December 22 | 2020
Province enhances Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program
The changes announced on Monday are aimed at making it easier for businesses to qualify. The government has also increased support for those businesses in the hard-hit tourism sector. The grant program has been adjusted following the province’s engagement with stakeholders, some of whom complained that the criteria was putting it out of reach for many that need help. Adjustments include a streamlined application process and simplified criteria. The grant for the tourism sector has also been increased, meaning those hardest-hit businesses in the tourism sector will be eligible for a grant of up to $45,000.
Kelowna Chamber, Uptown Rutland Business Association, and Downtown Kelowna Amplify the 'Shop Local' Message
Showing local some love has never been more important and it’s why three of the city’s largest business associations are teaming up to reinforce that message. The Chamber along with DKA and URBA are amplifying the "shop local" message as we approach the final week before Christmas. A series of videos featuring local retailers and local community leaders has been put together thanks to Chamber Group Insurance and TD Benefits. All the videos are worth watching (and sharing) to drive home the importance of helping our neighbours this holiday season.
Recording Available: Three Local Women in Leadership Share Perspectives
Last Friday, we brought three high-profile community leaders together to discuss what it's like to be a woman in a senior government role. Renee Merrifield, MLA Kelowna-Mission, Tracy Gray, MP Kelowna-Lake Country, and Gail Given, Regional District Board Chair provided us an update on their priorities, while sharing their experiences and perspectives on women in politics. 
Give the Gift of Business Leadership & Resilience Training This Season
Kick off 2021 right by setting yourself, your business, and your team up for success. Learn critical leadership and resiliency skills in the Building Resilience to Thrive training program.

The 6-week certificate program applies core competencies in leadership and resilience to help set you up for long-term success. It is only for a few hours one day a week for six weeks and will foster teamwork, improve workplace culture, and service excellence. Sign up for one of the next cohorts:
  • Jan 12 - Feb 16, Tuesdays @ 11am to 12pm
  • Feb 24 - Mar 31, Wednesdays @ 11am to 12pm

If you are a member of the Chamber you receive 50% off. Space is limited, so sign up today. You can view the schedule HERE.
Marketing & Communications Lead
Are you a highly motivated communicator who has a passion for story telling and a history of developing and implementing creative marketing and communication strategies? If so, read on.  The Kelowna Chamber is seeking an individual with a high degree of communication and marketing skills to join our team. We offer the opportunity to grow, learn, and harness your inner creativity. READ MORE
#LocalLoveBingo is Back! Join in on OYP's HoliYAY Contest by Supporting Local
The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) and Okanagan Young Professionals (OYP) are bringing Local Love Bingo back for the holidays - a perfect time to support our local businesses and organizations! 

Join in the fun and play #LocalLoveBingo for the chance to win a $250 gift card to the Tourism Kelowna Visitor Centre to buy locally-made merch & more! Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. on December 24, 2020.
OKGN Angel Summit Seeks Applications Before December 31 Deadline
The OKGN Angel Summit is a 10-week program designed to educate investors and startup companies from across British Columbia. Applications to the OKGN Angel Summit are still open until December 31st. 

The Summit is an incredible opportunity for your company to apply for a chance to receive up to $175,000 in investment. Most importantly, you will get a chance to build relationships with participating investors who are all actively writing cheques. 

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out to Fraser, Accelerate Okanagan's Scale Up Lead.
Tomorrow, Get in the Holiday Spirit with OYP's Jingle Mingle Coffee Social
Tomorrow from 8:00 - 9:00am, OYP combines their annual Ugly Sweater Jingle Mingle with their virtual Coffee Social. Feel free to take the extra-festive social as an opportunity to decorate and debut a tacky sweater, ugly mask, crazy holiday hat or warm winter onesie, as they'll be giving away prizes for most "fashionable".
Reminder to Renew for Those with Temporary Layoff Variances
Through the summer, many employers requested temporary four month variances to the COVID-19 Emergency Layoff period. Many of these variances will expire at the end of December. If your business wishes to seek a further renewal to a later date or explore your options, you must follow the online process before your variance expires. Renewals are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Tourism Task Force Releases Final Report on Future of Travel
On December 9, the Tourism Task Force—assembled as part of the province's StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan—presented its final report, The Future of Travel: Positioning B.C. to Accelerate Recovery and Growth, to the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport. Tourism Kelowna helps to break down and provide some insights on the report.
Get to know the Kelowna Chamber's Board of Directors and Ambassadors in our new newsletter segment. This new bi-weekly update will introduce you to the people behind-the-scenes at the Chamber, and get to know more about them, why they got involved with the Chamber, and what they love about serving our business community. This week we want to introduce you to Danielle Hofer, a wonderful l Appointee to our Board of Directors.
DANIELLE HOFER | Women's Enterprise Centre

What is your position / title and company, and what do you do there?
Outreach Officer at Women's Enterprise Centre a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women start, lead and grow their own business. My role is to connect organizations in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to share resources, programming and support women entrepreneurs.

How long have you been in the Okanagan? If you aren’t originally from the valley, what led you to call the Okanagan ‘home’? 
I've been in the Okanagan for 19 years. My original home was Winnipeg. I have my parents and the view of Okanagan Lake on an anniversary trip they took out to Kelowna to thank for me moving here. 
What do you enjoy most about your role with the Kelowna Chamber?
I enjoy serving the local business community and working with a dedicated group of influential leaders.

What are you looking forward to / planning for the future?
I'm looking forward to furthering my education in 2021 as I begin an MBA program. I'm also looking forward to me and my fiance's wedding. We were supposed to get married in 2020 and have had to reimagine our 300 person wedding into a 50 person wedding! 
Need to add someone else in your organization to our mailing list? Drop us a line!