Voice of Business

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the voice of business

The Squamish Chamber of Commerce is the ‘voice of business’ in Squamish, championing important issues for the business community.

Through our annual member survey and the work of our Policy Committee, key issues for 2018 have been identified. Click on the sections below for more details on recent activities, policies and reports. 

As the voice of business in Squamish, the Chamber believes in partnership and collaboration. Together we are stronger – both in terms of the size and strength of our network, and in having our community and provincial partners recognize us as a trusted partner; one who makes evidence-based decisions with the shared goal of a stronger Squamish. 

The Squamish Chamber is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the community by actively supporting business, economic growth and economic diversification. We closely with the Squamish Economic Development office and other levels of government to identify areas of concern and support opportunities.


ACTIVITIES

Squamish Economic Steering Group (SESG)

The Squamish Chamber is a proud member of the Squamish Economic Steering Group (SESG). The SESG consists of key community partners, including the District of Squamish, Tourism Squamish, Community Future Howe Sound, Women’s Enterprise, WorkBC, BackinMotion and the Downtown Squamish BIA.

The SESG is part of a collaborative model for economic development, helping create an evidence-based understanding of our people, business and place needs, and developing new and innovative programs, tools and resources for the local business community.

The SESG strategic pillars and goals are:

Employment and Training More people are trained and locally employed

Business Intelligence and Growth Plan:  There is sustainable and diverse business growth

Soft and Hard Infrastructure:  Infrastructure meets the needs of employees and employers.

Read Hardwired for Business, Economic Action Plan 2017-2019


SESG Working Groups

The Squamish Chamber represents the business community in the following working groups:

Data and Website: Squamish local open data project and consulting on the new economic development website.

Connect Place Plan: Implementation plan to address key business infrastructure needs in Squamish. Housing, transportation, employment lands and space.

Brand and Marketing: Managing and continuing to enhance and revitalize the Squamish brand. This group will also work on marketing our collective services to Squamish businesses.

Workforce and Skills: Skills assessment work and creation of plan to address issues.

Future Forward Group: Visioning for what Squamish will look like in the future. Creation of a sector strategy, accelerators, and exporting services.


SquamishChamber.com

We have provided a range of reports and tools under the Resources section of this website to assist with starting and growing your business. Under the Why Squamish section, there is a range of content showcasing why Squamish is a great place to do business, including stats and facts, success stories and video content. 


POLICY  COMMUNICATION

 


REPORTS & INSIGHT

Housing affordability is a commonly cited concern, not just for Squamish, but across the province of BC. In our recent member survey, housing affordability was confirmed as a key issue for members. The Squamish Chamber supports initiatives that improve housing affordability (e.g. purpose built rental).  

ACTIVITIES

The Squamish Chamber hosted a Housing Affordability panel with experts from the Province of BC, developers, social organizations and businesses. Together, we are generating a better understanding of the issue.

The Chamber is a participant on the economic working group, Connect Place Plan, which will address key infrastructure needs.

• Participated in the Community Housing Needs Assessment (part of the District’s new Affordable Housing Program) to share the impact of housing on businesses and staff recruitment/retention.

POLICY COMMUNICATION

– Letter of Support – Kingwood / Scott Crescent

– Letter of Support – Polygon / Garibaldi Springs

For developers seeking to connect with the Squamish Chamber, please download and complete the PDF version of the Residential Development Form. Access to affordable employee housing, amongst other factors, is a consideration for the Chamber’s support.

REPORTS & INSIGHT

 

The Squamish Chamber is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the community by actively supporting business, economic growth and diversification. Growth and development should be based on rational, well planned and thought-out decisions. Growth management seeks to accommodate growth rationally, not to prevent or limit it. Growth management provides consideration of the impact of future developments on the economy, the environment, socially and fiscally.

ACTIVITIES

The District of Squamish is in the final stages of a thorough process in developing the draft 2040 Official Community Plan. The Squamish Chamber hosted a working session for businesses, and also sought feedback on growth management.

REPORTS

> Read the community feedback here (see page 39 for Chamber feedback)

> Read the full draft Official Community Plan

> Growth Management Study, 2005

POLICY COMMUNICATION

–  2040 Official Community Plan – Growth Management

 

Regional transit and transportation have been identified as key issues by our membership. We’re currently conducting consultations on transit/transportation to help us understand the issues and options available. Consultations include meetings with various transit suppliers, elected officials and neighboring communities. 

POLICY COMMUNICATION

– Sunshine Coast Fixed Link Feasibility Study

REPORTS

> New Transit Route – Summer Pilot

> Sea to Sky Regional Transit Study, 2017

> Downtown Parking Study, 2017

> Squamish Active Transportation Plan, 2016 Update

> Downtown Truck Route Study, 2017

 

 

 

In the 2017 member survey, nearly two in three respondents (61%) stated they had faced challenges with recruiting or retaining staff in the last 12 months. Housing affordability (to rent and own) and lack of skilled candidates applying were cited as the key challenges.

ACTIVITIES

Working in partnership with the District of Squamish and Tourism Squamish, the Squamish Chamber will be developing a training and educational program to improve the skills of the Squamish workforce and help businesses grow.

A talent development program can:

• Demonstrate investment in staff, resulting in improved staff engagement, increased employee satisfaction and higher retention levels.

• Grow knowledge and skills, thereby improving customer satisfaction, productivity and fiscal strength.

• Improve the skills of the workforce and talent pool in Squamish.

 

The Squamish Chamber is very grateful for funding from the Province of BC which has allowed us to develop many tools and resources to help businesses grow and to create the talent development program

Access to elected officials

The Squamish Chamber provides members with opportunities to engage with our elected officials at lunches with the Mayor of Squamish, MLA West-Vancouver-Sea to Sky and MP West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

From left to right:

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones
MP West Vancouver – Sea to Sky

Jordan Sturdy
MLA, West Vancouver – Sea to Sky

Patricia Heintzman
Squamish Mayor

2018 BC Chamber policy resolutions

The Squamish Chamber recently created a policy resolution to support the forestry sector, which was passed at the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM in May 2018. The policy identifies a need for balanced policies to address underharvest of coastal allowable annual cut. Read the resolution below.

The Squamish Chamber supported many other resolutions around our key areas of concern, including housing affordability, transit and economic development. The draft resolution package is posted below (a final package will be posted when available).

consultation and collaboration

The Squamish Chamber makes your voice heard in a number of forums:

Participation in various community engagement initiatives, including the Official Community Plan, Downtown planning, Squamish Marine Strategy and engagement with various sector associations.

Submission to public consultations, including the Sunshine Coast Fixed Link and the Official Community Plan

Destination Development – a collaboration of local, regional and provincial agencies, First Nations, destination marketing organizations, tourism operators and business associations working together to strategically vision and plan for the future of tourism in the region.

Collaboration with the BC Chamber of Commerce, Whistler Chamber, Pemberton Chamber, Gibsons Chamber and North Vancouver Chamber to identify collective issues and ways of working together to achieve our goals.

By working together, we can achieve so much more. Below is the Squamish Chamber working together with the Economic Development Officer, Tourism Squamish and local businesses.

Destination Development Squamish Chamber

Please let us know if there are any opportunities or issues we should be aware of by emailing admin@squamishchamber.com 

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CONNECT. COMMUNICATE. COLLABORATE.

CONNECT. COMMUNICATE. COLLABORATE.

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