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Chamber Board Welcomes New Directors

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The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce held its 2013 AGM and Election of Officers Thursday, March 21 at the Pioneer Activity Centre in Smithers. Guests and members were welcomed by Chamber president, George Whitehead, specifically mentioning Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson and out-of-town visitors, Tsanasi Tsardis of the Business Development Bank and Seabridge Gold's Vice-President of Environmental Affairs, Brent Murphy. Colin Bruintjes CGA presented the audited books of the Chamber and then the election of officers was conducted by manager Heather Gallagher. A nominating committee consisting of President George Whitehead, Past-president David Mckenzie and the manager put forth its recommendations to the membership. Dale Clarke of Pacific Employee Benefits and Truscott Fowler, the Chamber's current treasurer, agreed to let his name stand for another term as did Director Bruce Hutchinson of Applied Fire Solutions, who was welcomed back to the board for his third term. New board members for 2013-2014 are Brian Atherton, retired from the Ministry of Forests and Elizabeth Miller, manager of the Seabridge Gold office in Smithers. Linda Hanson, outgoing director, was presented with the coveted Alpenman for her three terms of service. Also finishing his three year term is Dave Walters from Valhalla Pure. Both Linda and Dave contributed many volunteer hours, great ideas and new directions for consideration in day-to-day operations of the Chamber. The board and staff welcome new board members and thank the current board members for their dedication and efforts on behalf of the Chamber.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2013 09:21

New Business Reception honours 100 guests

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Chamber President George Whitehead and Bulkley Valley Credit Union Branch Manager, Greg Wacholtz, welcomed 100 guests at the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce New Business Reception held Friday, February 22 in Smithers. This is the sixth year that the Chamber, along with valuable sponsors, have developed an evening to honour the new business licensees from Smithers and Telkwa, as well as the year's new chamber members. Over 75 invitations go out to a variety of diverse new businesses from helicopter companies to trucking companies; construction businesses to personal care providers. The evening is all about networking giving new business owners the opportunity to meet established business owners from the area. The evening was catered by the Smithers Senior Citizen's Association with a wide array of delectable appetizers and this was complimented with appetizers from Sweet and Savoury Culinary Creations, Subway and delicious desserts were provided from Sawyer's Oh So Good Cupcakes. Bulkley Valley Wholesale had a table to display the many cheese choices available in-store - hundreds of fine cheeses! The mood was set with decor items from PartyLite (local representative is Michelle Wacholtz) and the Smithers Jazz Combo took the stage to entertain the guests with their smooth, cool sounds. At the Centennial 2013 Centre guests were encouraged to have a little fun by trying on the many hats from 1913 and Mandi Storey, of Storey Photography, took pictures to preserve the memories. Welcoming addresses were provided to the new business owners and new chamber members by Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach, Telkwa Mayor Carman Graf, Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson, Greg Wacholtz of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union and Smithers District Chamber of Commerce President George Whitehead. At the Martini Bar guests tried the wonderful Mountain Martinis created by the Aspen Riverhouse (Pain in the Aspen); the Fireside Pub and the Alpenhorn (Mountain Tini). This is a wonderful evening to promote the diverse business activity in the Valley and the evening happens because of the tremendous support of our Sponsors: The Bulkley Valley Credit Union; Business Development Bank; Bulkley Valley Economic Deveopment Association and thanks to the Bulkley Valley Credit Union for the door prizes and Hawkair for the flight for 2 to Vancouver. Here's a link to pictures of the event

Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2013 09:26

Provincial Budget

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News Release

Budget 2013 takes a prudent approach to returning to balance

February 19, 2013 - Victoria, BC

– Chambers of Commerce congratulated the government for fulfilling their commitment to return to a balanced budget.

"Business has been clear, governments priority was to get its fiscal house in order, Budget 2013 does that in a balanced way that controls spending while making modest increases to taxes," states John Winter President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. "Small businesses are the economic engine of the province, as such they will be happy to see no change to the small business tax rates but an increase to the corporate tax rates combined with the return to the PST will present challenges to BC’s global competitiveness."

Budget 2013 forecasts a modest $197 million surplus in 2013/14. The return to Budget is achieved through a combination of spending restraint and additional revenue measures including an increase to the corporate tax rate effective April 1, 2013, a phase out of the school property tax credit for light industry and an increase in personal income tax for those earning over $150,000.

"As all parties prepare for the coming provincial election it is important that we remain committed to not only the fiscal prudence underpinning Budget 2013 but also the need to remain competitive on the global stage," continued Winter. "As we look out over the full fiscal plan we see that government will begin to have additional flexibility to invest in economic growth as the economy continues to recover. What business will be looking for in the election campaign will be a focus on addressing the competitiveness of BC’s economy, particularly our critical export sectors."

