Chamber celebrates small businesses

Cranbrook and district business people gathered on Wednesday to mark Small Business Week in B.C.

Family members in business together shared their insight at the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Week luncheon on Wednesday

Family members in business together shared their insight at the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Week luncheon on Wednesday

October 20 to 26 is Small Business Week in B.C., and the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce marked the occasion with a mini trade fair and small-business themed discussion at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort on Wednesday, October 23.

Chamber members were invited to stop by booths and visit small business owners at the lunch-time event, “Bring Your Business To The Table”.

The Playpen Pet Boarding and Grooming, Blade Runner Shredding Service with Cranbrook Society for Community Living, Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Koocanusa Publications, e-Know, Pacific Coastal Airlines, RBC, BDO, Haddad Financial, Initial Designs, Community Futures East Kootenay and Kootenay Raft Co. all had booths set up at the event, talking about what their business has to offer.

During lunch, Keith Powell moderated a discussion with several Cranbrook small business owners, first bringing the crowd to a standing ovation for local small businesses.

First up, a panel discussing what a successful business looks like in Cranbrook featured Martin Torgerson from Home Hardware, Denise Pallesen from Nutter’s, and Megan Lescanec from Bumble Tree.

Next, a panel on the intricacies of family business included Chris Thom from Rocky Mountain Diesel, Chad and Leanne Jensen from New Dawn, Derek Spring from NorthStar, and Corey and David Spring from Spring Honda.

Finally, a panel on how businesses can prosper, be successful and expand was covered by Sean Campbell of Community Futures East Kootenay, Greg McCallum from College of the Rockies’ business administration department, and Michelle Kleindienst from BDC, which sponsors Small Business Week.

Chamber president Mike Adams showed the group’s appreciation for local small business owners.

“Small Business Week is a time to celebrate and thank you, who are the backbone of the Cranbrook economy,” he said.

Adams described how Cranbrook’s many small businesses give back to the community by supporting local agencies, groups and clubs.

“You love this community and it shows.”

During the event, Adams also mentioned the next stage in the Chamber’s consultation with the City of Cranbrook, Barriers to Business.

If you have done business with the City of Cranbrook in the past 10 months, or are currently doing business with the City, the Chamber of Commerce wants to hear from you.

According to Adams, “We are moving ahead on the next phase of our Barriers to Business project. Following the presentation to the City last year, the Chamber Board of Directors has continued to encourage the City of Cranbrook to make changes to its processes, internal culture and the implementation and tracking of its economic development strategy to remove barriers to doing business in Cranbrook. It’s now time for the Chamber to deliver a progress report.

“We need to find all of those who have done business with the City in the past 10 months and we need to hear about their experiences, what might have changed over those 10 months and what yet needs to be done,” said Adams.

If you are an existing or new business which has started or expanded your business in the past 10 months, the Chamber would like to hear from you. All respondents will be kept confidential.

Please call the Chamber of Commerce office at 250-426-5914.