Tammy Verigin-Burk, executive director of the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce, Mark Laver, Castlegar’s new economic development manager and Andrea Ryman, marketing coordinator for Destination Castlegar, handed out prizes for the business card mingle contest at the chamber’s annual general meeting and wine and cheese event last Thursday. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Tammy Verigin-Burk, executive director of the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce, Mark Laver, Castlegar’s new economic development manager and Andrea Ryman, marketing coordinator for Destination Castlegar, handed out prizes for the business card mingle contest at the chamber’s annual general meeting and wine and cheese event last Thursday. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce celebrates successful year

The Castlegar District Chamber of Commerce was busy in 2017

The Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce was busy in 2017 — offering new training seminars, running another successful trade show and hosting the B.C. provincial all candidates forum, among other things — and Thursday the chamber’s staff and board shared their accomplishments with the organizations’ members.

Business owners belonging to the chamber heard about the highlights from 2017 — like co-hosting the Economic Development Practitioners Conference, the chamber’s second annual business walks and the business awards — at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting and wine and cheese event.

Tammy Verigin-Burk, executive director for the chamber, also talked about how much the chamber has grown since she started working there five years ago.

“I was tasked with increasing the membership, building sustainability with the Chamber of Commerce. They wanted me to bring in an economic development program and another task was to try to get the hotel tax in,” said Verigin-Burk.

Since 2012 the chamber’s membership has increased from 190 to 250.

Looking forward to 2018, the chamber is planning a Building Blocks Economic Development Workshop for the spring, a third annual business walk, more training events and a new website for Destination Castlegar.

“We’re launching a brand new one with an amazing event page,” said Verigin-Burk.

The chamber also has big plans for Castlegar’s economic development, including a gap analysis.

“The gap analysis is where we’re going to be doing a survey that is going to go out to the entire community so they can be involved in looking at what they believe is needed in this town for new businesses,” explains Verigin-Burk. “And so that helps us with the attraction of new businesses.”

The new economic development manager, Mark Laver, can then pursue any trends or themes that emerge from the gap analysis.

The chamber will also be developing a business lease and sale inventory list, which Verigin-Burk says will be made accessible.

 

Jane Charest (centre), president of the Chamber of Commerce, chatted with City of Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Jane Charest (centre), president of the Chamber of Commerce, chatted with City of Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Jason Thomas and Johnny P. Johnson provided musical entertainment during the wine and cheese event. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Jason Thomas and Johnny P. Johnson provided musical entertainment during the wine and cheese event. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff chatted with Eric Lawson, Black Press Group Publisher, Kootenays/the Boundary. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff chatted with Eric Lawson, Black Press Group Publisher, Kootenays/the Boundary. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Castlegar business owners mingled during the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce’s wine and cheese event last Thursday. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Castlegar business owners mingled during the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce’s wine and cheese event last Thursday. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Jordan Sherstobitoff and her mother Coun. Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff visited with Chris Bell, president of Krueckl Financial Services. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Jordan Sherstobitoff and her mother Coun. Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff visited with Chris Bell, president of Krueckl Financial Services. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

There was a great selection of delicious hors d’oeuvres at the Chamber of Commerce’s wine and cheese. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

There was a great selection of delicious hors d’oeuvres at the Chamber of Commerce’s wine and cheese. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)