The Big Idea: Getting to know your chamber

Throughout the year the chamber has the privilege of filling this space with the stories of entrepreneurial forces who are elevating business in Whistler. The purpose is to share lessons that we can all learn from  — it’s one of our favourite ways to support a thriving local economy and build a community of leaders.  

It is with this same spirit of elevating business that the chamber wants to kick off its new membership year with a closer look at what we do.

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This year your local chamber became the fastest growing chamber in B.C.  Out of 137 chambers across the province, only 15 per cent grew their membership last year. Whistler’s member tribe found itself at the top of this group with the largest growth, measuring 17 per cent with 48 new members. Taking a fresh approach that shakes up the chamber model of old, Whistler’s engagement is reaching new heights and raising the bar in the provincial chamber network with world-class professional development alongside powerful action-oriented support tools and powerhouse partnerships built to elevate businesses.

“We’re young, fresh and innovative with a membership model to match,” explained member relations liason Melissa Pace. “Our Membership Tiers are designed to return three to four times the value. Current members are experiencing the power of membership through a vast array of programs.”

Marketing made easy

According to the Chamber’s Annual Membership Survey, marketing was the number one area members wanted to improve in their business. There’s power in the chamber network and being a member organization that represents over 650 local businesses, the chamber helps members amplify their message, especially those just starting out and looking to grow.

The chamber’s partnership and advertising options can boost a brand while 40-plus events over the year are designed to forge connections, build members’ social capital and spotlight successes.

“The Whistler Excellence Awards is an exceptional stage to showcase your business. It’s a huge night for the entire business community, especially our nominees and winners,” said Pace, who dedicates her days to putting local businesses on the map in the local marketplace and beyond.

A voice for business

Our healthy business community needs a strong voice to champion what matters to members at local, provincial and national levels of government. The chamber’s surveys gather key data and 12@12 Member Information Sessions give members the opportunity to tell the chamber where to take action.  

With the ear of elected officials, the chamber offers a strong voice for members and will continue to play an active role driving Whistler’s long-term staff recruitment strategy. This week the recruitment and retention tool kit was released, aimed at offering a quick start guide for businesses to build the best teams right now. This and other reports like “Examining the Value of Customer Service Training” and “The Commercial Lease Report” break down key issues in an effort to make complex challenges a little easier and keep business moving fast.

Elevating people

This year sees the biggest lineup yet of steep and deep learning. Leveraging the power of the chamber’s business network means top thought-leaders are now accessible — and affordable — to members.

Last year the chamber’s Whistler Experience program attracted international attention when Forbes Magazine took a closer look at the concept of resort-wide customer service training. This dedication to building an entire business community of leaders elevates not just business owners, but entire teams.

According to a recent Aerotek survey, 85 per cent of employees not likely to leave their job say they have training opportunities. With a calendar full of leadership-oriented learning, the chamber hopes this can go a long way to help businesses attract and develop the best people.

Supporting members at the right moment is what the chamber is set up to do. So if you still find yourself wondering what the chamber is all about, the easiest way to find out more is to meet the team at one of the upcoming Coffee Talk Member Information Sessions on Thursday, Sept.  15 and Thursday, Oct. 13.

“Join us at our Coffee Talk open house and explore the huge list of benefits of being a member,” said Pace. “Our team is eager to meet you and help make business easy.”

Make business easy — tun in to The Big Idea, a bi-weekly column from the Whistler Chamber of Commerce showcasing a Whistler business innovating in their sector.

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