Similkameen Country celebrating Chamber Week with open house

Similkameen Country is getting into the celebratory with an open house to recognize BC Chamber Week.

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Similkameen Country is getting into the celebratory with an open house to recognize BC Chamber Week.

The open house will be held Friday, February 20 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Info Centre.

“We haven’t done this before but I’ve certainly heard from a lot of people even our members that they don’t fee connected to the chamber. It’s a great way to get and introduce ourselves the new executive and just business people in general,” Chris Mathieson, president of Similkameen Country said.

The event will include some food samplers and a chance to mingle with members and non-members that are curious about what the chamber does.

“I’m hoping to see the business community come out. It will be nice to reengage and start making the village more business orientated,” he said.

Executive members laid the groundwork for priorities in the upcoming year at recent Similkameen Country planning meeting.

“We really focussed on the internal structure of the group,” Mathieson said of the meeting. “We need to do what we do better and communicate what we do better and in some cases do more.”

Members agreed the organization would focus efforts on the four Similkameen Country signature events that are run each year, Canada Day celebrations, Similkameen Sizzle, Taste of Our Valley and Light Up.

“These events have become part of the community and are a great way to bring people into the valley. We want to build on them, have them run smoother,” he said.

Mathieson said business networking opportunities will be another priority to focus efforts.

“I think you’re going to see more networking opportunities, business to business opportunities,” he said.

The executive discussed briefly professional development opportunities that would aid members.

“We talked about having informal seminars on food labelling of canned goods and questions surrounding that. A lot of people do those sorts of things here and there are guidelines that if they were made aware of them might be of real benefit. Those types of things aren’t difficult to organize. Other things that might help business owners are talks about taxes or HR (human relations) stuff. It doesn’t matter the size of the business everyone is dealing with this,” he said.

Later on in the year Similkameen Country will explore options surrounding a buy local campaign.

One of Mathieson’s personal goals is to encourage relationships with surrounding chamber organizations in Penticton, Princeton, Osoyoos and others.