Last week was Chamber of Commerce week and we took a moment to reflect on the impact Chambers have on communities. Whether it’s advocating to governments for changes to public policy on matters that stretch far beyond taxation to include societal issues like housing, healthcare, and mental health and addictions, developing innovative programs and initiatives to support business, or leading charitable works that contribute to social well-being, local chambers of commerce are the trusted “boots on the ground” that understand the unique needs of their communities.


As a local Chamber of Commerce, we bring together parties to tackle problems, explore solutions and pursue opportunities. We are part of the fabric of a growing and thriving community. At the Alberni Chamber, we are focused on connecting our community through a variety of events, sharing information and continuous advocacy.


With that, we are looking for event partners for our upcoming events. This is an opportunity to showcase your business and build connections. If you're interested in being an event partner please contact office@albernichamber.ca.


Thank you for your dedication and support!


With gratitude,

Jolleen Dick

CEO, Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce



*MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS for 2024*

Please bear with us (again) as we've changed our billing and accounts receivable process with new software. All upcoming renewals and outstanding renewals for January & February will be direct invoiced. If you've received a notification from us and a prompt to PayPal you may still pay but we are currently in transition. Any questions please contact Jolleen jolleen@albernichamber.ca or 250-724-6535.

Join us for a "State of the City" address at the Best Western Barclay Plus Hotel. It will be an encouraging event where Mayor Sharie Minions will provide information and updates on our city's progress and future plans. This engaging talk is an essential opportunity for citizens, businesses, and community members to gain insights of the city's economic and business development.


Key Highlights

  • Economic and Business Development: Delve into the city's strategic achievements and ongoing projects that are shaping our economic landscape. Learn about new initiatives, partnerships, and business opportunities that are driving growth and prosperity.
  • Corporate Strategic Plan: Get an update of the Corporate Strategic Plan which outlines our city's vision and strategic objectives. Understand how this plan is being implemented, guiding decision making and resource allocation to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth.
  • Somass Lands Update: Receive the latest information on the development of the Somass Lands.
Early Bird Pricing ends at 11:30pm Fri Feb 23!


Our heartfelt thanks to MNP for sponsoring and being our Presenting Partner at the February 2nd Chamber Breakfast. We're grateful for the insights shared by Chief Economist Susan Mowbray on the Alberni Valley's economy drawing upon data from the State of the Island Economic Report, an annual publication by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.


Highlights include:

  1. Real GDP growth on Vancouver Island increased by 3.6% in 2022 and is expected to grow between 0.6% and 1.2% in 2023. ​
  2. Employment on Vancouver Island is up 6% relative to pre-pandemic levels. ​
  3. The job vacancy rate on Vancouver Island was between 10,000 and 17,000 vacancies in 2020, 18,000 to 23,000 vacancies in 2021, and 19,000 to 24,000 vacancies in 2022. ​ Data for 2023 is not available, but it is expected to be between 18,000 and 19,000 vacancies. ​
  4. The number of business formations in Port Alberni increased from 4,351 in 2017-2019 average to 5,226 in 2023. ​​
  5. Business bankruptcies increased from an annual average of 20 in 2019-2021 to 17 in the 12 months ending September 2022 and 10 in the 12 months ending September 2023. ​
  6. The population on Vancouver Island/Coast grew to approximately 882,000 in 2023. ​ In Alberni-Clayoquot, the population grew to approximately 34,800, and in Port Alberni, it grew to around 19,500. ​
  7. The forest sector generates approximately 10% of income in Port Alberni and less than 3% of income in most areas of Vancouver Island with a population greater than 10,000. ​ Annual softwood lumber production on the BC Coast was between 2.5 and 3 million cubic meters in 2023. ​
  8. Tourism metrics on Vancouver Island increased between 2022 and 2023, with average daily room rates and ferry traffic surpassing 2019 levels. ​
  9. Housing prices for benchmark single-family homes increased in most areas of Vancouver Island from December 2021 to December 2023, with Port Alberni experiencing a 5% increase, Nanaimo experiencing a 3% increase, and Victoria experiencing a 6% increase. ​
  10. The outlook for 2024 includes continued population growth, recovery in the tourism sector, subdued housing market and construction activity due to elevated interest rates, and uncertainty in the natural resources sectors due to legislative changes and market conditions. ​


Read more insights on the Island Economic Dashboard

Thank you Community Futures for partnering with us for our first Chamber Luncheon of 2024!


