Chamber Chatter: Williams Lake fortunate to have TRU

Guest speakers to include Fred Thomas and Kane Fraser at Thursday's luncheon.

The Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business in Williams Lake and area. We promote the well being of business in Williams Lake & District; and foster a work-, stay- and play-at-home atmosphere to all residents.

Welcome to our newest members:  Blue Mountain Gunsmithing & Sales, Clarke’s General Store, Maureen Chappell (Creative Hands) Paradise Cinemas, and Star Woks Chinese Restaurant.

The BC Chamber of Commerce AGM was attended by Jason Ryll, Walt Cobb, Ken Wilson, Claudia Blair, and Jaylyn Byer from the Williams Lake Chamber this last May. Delegates from around B.C. discussed several resolutions forwarded in March from the various chambers. With our work with the B.C. Chamber of Commerce we have a larger voice for business in the province. Policy resolution sessions were well attended with a number of policies going forward to the Canadian Chamber in September.

The visitor centre is now open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Please feel free to stop in to get information on Williams Lake and area, or if you are planning a trip around British Columbia we have many brochures to choose from.

We are all looking forward to the 86th Annual Williams Lake Stampede this year, from June 29 to July 2. There will be four performances starting on Friday evening and ending on Monday afternoon.

We wish all the competitors the best of luck and hope the Stampede weekend goes well for everyone.  If you have some time to spare the Stampede Association is always looking for some help.

The Chamber invites everyone to attend our general meeting luncheon on June 21, 2012 which starts at 11:45 a.m. at Signal Point Restaurant.

Our guest speakers this month our Fred Thomas from the Williams Lake Stampede Association and Kane Fraser of PMT Chartered Accountants.

Enter one of our draws and your business could be profiled in the next Chamber Chatter, compliments of the Williams Lake Tribune or The Wolf and the Rush. Reserve your seat by calling 250-392-5025 or e-mail visitors@telus.net.  The cost to attend is $15 for members. Remember that one of the best benefits of your membership can be the networking opportunities provided at meetings.

With graduation ceremonies nearly done for most parents the Grade 12 students have been firming up their next steps. We are very fortunate to have Thompson Rivers University in our community. There are so many advantages, like the lower cost of living, having the support of family and friends nearby, a campus with friendly accessibility and smaller class sizes.  It is definitely one of the better choices for the first year.

Profile winner: Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area

The Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area Association (WLCBIA) was founded in 2004 to act as an umbrella group for its more than 380 members. Judy O’Neill is the current executive director for the WLCBIA and has been with the organization for the past three years.

WLCBIA provides co-ordination of events and distribution of resources in order to encourage business and increase commerce within its boundaries. The WLCBIA has played an  integral role in improvements to the downtown. It assisted in the visual upgrades to the old Petro Canada building on the corner of Third Avenue and Oliver Street where it now shares office space with Cariboo Growers and Community Policing.

It also helped with the renovation of the Spirit Square, improved accessibility on sidewalks and streets in the downtown core of Williams Lake and improvements to downtown parking lots. It also hosts several events throughout the year including: Ladies Poker Run, Street Party, Art Walk and the Santa Parade and Winter Light up.  The WLCBIA also acts to make the downtown safe.  In 2010, in conjunction with the city, the WLCBIA worked to install a video camera surveillance system that is believed to have contributed to a reduction in crime in the downtown core.

— Submitted by the Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce.