• President’s Message

  • The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has been the leading voice of business since 1897 and that has particularly been the case during the unprecedented times created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    As soon as the magnitude of the situation became evident, your board of directors and staff initiated a strategy to support members, whether it was simplifying access to important information or checking in to offer assistance. Advocacy has always been a significant component of the Chamber and that’s certainly been the case since March, with the Chamber urging government at all levels to take concrete action that allows businesses to not only survive, but thrive.

    How we operate as an organization has also evolved, including a transition to virtual events and postponing some events like Community Expo until 2021.

    But while there is still considerable uncertainty around the pandemic, I can assure you that the Chamber remains strong and your confidence in the organization is clearly evident through membership renewals surpassing expectations and the addition of many new members since March.

    Our advocacy committee has been vigilant on your behalf – speaking out on lower excise tax for distilleries, expanding Ellison Park, increased funding for addiction and mental health services, enhanced protocols for invasive species, and a greater role for business owners and residents in the location of an overdose prevention site. And that advocacy work will continue in the coming year as we look towards post-pandemic recovery and a vibrant community. I encourage members to bring concerns and ideas to us as you are the cornerstone of everything that we do.

    There will continue to be challenges related to Covid-19 but we are fortunate to live in a dynamic region and to be part of a vibrant organization focused on its members and the community. We have also been impressed with the resiliency of our businesses and non-profits and how they have pivoted operations. We look forward to a positive 2020/21 together.

    Sincerely,

    Krystin Kempton
    President
    Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce