What has the chamber of commerce done for you recently?
That may depend on where you work. It may depend on what you do for fun. It may have to do with where you travel or how much tax you pay.
Ladysmith and District Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Leslie, of the accounting firm Palmer Leslie, joined because she believes in the principles of the chamber.
“The chamber is there to advocate for me if I have an issue. They provide educational opportunities, they support local economic development, they ensure that the business community of Ladysmith can thrive and this creates a better economic climate that benefits all residents,” said Leslie. “This is important to my clients and my business.”
Recently, the Ladysmith chamber lobbied against new fishing regulations that would impact as many as 6,100 jobs in commercial and recreational fishing. It also presented a brief regarding derelict and abandoned vessels in Ladysmith harbour to the BC Chamber of Commerce. It was approved and will be forwarded to the federal government. When the provincial government launched the new speculation tax on second homes the chamber worked hard to clarify and mitigate its impact.
The Ladysmith chamber works with other Cowichan Valley chambers to address issues that affect the entire valley. It is involved in economic development and participates in a committee of regional stakeholders including the Town of Ladysmith, the CVRD, the LDBA, the Nanaimo Airport Authority, Stz’uminus First Nation and Community Futures.
It is involved in the Walking Tour App, the development of online investment and resident attraction, the development of events and the promotion of commercial areas.
The chamber serves as the local tourist information centre from its location on Roberts Street. Tourism is an important economic driver and it is the business of the chamber to promote and market the town. The Information Centre hosted approximately 8,000 visitors during the summer of 2108.
It may be easy to understand the value of a local Chamber of Commerce when you are operating a business, but its supporters say all residents benefit from a healthy business climate.
“When business is successful the community succeeds. For example, our citizens and particularly our youth have meaningful jobs, our sports teams and social service agencies have sponsors and donors, and there is an upbeat ambiance and vibrancy that comes with a successful business community,” said Mark Drysdale, the Ladysmith chamber’s executive director.
Upcoming events for Chamber Week include A “Business Mixer” on February 19 and a “Lunch & Learn” on Feb 21. For more information please visit www.ladysmithcofc.com.