Welcome to our new business members Matrix Labour Leasing, Export Navigator, Park Derochie and Pacific Aurora Group.

Thank you to our luncheon sponsor and speaker, Justin Kohlman of Coast Mountain College, and our food sponsor The Pavillion Resturant and their sister restaurant, The Olive.

I won’t take up much of your time today as I am myself excited to see what Justin Kohlman from Coast Mountain College has to show us! 

As this is our last Chamber luncheon for 2020 I wanted to once again express my sincere gratitude to you, our membership & business community for your dedication to your businesses, industries, crafts and community.  Stepping up and putting yourselves out there, day after day, shows an unwavering dedication to each other and our future as a resilient community.

 2020 has been unlike any challenge most of us have faced in our time, an economic and health crisis like no other. Businesses have had to adapt, get creative and sometimes, just hang on.

This holiday and winter season is going to look and feel different and will be challenging for many of us to get through.

My ask of you all is this.

Model the idea of local and regional buying and giving. Give the gifts of a small business or a local artisan. Gift more to a charity who has seen their fundraising suffer, and are stretched beyond capacity to care for people in need. Give the gifts of food and service by buying gift certificates for local restaurants and service providers.

While I typically myself try to strike a balance between local and artisanal shopping for gifts, the past 8 months I have really dedicated myself to this concept.

As many of you know, I raised my now grown children in the community of Revelstoke, where one of my son’s classmates was an up and coming artist through high school. I still follow her today, and have purchased the odd item from her over the years. Now, I am sure you have seen the gift box options on our Facebook feeds that can ship right to your door! A gift box for your dog, a fitness pack for yourself, and more. Well this year I noticed that this young lady had this option as well on her Etsy site. It is a Winter gift box filled with one of her art prints, handmade soaps, crocheted headband, candles, hand drawn ornaments and earrings. All her exclusive work.  So, I ordered one for my daughter-in-law to be for Christmas (just don’t tell her!) and had my son pick it up for me. It was a focused effort to celebrate not only the talent of this young woman, but to support her willingness and desire to create a business all her own. Perhaps even leading my son by my example. 

Less can be more. Keep the holiday season simple and reflective of the values that we have re-learned to cultivate during this time of crisis. As well, be patient. This is not forever, but it can have a lasting, positive impact on how we care for each other if we choose that. We have been through challenging times before as a community, as a province, as a nation, but we all too quickly let the workings and pressures of the world take us over again when things return to business as usual.

I am looking forward to 2021. To eventually being able to gather again. To engage in our communities again. To move around freely.  We don’t need the things, as much as we need each other. 

As always, your  Board of Directors of the PR&DCC are here to support and advocate in any way we can. We are here to connect our business community, in all of its forms, together, as one united front.

Let’s not give all this care and kindness away.

 

Michelle Boomars-MacNeill

President, PR&DCC