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Published On: Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Roundtable Results Announced at Cowichan Business Leaders’ Breakfast

Roundtable Results Announced at Cowichan Business Leaders’ Breakfast

- Sonja Nagel is Executive Director of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at manager@duncancc.bc.ca or 250.748.1111.

COWICHAN VALLEY - The Duncan Cowichan Chamber board and staff recently convened to develop the Chamber’s new Strategic Plan. Our last stategic plan was heavily focused on building and getting the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre up and running.

We certainly feel a sense of accomplishment in achieving and exceeding the goals to operate a successful regional visitor centre, servicing over 25,000 visitors in 2016.

The focus of our 2017 – 2019 Strategic Plan is all about better engagement with our growing membership. We are always looking for ways to add value to membership through networking and professional development opportunities, advocacy, marketing opportunities and a wide suite of benefits including preferred rates on health insurance and merchant services.

Another key focus for the Chamber is developing and enhancing partnerships in the community, including government, not-for-profit and business organizations. One such partnership program is with Community Futures Cowichan, Economic Development Cowichan and MNP LLP.

Last year, we collaborated on a Business Leader’s Survey, announcing the results at Cowichan’s first Economic Outlook Breakfast. A key theme heard at the event, which attracted more than 100 business and community leaders from across Cowichan Valley, was the need for increased communication and cooperation amongst communities, local government and business service organizations in the region, coupled with a renewed focus on economic development.

In follow up to “What’s Next”, the partners agreed to gather more input from Cowichan’s businesses in a series of six Sector-Specific Roundtables.

The partners recently met with over 60 business leaders from across the Cowichan Region in tourism, agriculture, retail, manufacturing, technology, construction and real estate sectors. The Roundtables were an excellent forum to hear from business owners and operators about opportunities and barriers to doing business in the Cowichan. A major finding was that many of the same issues, opportunities and challenges were identified across various sectors.

Roundtable participants in each of the six industry sectors identified their top three priorities. From these sector results, the partners compiled a summary of the common threads: Increase and improve collaboration and communication with and between local governments; Develop community infrastructure that supports economic development; Identify and address labour challenges and solutions, and Create a unifying vision for the region.

The priorities, common themes and action items will be elaborated at the Cowichan Business Leaders Breakfast, April 11, 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. at the Cowichan Golf Club. We anticipate another sold out event.

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Welcome new Chamber members: McAdam Design, IslandSkye Bed and Breakfast, IntegraBooks Bookkeeping Services, HUB International Insurance, Renee Russell Pemberton Holmes, Pinnacle Wealth Broker and Canada Financial and Brisance Coaching.