Chamber Ensures Cowichan Businesses Have A Voice

May 11, 2018

COWICHAN – It’s May and time to celebrate May Membership Month at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce. This month is jam-packed with events and special promotions, all focused on welcoming new members and celebrating existing ones. 

We are looking forward to our May Luncheon on the 16th with presenter Ian Baillie, VP of Corporate Communications for Harvest One, the parent company for Cowichan’s United Greeneries operation. Ian will be presenting plans for the company and will speak to their commitment to the local economy and how legalization for marijuana will impact horticultural facilities.

Later this month, the Chamber will attend the BC Chamber of Commerce’s AGM in Kamloops. This is the largest annual business policy-building forum in the province and an excellent opportunity to have our region’s voice heard at the provincial level.

Our Chamber will be supporting several policies at the AGM, including a policy which could have significant impact on destination marketing dollars in the Cowichan region and Vancouver Island. In its presentation of Budget 2018, the Provincial Government announced its intention to amend the Provincial Sales Tax Act so that municipalities, regional districts and eligible entities such as tourism-focused non-profits that receive revenues from the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) will be allowed to use revenues to fund affordable housing initiatives. This change has the potential to greatly impact the continued success and future growth of the tourism sector. While our Chamber actively supports and advocates for affordable housing, we feel it should not come at the expense of promoting tourism and hospitality across our region and on the Island.

This policy titled Protecting Funding for Tourism Marketing Programs and Projects is supported by all four Chambers in the Cowichan Valley, as well as most Island Chambers, due to the importance of the tourism sector to our economy.

The Chamber is also asking our members and Cowichan businesses to join BC Chamber’s new MindReader Platform. This is a cloud-based platform that gathers real-time information by engaging BC’s businesses through focused questions. The BC Chamber can then use this cold hard data to provide government with critical insights and solutions. This is yet another opportunity to have Cowichan’s voice heard and to make a difference on key issues in our region and the province.

Sonja Nagel is Executive Director of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at or 250-748-1111

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