Welcome to March

February was Budget month We've hosted two "Post Budget" Breakfast Analysis sessions as we reacted first to the BC NDP's first budget in 16 years, then to the Liberals' Federal Budget.  We are pleased with some parts of the plans in both, but have heard major concerns from a number of our members on others, particularly the proposed "Speculator's Tax" that was referenced in the BC Budget. This new tax seems to have sparked significant backlash in that it has the potential to turn business and income away from "Alberta's Playground", also known as Interior BC. 
We are expressing our concerns in a number of ways, not least of which is a letter to the BC Finance Minister, asking for the idea - as yet not legislated - to be shelved until 2019 at the very least, so that more engagement can occur with communities and business leaders in order that the economic impact on the City and region can be accurately assessed. More importantly, we need to hear what the "problem" is, that this unexpected "solution" is designed to fix.   We are also considering submitting a new Policy Resolution to our BC Chamber AGM in May that more specifically deals with all the downstream effects of this potentially damaging new tax.
The Federal Budget happily confirmed that the Liberals have dropped two of the four new business tax measures that Finance Minister Morneau had suggested last summer. In tabling his 2018 budget, Morneau says he has "taken the long view" in terms of trade and tax issues, given the uncertainties in the US. We, along with many Chambers, continue to be concerned that Canada isn't returning to a balanced budget in 2019, despite the Liberals' promise to do so; and, it's not clear that they have a plan to get to a balanced budget in the next few years. The Federal Budget focused on investing in targeted programs and ensuring a gender-based analysis in how federal tax dollars will be allocated. More information will be forthcoming as we dive deeper into both budget documents in the days to come. The Chamber was pleased to work with our member partners KPMG & MNP in staging post-budget briefing sessions, something we will continue to do in the future, so that you are fully informed as to what tax policies may impact your business or organization.
Policy Update from the Policy Advisory Committee
A reminder that you can get involved several ways in the  Kelowna Chamber's Policy Advisory efforts. Advocacy is what we do for our members.

First, the BC Chamber is introducing a new initiative called "MindReaderÔ".  The BC Chamber partnered with Vision Critical, one of whose clients is Microsoft Corp., and created a province-wide digital network - we want our members to share their views on doing business in our region so the BC Chamber can cut more red tape on your behalf. You'll hear more about MindReaderÔ  over the next while, and we'll be sending exclusive invitations to our members to join and use this intelligence platform. We can then pull real-time information and data from our members, representing every size and sector of the economy. Watch your inbox.

And, our Policy Advisory Committee Chair, Jeff Robinson, reminds all our members that we are in the final days of preparing to submit our 2018 policies for the May BC Chamber AGM. You can get involved, if you aren't already. 
Go to our Chamber web portal  and let us know what's on your mind - what's keeping you up at night from a business perspective?What did you think of the provincial budget? What's its impact on your business? Do we need a new policy to help dig out? We'll respond, and let you know where your concern fits on the 2018 policy grid. 
March Events
March 13th - AGM & Luncheon

AGM March 13th, 11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Ramada Hotel
No charge to attend Annual General Meeting.

Okanagan College School of Business Luncheon Series
Luncheon: 12:00-1:30 pm
"Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur: from Catalyst to Influencer"
Renee Merrifield Wasylyk, CEO, Troika Group

Kelowna was built from entrepreneurs seeking a better future, and remains a hotbed for those starting businesses. Renee Merrifield Wasylyk is no exception. Having started her business almost two decades ago, she has grown from a small shop to one with revenues of 100M per annum. Come and hear about the secrets of her success and why she loves to call Kelowna home.

Sponsored in part by Crowe Mackay LLP and FreshGrade
March 15th - Commerce Connex

Our March Commerce Connex is at Kelowna's Michaelbrook Golf Course.  Come join us from 5pm to 7pm, enjoy networking, great food from Michaelbrook's fabulous kitchen, and bevvies. We're planning on all the snow having melted by then!

You may pre-register online or pay at the door. See you March 15th.

March 20th - Business Smarts Workshop

Our March Business Smarts workshop at the Chamber is
only $10, and covers a wealth of great information: 12 noon - 1:00 pm Tuesday March 20th in the Chamber Boardroom. System outages. Data loss and corruption. Theft of intellectual property. Financial larceny. Learn how to manage the risks.  

Pre-register - you may use one of your 2018 electronic vouchers.    

Lease Announcement!

On or about July 1st, 2018
544 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna
Former Tourism Info Centre

No, the Chamber isn't moving - we need a new tenant to join us at our location after Tourism Kelowna moves out.

Approximately 117 square metres plus: 94 SQM common space
Ample parking; downtown core; Ellis & Harvey
Preferred use: tourism or not-for-profit related. 

Contact  Dan Rogers, Executive Director, to express interest.

Welcome to our New Members at the Chamber
We've been busy meeting new members ever since the holidays. Take a moment to read about our newest members, and click on any name, to get more information.     

Synergy Gymnastics Centre Technical Safety BC
CareRX Valley Garage Doors
Linttell Projects Inc. Organize My Space
Cork and Tap Home Bar Outfitters Everlasting Home Renos Ltd
Parke Pacific Projects Ltd KidSport Kelowna
Alair Homes - Kelowna Cherrille Appraisals
Mr. Mozzarella Pizza & Wings Axis Insurance Managers
Rena Saini - Active Care Health
Optimiiize I Nutrition I Fitness I Health Dhillon Notary Public
Hidden Gem Restaurant Accent Homes
Karis Support Society GSG Enterprises Ltd.
Checkmate Cabs Inc. Dr's J & R Vorster Medical Prof. Corp
Institute of Corporate Directors

And we're excited about two of our existing members who have 
just upgraded their membership  to create more marketing and networking benefits:

Predator Ridge - our newest  President's Circle member

Welcome, all.
Member News

MILLS Nutrition-Golf-Fitness is thrilled to announce that we have become a sponsor of the Agur Lake Camp 10th Annual
Swing For Kids  Charity Golf Tournament presented by Summerland Timber Mart. Jan Mills, a long-time Kelowna resident & Chamber member noted that "Agur Lake Campground is not only BC's only wilderness retreat for people with special needs and their caregivers, it's right here in our backyard located just outside Summerland!"  Read more....

Looking for a unique place to sequester your leadership team and ignite their creativity? Need a meeting place that is secluded yet connected in order to foster innovation? The Hockey Cabin at Predator Ridge has a reputation for serving some of the most dynamic leaders in the country and fostering some of the most innovative ideas in this truly unique hockey themed space. Book a minimum 16 person meeting at Predator Ridge in April and Predator will throw in 9 rounds of golf for all.  Everyone can benefit from a "spring course" contact experiences@predatorridge.com or 250-306-6322 for details

The always-popular Spring Travel Show is this weekend at YLW. Prizes, info, lots to take in. For more information about parking and prizes.  
Saturday, March 3, 11am - 3pm

Small Shop Ma rch 24, 2018  
The Downtown Kelowna Association invites the city to enjoy food, shopping and free parking! Art, music and culture on Saturday March 24th. #DKSMALLSHOP

Chamber member Accord Financial has a brand new blog post. Check it out here

There's lots happening at the Women's Enterprise Centre in March. Get the details here.

Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of BC & Yukon  is pleased to provide monthly HR advice and information to the members of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

This month, we bring you "Recognizing Employee Burnout".  


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