As another year comes to a close we at the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce have been working hard to help businesses deal with the effects of the pandemic. Who knew we would still be dealing with the pandemic a year later but here we are.
As part of these efforts we obtained a grant from ICET to hire an economic development coordinator, Millie Stirling, who has been working hard to determine our best course of action to support you through these trying times. She presented her report on her activities to date at the Christmas lunch on December 1st.
The Chamber was successful in obtaining a grant from the federal government via the BC chamber for shop local campaigns. We have partnered with the LDBA, Arts Council and Festival of Lights to enhance the Old Time Christmas and late night shopping events, increased our social media presence, and are adding to our walking tour app to create a Downtown Christmas light walking tour etc. Watch for our “Shop Local” and “Locals Love Ladysmith” Initiatives coming soon.
We are busy providing training and learning opportunities, please watch out for emails and social media posts for future events as they develop.
It has become increasingly evident that obtaining and retaining employees is becoming one of the biggest challenges for businesses in these trying times. We are attending meetings with other business groups to discuss what possible solutions there may be to this ongoing and increasing issue. This will be one of our focuses for the coming year.
One of the Chamber’s biggest challenges this year was the replacement of our long time Executive Director, Mark Drysdale. We have hired Millie Stirling to be our ED starting next summer once her Economic development position is finished. Jacquie Chellew has been appointed our interim ED until then. She has been with the Chamber as support to Mark for many years and so is highly qualified to cover this position in the interim.
We wish you all the best for the holiday season and hope you have a prosperous new year!