The Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce is reminding the community that they are ready to support local business, and looks to recruit more small businesses and individuals to join their membership. While the Chamber currently has no full-time staff, the organization’s small Board of Directors are determined to support commerce in the Nicola Valley as they look to expand their presence in the community.
The Merritt Chamber was established in 1906 – five years before the City of Merritt’s own incorporation. Since then, the Chamber has connected local business owners and organizations with each other, and with a plethora of resources and advocacy services. Members of the Chamber enjoy a host of benefits, including advocacy services, local information and contacts, health benefits for business owners, and a number of other resources for businesses in the Nicola Valley. The key focus of the Chamber is providing a network for collaboration between small businesses and other community stakeholders, and the Board is excited about the possibilities as the local Chamber expands.
“The power of partnerships can not be overstated, we grow faster and attain common goals when we collaborate with others. I am excited about the possibilities partnerships create and how we can provide exceptional value to the Merritt business community as a result,” said Margaret Hohner, chair of the Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce.
“The Nicola Valley has always had a vibrant and inclusive business community, and I want to make sure that we continue to provide relevant support to our current members and invite new members to the table.”
The Merritt Chamber has partnerships with a number of organizations in the community, and across the province. They regularly team up with the Kamloops and BC Chambers of Commerce, along with other local business organizations such as Community Futures. Hohner says these partnerships have been invaluable. The Chamber also partners with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) to offer the Access Student Talent program, which provides local small businesses with a connection to a ready supply of student employees from the school.
Meeting on the third Thursday of each month at noon, the Chamber hopes to see more attendance at upcoming meetings. Hohner says the organization’s Board of Directors is keen to get going with their next projects, and is looking to recruit more Chamber members and directors for the board. With provincial funding dwindling, the Chamber is currently supported only by their membership fees. Despite this, they continue to work hard for small businesses in the Nicola Valley. Hohner said it was a labour of love.
“I love being connected to all the different organizations and various partners that we have in town,” added Hohner.
“It’s really great to feel like you have some sort of input and representation for small businesses at different tables around the community. We provide a connection for businesses in the region to different partners that we advocate with.”
For more information on the Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce, including upcoming meetings and membership opportunities, visit www.merrittchamber.com.