Published On: Tuesday, 06 June 2017

Valley Wide Business Expo a Roaring Success

Valley Wide Business Expo a Roaring Success

- Dan Rogers is the General Manager at the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at manager@vernonchamber.ca.

VERNON - The Greater Vernon Chamber was pleased to play host to the 2017 Valley Wide Business Expo last month.  This year it was staged at Predator Ridge, which has recently expanded its conference facilities. It was a hot afternoon in the North Okanagan and the venue provided a fantastic backdrop for the annual chamber trade show that moves a different community in the Okanagan Valley each year.

The new banquet facilities represented a strategic investment to further enhance Predator’s competitive positioning as an all-season resort community. The significant number of new housing starts at Predator along with an increasing interest in experiences beyond its world-class golf courses shows that the strategic vision the development has implemented is being well received.

The Valley Wide Business Expo gave many of those who attended their first look at all the enhancements the resort has made over the last several years with more growth on the horizon.

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In other news, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce was pleased to join other community leaders in Victoria in late May for the BC Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting and Conference and even more pleased to table a number of policies that its members had identified as being important to the economic wellbeing of the North Okanagan. 

“We attended the event to ensure local interests and concerns are understood and to help shape the BC Chambers’ advocacy agenda,” says Dauna Kennedy Grant, president of the Vernon Chamber. Vice President Markus Schrott and I were on hand at the Annual Meeting to represent the organization's 550 members.

Each year member Chambers across BC develop and submit policies for the consideration at the AGM.  Each policy must receive two-thirds of votes to pass.  If the policy is supported it will become official BC Chamber policy and the BC Chamber will advocate it to the appropriate level of government.   

“Our Chamber is committed to supporting and growing the people who power our community and help us create a more business-friendly BC,” says Kennedy Grant. “We think these policies will help achieve that and we are optimistic they will be supported by our peer Chambers.”

The BC Chamber AGM and Conference is held in a different BC community each year. The event is the largest annual business policy-building forum in the province. Every year, members of the BC Chamber develop and submit policies for the consideration. This year, 63 policies were voted on at the AGM policy sessions.

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The Chamber was pleased to get an update on the local fund raising campaign to raise much needed funds to pay for the development of the region`s Rail Trail Initiative (okanaganrailtrail.ca) that will eventually see the abandoned CN rail line from Vernon to Kelowna converted into a multi use trail primarily for cyclists. When completed it will be a global destination for tourists seeking a cycle tour along one of the most beautiful lakes in all of BC.

The Greater Vernon Chamber has supported this initiative because of the regional economic development opportunities that it presents. The acquisition of the corridor was financed by local governments in the region in combination with funding from the province, and private organizations.

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And, finally, a big Chamber welcome goes out to our newest members including National Money Mart, Okanagan Feldenkrais, and Vernon & District Performing Arts.