The Summerland Chamber renewed its agreement with the District of Summerland this week to provide tourism and various economic development services to the community for the next five years. Similar contracts have been in place since 2001.
However, in the past few years, the Chamber Board has worked to streamline our strategic plan so the services we deliver in each area remain consistent and relevant.
Generally the Chamber works in 3 key areas. These are member services which we provide on behalf of our 700+ local business members, as well as tourism and economic development services which we provide on a fee-for-service basis to the District.
The Summerland model is a very cost effective one. In neighboring communities, similar services are provided by multiple organizations with associated costs for staffing, etc. while the Summerland Chamber provides comprehensive services under one roof.
In the past few years the Chamber has created or enhanced all of our tourism and investment promotional tools. This includes a library of visitor and investment videos, a new tourism website, revamped visitor guides and a comprehensive investment and relocation guide. Visit the Chamber website at www.summerlandchamber.com if you have not yet seen these items. The last upgrade will be the new Chamber website which will be launched before year end.
We’ve also emphasized expanded partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships with tourism and economic development branches throughout the South Okanagan. We currently represent our community in more than nine separate initiatives and work with more than a dozen regional partners.
As the second largest community in the South Okanagan we need to be represented in these regional partnerships. The Summerland Chamber of Commerce professionally fulfills this role and acts as a cohesive marketing arm for Summerland – promoting our community in person, via print and online as a place to visit and do business.
We look forward to continuing to serve all our stakeholders in the coming years.
Arlene Fenrich is President of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce. All of the members of The Board of Directors serve as volunteers.
This article was also published in the Summerland Review, September 11, 2014