Chamber ramping up for busy year as Sizzle turns 15

Chamber ramping up for busy year as Sizzle turns 15

Temperatures are warming up and things are starting to buzz for the business community.

Similkameen Country the Keremeos and area chamber of Commerce is kicking off the year publicly on February 15 with a Business After Business event at the Grist Mill and Gardens.

“The Business After Business is being held for two reasons. One, to get together and celebrate Chamber of Commerce Week and two, to celebrate each other,” Chris Mathieson, president of Similkameen Country said. “We’re all very busy running our own businesses and working that we forget to stop and take a look at what this valley has to offer as a business community. We have a lot to offer.”

The Grist Mill event, which will take place between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., will include appetizers and beverages and a chance for participants to speak about what’s new at their respective businesses.

The chamber plans to hold several Business After Business events throughout the year and encourages any member wanting to host to get in contact with a board member or Colleen Christensen at the Info Centre.

“It’s a great way to showcase your business and any changes you’ve underwent in the last little while that people might not know about,” he said.

The board has been working behind the scenes feverishly on several different initiatives including preliminary plans for the 15th annual Similkameen Sizzle to be held September 2016.

Ideas being investigated include holding a dance on the Friday night.

“We have a lot of great ideas coming forward and I think this year is going to be bigger and better than anything we’ve done before,” he said.

Internally the executive is working on several strategic planning initiatives that will hopefully clearly define the chamber’s role in the community.

“We need to take a look at where we are and where we want to go as a chamber – how to best fulfill our membership’s needs. That’s going to be what this year is about for us in addition to holding and improving upon the events we’re known for including LightUp, Canada Day, Taste of Our Valley and Sizzle,” he said.

Discussions are underway about changing Taste of Our Valley from a fall to a spring event and perhaps including multicultural flavours.

“We’re in preliminary discussions now and nothing has been decided yet but we’re looking at our options and what makes sense for everyone involved,” he said.

Anyone interested in joining the chamber as a member can contact Colleen Christensen at the InfoCentre at 250-499-5225.