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The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in the community. A membership in the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce is so much more than a piece of paper. Your support is an investment in the cooperation and abilities of the people in the community with whom you can join hands with to accomplish the goals you cannot achieve on your own. The Chamber, through its staff, board of directors, and its membership, is a conduit to the lawmakers of the various levels of government. Strategies to make our community a progressive place to operate and do business are consistently being put before government to the benefit of chamber members. Clearly, the stronger the membership in the chamber, the more positive the reaction will be from the powers that be. Think of us as your choir - the bigger the choir the louder the voice. Join us!
Over the past months and years the Chamber here in Port Alberni, your Chamber, has advocated for such local and BC Benefit as: Port Alberni Trans Shipment Hub (PATH), Canadian Engineering's Dry Dock initiative, MSP removal from the pockets of individuals, Salmon Restoration, SRKW issue, Access to Recreational Fisheries throughout Vancouver Island, BCHL challenges especially through COVID, Vaccine Passport issue as it affects the SME's in our backyard and many more. We're not afraid to speak on behalf of our local employers.
And more recently through the COVID - 19 Crisis AVCOC has been a vocal advocate for many of the improvements that you are now seeing through both the Federal and Provincial levels of Government. Our role within the Canadian and BC Chambers of Commerce grants us opportunity to participate in ZOOM and other types of meetings that often include MP's, Cabinet Ministers, MLA's and many of their staff. Those meetings result in change - change that works in favour of our business community. The Chamber network was most instrumental in the top programs offered by the Federal Government and many of the Provincial ones had a clear Chamber influence to them.
We are also taking a lead role locally with the City of Port Alberni, Community Futures Alberni-Clayquot and other partners to help determine a recovery path for our business community - post COVID.
Strong Board of Directors
Led by a strong board of directors, the AVCOC has an excellent working relationship with the Port Alberni City Council, Alberni Clayoquot Regional District, Port Alberni Port Authority, Community Futures, our MLA and MP. It is through these solid relationships that the chamber works for the betterment of the business people and the community in general.
Member Benefit Programs
As a long time member in good standing of the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce we have access to many programs that offer reduced rates for our Membership. The best known and most widely accessed program is the https://www.chamberplan.ca/ (Chambers Group Insurance Plan). This program is in place in more than 30,000 businesses across the Country including some of your neighbours in Port Alberni. Best of all it is open for access to ANY Chamber Member and is offered through our local broker. AV Financial - find them here: https://avfinancial.ca/
One of the most valuable exercises business people partake in is networking. The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce works hard to facilitate networking with a monthly dinner meeting where all attendees are invited to introduce themselves and their product/services. Special guest speakers of interest to the community are featured regularly. The Chamber of Commerce also offers its members the chance to host specific events aimed at introducing and educating the business community. Our Dinner Meetings are held throughout the community partly as a means of showcasing our unique assets to all.
Throughout the year the Chamber produces a very well-read Newsletter that reaches over 800 local email boxes with every edition. Our newsletter sees excellent results with an 'open rate' of about 43% which is more than double the target levels suggested. Our click through rate is also tracking at double the usual meaning that people are engaged through this product and interested in what we are broadcasting. We are keen to feature our Member Businesses within the Newsletter often without charge to do so. Fees would typically apply for 'advertising purposes' only.
The Chamber also operates the Visitor Centre, processing over 40-thousand enquiries per year - enquiries about travel destinations, events, potential investment and community services. Members are given the opportunity to display brochures and business cards at the Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre has a number of Video Screens that are typically populated by local Tourism Destinations. This helps us promote those facilities and all others through an engaging video presence. Our Visitor Centre now hosts a 'Mobile component' which includes a later model mini-van that is decaled up to help promote the community at various events and destinations.
Organizing events is what Port Alberni is well known for. We are the only BC community to host all four provincial games. The Chamber recognizes that events bring money and people into the area and those people then look for services that they may need during their visit. The Chamber over the past couple of years has dedicated its own resources and personnel to various events to assist in the promotion and success of them. Case in example is the very successful No. 7 Challenge which the Chamber took over in 2016. That event was a struggling one prior to 2016 yet it had a wonderful concept that simply needed some help. The event went from revenues of < $500.00 in any of its 3 years prior to 2016 to > $14,000.00 in 2016. The success of that event morphed into a new event for 2017 called the Tri-Conic Challenge. www.triconic.ca That event was funded in part by CANADA 150 as part of their plans to showcase the Country during the 150 year celebrations. The Tri-Conic Challenge occurred over the Canada Day Weekend in 2017 and through the event the entire city got involved with major events all day on Canada Day at the Harbour Quay Waterfront. We hope to bring back the Tri-Conic or No. 7 Event when the time is right to do so. In the meantime we encourage people to go for a run. It's fun, it's healthy, it's good for you.
For a summary of events that have happened through to 2020 and will soon re-emerge please take a look at a listing of those events found under the OPPORTUNITIES TAB - Local Information - The Fun Stuff
The Chamber also hosts the annual Paper Chase run that we brought back to Port Alberni in 2017. It is estimated to attract upwards of 400 people for the 2020 version. The Chamber is also brought back Light-Up Alberni in December of 2017 and continues to bring this event to the community every year. We hope to bring more previous and new events back to Port Alberni once the challenges of the 2020's are behind us.
Online Business Listings
With the development of our new Website in mid - 2021 we have included many added features for our Membership. Gone are paid advertisements. Instead we offer a rolling screen on the landing page that has clickable links direct to the listed website for our Member Business. Better yet, on the internal pages of the site, at the bottom of the page you'll find businesses randomly popping up in a Spotlight format. Again, you can click through to the business to learn more about them. All of this at no charge to our Membership community.