Lots of opportunities for business to grow in Revelstoke

Judy Goodman, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, looks at business in Revelstoke for Canadian Small Business Week

By Judy Goodman, Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce

For more than 30 years, the Business Development Bank of Canada has organized Small Business Week. This year, October 14-20 is dubbed as “AIM High, Invest in your future!” What a fitting theme to support some of the current efforts of the Revelstoke business community!

Small business is defined in many different ways, mostly based on economies of scale. The B.C. Chamber of Commerce recently defined the Micro Business Training Program eligibility as a business with five or less employees. This definition represents 62 per cent of the Revelstoke chamber membership, so it seems to fit our community.

This program is designed for small business owners that have no formal degree to benefit from $1,500 in education funding. This is a great opportunity to invest in your future and the application process is simple. Call the chamber team at 250-837-5345 to get started.

Okanagan College has several fall courses targeted at small business needs including communication, management, sales and marketing. The computer and technology “In a Day” series is a quick update on Microsoft programs. More detailed courses in web design and social media are available. There is a great line-up of employment and professional development, health and lifestyle options as well.  Chamber members receive a 10 per cent discount on business courses. Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/cs

Through the chamber network, I was recently introduced to the “Ten Percent Shift” concept. This is about considering local options first and being more thoughtful spenders. In doing that, if you find a deal that works then it’s great for you and great for your local economy.

A 2008 analysis by the American firm of the pharmacy, grocery, restaurant and bank sectors in Grand Rapids, Mich., found a 10 per cent shift toward local spending would inject $137 million into the economy, create 1,614 jobs and add $53 million in local wages.

Thinking local first has several benefits other than just keeping money within our community. We also benefit from positive environmental impact through less transportation, lower energy and fuel costs, and less excessive packaging. More local businesses mean a stronger tax base, and that pays for better public services for your family. Revelstoke’s local business owners are your friends and neighbours – they live, work and are invested in your community, just like you.

Our community is unique, let’s celebrate it! The chamber is aiming high with our “Reach for the Stars” theme for the 19th annual Business Excellence Awards gala on Saturday, Nov. 3. This event is an opportunity for our business leaders to celebrate with their peers and acknowledge local business successes. Nominations close on Wednesday, Oct. 17, but there is still time to nominate your favourite business, employee or business owner. seerevelstoke.com/nominate-a-business.html.

Chamber members are invited to our monthly luncheon on October 24 at the Powder Springs at noon. We will be talking about current Chamber initiatives including committee updates on policy & advocacy initiatives, ten percent shift tips for business owners and member input on how we can aim high, and Invest in our members futures!