Peachland Chamber of Commerce

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

 

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The Chamber’s AGM is on Monday, Nov. 29! It’s happening at the TNI Chamber 2.0 Business Centre, starting at 7 p.m. If you show up starting around 6:15, you’ll have a chance to mingle and enjoy some appies! RSVP at peachlandchamber@gmail.com.

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And, after a two-year absence, the Business Excellence Awards are back! Watch for more info on that – and here’s what the Chamber has to say about the Kelowna airport announcing international flights will be landing again, starting November 30. This was issued as a press release:

The Peachland Chamber of Commerce is excited about a return to international flights touching down in the Okanagan Valley.

On Nov. 2, the federal government announced that starting Nov. 30, international flights carrying passengers are permitted to land at Kelowna International Airport (YLW).

YLW is the gateway to Peachland and the Central Okanagan, providing easy access to the region for investors and visitors, while local businesses can connect their products and services with the rest of the world.

The resumption of international flights will not only support economic recovery of the entire region, but it also helps stabilize operations at YLW, which experienced a $2.5 million loss due to the lack of international flights. The federal government’s decision also tells airlines that the Okanagan is open for business.

YLW is one of Canada’s fastest recovering airports, nearing 850,000 annual passengers, and offering more than sixty daily non-stop commercial flights with seven airlines. As of Nov. 1, YLW is connected to fourteen domestic destinations.

We are looking forward to welcoming the world back to the Okanagan to experience our winter activities, our dynamic cultural scene and amazing landscape.

Thank you to the administrative team at Kelowna International Airport for their leadership and perseverance in representing the entire Okanagan region. We also want to thank Transport Canada, Canadian Border Services Agency, and the Public Health Agency of Canada for resuming international flights.

Patrick Van Minsel, General Manager, Peachland Chamber of Commerce.

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

November 30, 2021

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