Chamber Report April 2019
Message from our President, William Klaassen
Spring, or should I say Summer, has arrived and with it often comes renewed energy of all things growing and coming back to life. At the same time there are a lot of issues and changes in our world that can affect the way our businesses function. We strongly believe that as a community and concerted team we can do so much more than each individual business can on their own.
Having met many of you at Chamber and other events, I have noticed there are varying degrees of perception in what the Chamber does and adds to the local business environment, and more importantly, your business portfolio. Some businesses are firmly invested and take advantage of the value of their membership. Some are aware of the value, but are not seeing it come to fruition. And, there are also some who are not quite sure what value there is in a membership. We know that we can improve this; and that is our goal for this year.
The Chamber has three main roles.
(1) We advocate for local businesses at all levels.
(2) We educate and share information that affects local business. And finally,
(3) we ensure we are instrumental in the nurturing and developing of local business relationships and connections.
Of course, all of this happens in various ways. As a result, we take succession and future planning seriously. This year we have 4 new directors (which we welcomed in our March update); currently we have 10 directors on the Board. We again are working hard to ensure you have a strong, robust, and dedicated board. We are excited and energized to be representing you as your Board of Directors; there is a lot of work to do!
The Chamber offers a wide range of value-added services, as well as amazing opportunities to connect and give you opportunity to invest in your own business and networking. However, we believe that many more businesses could benefit by taking advantage of everything we offer. We are on a mission to make sure that happens! The Chamber only exists because of businesses in Chilliwack and therefore we are diving deep into our core vision, strategy, value-add, and services we offer to ensure that everything we do turns into value for you. Stay tuned for the exciting stuff that will be coming out of the sessions and strategic planning that we are undertaking in April.
As always, please reach out to us if there is anything we can do for you and also stay up to date with everything we are doing for you and business in Chilliwack by following us on Facebook (Chilliwack chamber), Twitter (@Chwkchamber) or Instagram (@chilliwackchamber) or our website at www.chilliwackchamber.com
An update on the Housing Hub:
Pacific Community Resource Society’s Housing Hub program houses those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in local market rental units and provides in home support at least once weekly to connect participants to community resources, and help them achieve their personal goals and become successful tenants. After operating for 9 months with two full time staff and a half time position contributed by Stó:lō Service Agency, the program has housed 29 people, including 7 children, in 12 apartment units and an 8 bedroom duplex. Of the 22 adults housed, 15 had been homeless for over a year, and the remaining 7 adults were prevented from entering into homelessness as a result of the program. To date, no Housing Hub participants have entered back into homelessness. The Housing Hub will be wrapping up its pilot project phase March 31st with the hopes of receiving enough funding to make the program sustainable. So far, the program has partially reached that goal and are awaiting responses from potential funders. If you would like to know more about the program, please contact Graham McMahon, Housing Hub Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Members of the month are a special partnership between two business organizations and two local not-for-profits.
Chilliwack Bowls of Hope and Food Mesh are the hosts of April Chamber Connections, sponsored by Prospera Credit Union and SureStay Hotel by Best Western.
Chilliwack Bowls of Hope:
Chilliwack Bowls of Hope was the recipient of the 2018 Business Excellence: Not for Profit of the Year Award.
Since 2005 the Chilliwack bowls of Hope Society has operated the Feed the Children Program, through efforts of the community-based volunteers and offenders, with the support and cooperation of the Chilliwack Community Correctional Center.
Their program currently provides soup and other hot lunch items, along with milk and fruit, to 21 schools within the Chilliwack District. Through donations from businesses, community partners, and the public, 800+ children in need receive over 14,600 bowls of soup each month.
Their journey began in October 2015 after co-Founders Jessica and Francisco came across photos of beautiful edible produce headed to waste streams because they were too ripe for retail. Unable to shake these images, they dedicated the next 6 months to investigate the root causes and scale of the food waste problem. It became clear that the problem is efficient re-distribution for unpredictable off spec product. This led to the seeding of FoodMesh – a solution to power the circular economy for surplus food using network effects. The self-serve platform is designed to simplify food re-distribution by matching demand and supply in a more efficient and intelligent way. Today, FoodMesh has successfully provided hundreds of thousands of meals to people and has saved over a million dollars in food value by companies using our platform.
For 2019 FoodMesh has started a Food Recovery Program where Retailers divert 100% of their surplus daily to charities then farmers for animal feed. To read more about this program, go to our page: Retail Food Recovery Program
SureStay Hotel by Best Western:
A full service, eco friendly, Hotel and Conference Center. Nestled in the beautiful Fraser Valley, conveniently located off Exit 116, one hour east of Vancouver and only 20 minutes from the Sumas border crossing. The hotel has 74 guest rooms and a variety of luxurious suites for a comfortable and relaxing stay. They are dedicated to educating and motivating their staff to improve the impact our society has on the environment and communities in which we live and work. The hotel participates in the Eco Stay Program which makes your stay completely carbon neutral.
Prospera Credit Union:
At Prospera, we make our members dreams come true. We’re a for-purpose credit union that’s guided by our values and owned by our members. Built on over 75 years as a BC credit union, we’re proud to serve our members and help make our communities stronger by investing locally and partnering with local charities to make life better for everyone.
We believe that financial health is just one piece of the wellness puzzle and we’re here for you, your family, and your business, every step of the way. We are the trusted home for families and local businesses, building their financial dreams and prosperity within our communities.
Welcome to our Newest Members:
Koji Fine Foods Inc.
Pacific Dairy Center
Mel Kaario Business Catalyst & Life Coach
Upcoming events in April:
- April 4th – Lunch & Learn | Culture in the Workplace: Ever wondered what the term “Workplace Culture” means? Heard it used somewhere and didn’t think it was relevant to you or your business? If your company culture is healthy and engaging then you will see it reflective in how happy your employees are, how happy your clients are and how profitable the company is. Join us April 4th for lunch & learn from the Team at Culture Co.
- April 9th – Fraser Valley Business Showcase: The 12th Annual Fraser Valley Chambers of Commerce Business Showcase. Book a booth or come and view over 60 exhibitors from all over the Fraser Valley.
- April 11th – Coffee & Conversations with Mayor Ken Popove: Join us from 9-10am for Coffee with Mayor Ken Popove, and Executive Director of the Chilliwack Chamber, Leanna Kemp.
- April 23rd – Chamber Connections: Join us for our monthly networking event known as Chamber Connections. April is brought to you by a special collaboration: Hosted by: Bowls of Hope Society & Food Mesh / Sponsored by: SureStay Hotel by Best Western Chilliwack & Prospera Credit Union.
** ( for more event info or to register visit our website www.chilliwackchamber.com )**