Chamber recap of 2019 from Chamber President Tammy Leslie
Chamber Year in Review 
The Voice of Business
For those Chamber Members who were not able to join us at the Christmas Social, here is a recap from Chamber President, Tammy Leslie of what has been happening with the Chamber in 2018.
Advocacy work:
  • Attended the BC Chamber AGM
  • Put policy forth calling for increased oversight and accountability with regard to removing and recycling abandoned vessels. This policy was approved 100% and will be forwarded to the federal government.
  • Participated in policy setting sessions that included policies around the new housing speculation tax and the new BC Health Employer Tax etc.
  • Policy for the Health employer tax tried to push for a minimum exemption of $1.2 million in wages but the provincial government kept the public section minimum at $500K.
  • New Health employer tax rules are just being finalized and we are working on an information session soon but know for now that you have until December 31, 2019 to register.
  • Attended several meetings of the four chamber accord, a chance to meet our fellow Cowichan valley chambers and discuss issues that affect us all.
  • Currently working on policy around the proposed federal government fin fish closure in conjunction with 11 Island chambers. Potential job losses could total 6,100 on the Island so the chamber coalition is working towards a policy that addresses both the economic impacts as well as the environmental issues.
  • Two directors plus ED attended the session in Victoria this past month for policies upcoming for the 2019 BC AGM. A chance to lend our name and efforts towards policies that affect our community.
Economic Development:
  • Is alive and moving forward in Ladysmith
  • Participating in a committee of Ladysmith stakeholders including CVRD, TOL, LDBA, Airport, Stz’uminus First Nation, Community Futures
  • Put together the funding for and created a strategic plan for Economic development – result was 17 strategies
  • Now working on obtaining funding to implement all 17
  • Chamber will take the lead on 3 of the 17 and be fully involved in many more.
  • Walking tour app, development of online investment and resident attraction and development of events and promotion of the commercial areas.
Events:
  • Golf tournament our marquee fundraiser enjoyed by all.
  • Biz buzz our premier education piece, great speakers and lots of great information plus addition of booths this year
  • Held several other small open houses and network sessions
  • looking at more events for the new year.
Visitor services:
  • Quickly becoming the place to go for information on businesses in the area by new people.
  • Served approximately 8000 people in the visitor centre this past summer with many of them looking for your businesses as well as considering relocating to our community
Mind Reader:
  • New platform created by the BC Chamber
  • Available to all of us
  • Essentially an ongoing survey system
  • Short, fast, simple surveys regarding how we feel about various issues that may impact us.
  • The more Ladysmith members are on the platform the more of our opinion will be heard.