Elkford Chamber keeps jumping hurdles

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce is putting 2012 behind them, a year that nearly saw them have to close down after a fire destroyed their building, and the District of Elkford cut funding.

Early last year the chamber was told their partnership agreement with the District of Elkford would not be renewed, so their new board was faced with coming up with a new funding model.

With the help of community sponsors the Chamber brought in Bob Johnstone to facilitate a Strategic Planning Session which all members and community stakeholders were invited to attend. It was decided that the chamber should continue with its work promoting economic growth in the community, but that there needed to be reduced expenditures, different revenue sources, better marketing of the Chamber, obtaining membership renewals and actively seeking new members.

Unfortunately, there was a fire in the building beginning of August and the office has been closed ever since. Despite this, the Chamber manager worked from home until October 31 when she resigned to spend more time with her family.

“After the fire we had to put everything in storage,” said Cindy Gallinger, president of the Elkford Chamber of Commerce.

“We have been busy fundraising. Everyone worked madly to get the Christmas party organized. We hope to be back in our old building soon and want our members to know we are still promoting Elkford.”

November and December were busy months for the board who organized and hosted two very successful events: the Small Business Christmas Party and the Moonlight Madness Craft Fair.

The Board agreed to hire a part-time Office Administrator, Carmen Murray, to run the office out of their home and to coordinate and organize Chamber events. Carmen’s background is office and project management and she is an active community member. Carmen, along with the Board, is currently sending out 2013 membership renewals, as well as seeking new members, and planning upcoming events happening in March.

On March 12 at 10 a.m. at Kapp’s there will be an informal coffee meeting with David Wilks, MP Kootenay - Columbia.

The Annual General Meeting will be held on March 27 and attended by Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East as well as Scott Manjak, Centermount Coal.

If you are not an Elkford Chamber of Commerce member and would like to be or to learn more about the benefits please contact Carmen or president Cindy Gallinger at 250-865-2933.


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