Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes joins recent BC Chamber Fellow Award recipient and longtime chamber member Ken Wilson at the Multicultural Gathering of Nations held June 11-12 at the Chief Will-Yum Powwow Arbour.

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes joins recent BC Chamber Fellow Award recipient and longtime chamber member Ken Wilson at the Multicultural Gathering of Nations held June 11-12 at the Chief Will-Yum Powwow Arbour.

Column: Local chamber important

Small businesses are the heart and soul of our provincial and local economies.

Small businesses are the heart and soul of our provincial and local economies.

Here in Williams Lake, the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce is the backbone of the business community. Its members speak up for the interests of local business.

Their work impacts various sectors of our local economy, including industry like forestry or our tourism industry. Because small businesses are the heart and soul of our province, the work that our local chambers do is critical to fostering an environment for small businesses to be successful. Recently, at the Multicultural Gathering here in Williams Lake, I had the opportunity to personally congratulate Ken Wilson. Ken is a dear friend and someone who has helped make a huge difference in our business community.  Ken has served the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce for more than 30 years and was recently recognized by the BC Chamber of Commerce with a BC Chamber Fellow award.

The BC Chamber’s Fellow Award recognizes individuals who have given exemplary and outstanding service to the Chamber network in B.C.

Ken has served on the chamber board for more than 25 years. He develops plans, sits on committees and acts as the intermediary between the chamber and external organizations. He volunteers as the chair of the BC Chamber’s membership committee. When I first started with the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce in 1999, Ken became a mentor and has continued to be a coach, advisor and, above all, friend. Wilson’s passion, vision, energy and dedication that he has brought to the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, has helped develop and enhance the community and his policy work has supported Northern B.C.

We all share the common goal of making B.C. the most business friendly jurisdiction in Canada. Our future prosperity depends on it. That’s why the work our local chambers do is so important. Thank you, Ken Wilson, for your work and congratulations on receiving the BC Chamber Fellow award. Learn more at www.williamslakechamber.com/.

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.