gift certificates are available in $20 denominations – so you can shop as much as you want. Gift certificates will be emailed within five business days, and you can redeem them anytime after July 1. You can also donate to local non-profits such as the Peachland Wellness Centre and the Peachland Food Bank.

Another way the Chamber is reaching out, is through a survey to members every two weeks. Responses will allow the Peachland Chamber to better gauge how everyone’s needs are evolving, and to track the effectiveness of provincial and federal government initiatives.

The Peachland Chamber of Commerce’s new home at 5878C Beach Ave. is also home to the TNI Business Centre, where once it reopens, you can rent out offices, use the boardroom and take advantage of networking opportunities. The grand opening will take place at a future date.

The Chamber is also active within the BC Chamber of Commerce, advocating for local business and passing on various programs and plans to help BC business owners during this time. Even if you’re not a Chamber member at this time, their resources are still available.

Check out the Peachland Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for the latest updates. Do you want to become a Chamber member? Fill out an application form, here!

Website: www.peachlandchamber.com

Email: peachlandchamber@gmail.com

Phone: (250) 470-8557

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See Related Stories:

Jan 12, 2021: It’s taking too long: District and developers are talking about permit delays

Dec 4, 2020: Tonight, the Christmas season starts in Peachland

Nov 2, 2020: Lots of interest, little space: Peachland’s biggest obstacle when it comes to cannabis

September 23, 2020: Peachland’s ‘no-growth’ scenario is now reality

May 12, 2020: Beach Ave Business reopens + pet store opens dog wash

May 1: Dinner with a View, 2020: One idea to help Beach Ave businesses

March 23, 2020: Peachlanders can support local biz on new shopping website

Written by Kristen Friesen

May 27, 2022

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