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For more information on this issue please contact; John Winter President & CEO BC Chamber of Commerce D This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2013 09:26

NEWS RELEASE Town Recognizes Excellence in Local Buildings

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Over 160 businesspeople cheer for the finalists at this year's Community and Business Awards

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Businesspeople, their families, friends, associates, elected officials, sponsors and award finalists came out to the 2012 Annual Community and Business Awards hosted at Hy-Tech Drilling on Saturday night (October 20). This annual event, organized and sponsored by the Smithers District Chamber of Commece, is an opportunity to showcase businesses that are nominated by the public in 12 categories, shortlisted by a six-member selection committee, and voted on by Chamber members to determine the Category Finalist. The audience was honoured by the attendance of the MLA for Stikine, Doug Donaldson, as he talked about the importance of small businesses in BC and the contribution Small Business makes to local and provincial economies. Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach congratulated the finalists and small business in general. As well he showed his great sportsmanship by promoting Smithers tourism marketing character "Alpine Alice" by donning costume and dancing the "Lederhosen Jig" to raise funds for the new Bursary/scholarship that the Chamber is developing for a local student pursuing post-secondary business education/training. The people in the room contributed over $700 to see the mayor dance and many even jumped in to do the Lederhosen polka with him. Thank you to the mayor for helping in this endeavour and to the Band, Boys in the Bush, and String Licorice, for having fun with the background music. Telkwa Mayor Carman Graf highlighted business activity in Telkwa. People in attendance also enjoyed the amazing array of food provided by the Grendel Group; Seasons in the Valley; the Blue Fin Sushi Bar and Sawyer's Cupcakes. The Chamber also would like to thank the many businesses in the area that contribute to the silent and live auctions, which revenues help defray the costs of the evening and provide a bit of extra revenue for Chamber activites that are non-revenue generating during the year. Our sponsors are incredibly generous and the silent auction winners and live auction winners were thrilled with their prizes. Live Auction Sponsors were: Hawkair; Central Mountain Air; Ski Experience Weekend (Rayz Board Shop, Hudson Bay Mountain, Glacier Toyota); Snowmobile Weekend Experience (Harvey Mountain Adventures and Stonesthrow Guesthouse); Dawn2Dusk Pamper Package and Shopping Spree (Dawn2Dusk, Cloud Nine Esthetics, Seasons in the Valley); Sweetheart Package (Skeena Cat Skiing, Suskwa Lodge, Rayz Board Shop and Glacier Toyota); Half Day Boat Rental (Rayz Board Shop).

Thanks to our MC Mark Edwards, whose humour and expertise added to the guests' enjoyment of the evening and to the drumroll of Mark Allen as the finalist envelope was being torn open (..."and the finalist is"...) The BV Kinsemn minded the bar; Larkspur Flowers and Gifts provided amazing floral arrangments and La Petite Maison added to the ambience by providing gorgeous lanterns for the decor. The whole ambiance was "industrial chic" in Hy-Tech's state -of-the-art new shop facility. Thanks to all the Chamber directors who helped with the set-up and tear-down as well as the sponsor contact and thanks to Harvey and Corry Tremblay for the providing the venue and to Beryl McLellan of Hy-Tech, who helped so much. If, as one of the three finalists in each category, you would like a copy of the evening's slideshow which featured the finalists please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

And now.. the finalists are...Interior News Business of the Year, Hy-Tech Drilling; Vandergaag & Bakker's Business Person of the Year, Mike Henfrey, BV Insurance Services; Oscar's Source for Sports' Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Amy Brandstetter of Sedaz Lingerie; Northwest Science and Innovation's Technology/Innovation Award: Net-Zero Structures (Mike Sawyer); Tourism Smithers' Tourism Excellence Awards, Oscar's Source for Adventure; Aspen Inn & Suites Public Service Excellence, the Salvation Army; Smithers Lumber Yard's Home Based Business, Meg Hobson of Rustica Bakery; Bulkley Valley Credit Union's Family Friendly Business, Heavenly Grinds and Little Treasures Cafe; Town of Smithers and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako's Environmentally-Friendly Business of the Year, Summit Reforestation; Salvation Army's Customer Service Excellence for Individual, Jason Krauskopf of Rayz Board Shop; Hudson Bay Lodge's Customer Service Excellence Award for a Business, Heartstrings Home Decor; Citizen/Volunteer of the Year, Sean Mitchell; Village of Telkwa's Business Leadership Award, Leroy Dekens of Midway Service; Town of Smithers Building Excellence Awards (Residential) Jane Hetherington and Bill Stephens; (Commercial) The Bugwood Bean on Main and (Industrial) Hy-Tech Drilling on Tatlow.

Guests and Award Recipients seem to enjoy our taking the Awards Evening out into the Business Community with a different host each year, so if you have a facility that you feel would accommodate around 160 people along with room for silent auction items, and would like to transform your space, for one evening, into a Gala Hall (we provide the decor and labour) please give Heather or Susan a call to arrange for next year (250-847-5072). The businesses that have hosted are Glacier Toyota in 2008; Smithers Lumber Yard in 2009; the Aspen in 2010; Coast Mountain in 2011; and Hy-Tech Drilling in 2012. All said that showcasing their facilities to a vast array of local business people, and the promotional coverage, was excellent exposure. In 2013 it's Smithers Centennial and a wonderful year to promote 100 years of Business.

To view pictures of the evening click here

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 11:22

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