Meena Rai and Maud Morris gave a presentation on current business support from Community Futures and Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation.


The new website, My Community Futures, was highlighted. It's an online platform to access services from Community Futures BC.


This website offers free workshops, peer masterminds and up to 10 hours of consulting for people thinking about starting a business, already operating a business, and managers of not-for-profits.


If the business or not-for-profit meets additional criteria (i.e. operating a revenue-generating enterprise grossing more than $15,000 in the last 12 months) then they are eligible to apply for a Business Training Reimbursement of up to 80% of costs to a maximum of $5,000.


Employees are eligible for up to $2,500. Regarding employees, the workshops and peer masterminds are free for them as well.


For more info: https://www.mycommunityfuturesbc.ca/

Coldest Night of the Year


Have you registered your team for Coldest Night of the Year 2024?


Date: February 24, 2024

Location: Port Alberni, BC


Your involvement, either by creating a team (even if everyone can't make it to the walk, they can still collect donations) or by learning about sponsorship opportunities, holds the power to make a significant impact on the lives of those in need within our community. 


Join others who have stepped up to help, including 99.3 the Peak, the AV News, Coulson Group, Westland Insurance, BC Housing, Tim Hortons, SunSix Creative Studio, Co-op Fuels, North Island College, Five Acre Productions, and Mosaic Forest.


Register Here

Do you love data about our community as much as we do?

Make sure to review the Alberni Valley Community Foundation's 2023 Alberni Valley Vital Signs Report.


Find the report here or pick up a hard copy at the Visitor Info Centre Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm.

Chamber Event Partnership Opportunities


Interested in partnering on a Chamber event? We have a number of opportunities available including:

  • Gold Partners 
  • Community Partners
  • Door Prize Partners
  • Presenting Partners (booking for June - Sept - Oct)
  • Business After Business Hosts


Connect with the Chamber for more info and booking a limited partner slot: office@albernichamber.ca


Looking to be more involved in the business community? Join one of our committees:  

  • Membership Committee 
  • Governance Committee 
  • Policy and Advocacy Committee 


We're thrilled to restart our committees that will guide and support implementation of our Strategic Plan.


Please send an expression of interest to office@albernichamber.ca with your name, and which committees you’re interested in.  


For more info and terms of reference available on our website.

Join us Twin City Brewing Company from 5-7pm on Tuesday March 12, 2024! It will be a fun evening of networking, good company, and award-winning drinks. Connect with our Chamber network in a casual and relaxed setting and hear from Owner, Aaron Colyn, and the plans for the Train Station.


Don't miss out on this opportunity to expand your network and have a great time. We can't wait to see you there!


Entry by donation with proceeds attributed to our ADSS Bursary Fund

RSVP NOW

Elevate your business connections at the upcoming Chamber Luncheon, hosted at the Alberni Valley Golf Club, Wednesday, March 20th, 2024, at 12pm.


The luncheon features casual roundtable introductions, allowing for a personal touch in building connections. The event will conclude with open networking, providing a perfect backdrop to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones within our vibrant business community.

Buy Lunch Ticket Now

DEADLINE FOR 2023 APPLICATIONS – SMALL BUSINESS REBATE 


Download this Application Guide that outlines the fields that you will need to complete your application for expenses in the year 2023. Make sure to complete this by February 29, 2024.


There is on-going intake for 2024 expenses for either program area.

Build Your Own Future (BYOF)

In response to weakening markets and changes in the forestry sector, the BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction has provided 3 years of funding for Hubspace to deliver a tailored business startup support program for tradespeople and technicians affected by BC mill closures and curtailments.


PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

Eligible participants are:

• A tradesperson or technician (employees and contractors are both eligible) in any forestry sector.

• Affected by a BC mill closure or extended curtailment.

• Interested in operating a trades or technician service business.


More info here

The Workplace Accessibility Grant is a reimbursement grant of up to $5,000 for eligible B.C. small businesses designed to help improve accessibility for persons with disabilities in the workplace.


Apply Here

Market your business directly to local business owners and their employees! 

The Chamber publishes its monthly newsletter to over 730 subscribers including 260 member businesses through the Alberni Valley. Our open rate in the past 12 months has been 49%.  


We are offering the following ads: 

-    Sponsored Content ($150 per issue) 

-    Banner Ads ($55 - $65 depending on placement) 


Book your ad with jolleen@albernichamber.ca

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