Chamber News

    BC Economic Development Association Budget Highlights

    Published on 21-Feb-2018 by Mike Guarnery BC Economic Development Association Budget Highlights

    Economic Development Highlights of the 2018 BC Budget
    FEBRUARY 20, 2018
    Today’s 2018 BC Budget is focused on affordability, with emphasis on housing and child care.
    Both issues affect local economic development in a variety of ways, including by influencing the supply of labour, helping with the retention and attraction of youth and skilled workers, moderating the impact of short-term rentals on the housing and accommodation markets, and by affecting home construction as an economic generator.
    Housing
    The government unveiled a 30-point plan to address housing affordability. Notable points for economic development include:
    • Broadening the taxation of accommodation properties to include short-term rentals. As previously announced, the Province has agreed with AirBnb on the collection of PST and MRDT and the same approach is being pursued for other accommodation platforms. A related point is the expansion of the powers of strata bylaws to discourage short-term rentals.
    • Expanding permissible use of MRDT revenues to include affordable housing. The municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) is currently used only to fund tourism marketing and product development. It will now be eligible for use in housing initiatives, providing an additional funding source for communities struggling with housing for seasonal tourism workers.
    • New and increased taxes, includZing a new speculation tax targeted at those not paying income tax in BC, an increased and expanded foreign buyers tax (increasing from 15% to 20% and expanding beyond Metro Vancouver to include the Fraser Valley, Capital and Nanaimo Regional Districts, as well as Kelowna and West Kelowna), and increasing property transfer and school tax rates for home values above $3 million. The speculation tax does not apply to homes that are used as a primary residence, but may impact, for example, second homes owned by out-of-province or out-of-country residents.
    • Various measures to address tax evasion and money laundering and promote transparency in the housing market, including by creating new databases on the “beneficial ownership” of property, on the assignment of pre-sale condo purchases, and to strengthen audit and tax collection powers.
    bceda.ca Page 1

    Economic Development Highlights of 2018 BC Budget
    • Planned investment of $6.5 billion over 10 years to build 114,000 units of affordable housing, including units aimed at post-secondary students, indigenous peoples, the homeless, and women and children fleeing violence. Additional measures are targeted at renters, including strengthening tenancy rights, expanding rental assistance benefits for seniors and working parents.
    • Initiatives relating to local government include the leveraging of municipal tax exemptions for purpose-built rental housing by extending it to include provincial property taxes, examining the tax treatment of residential property in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), and committing $5 million over three years to fund housing need assessments and a commitment to work with municipal partners on possible new policy tools, such as rental zoning.
    Child Care
    A $1 billion investment in child care has several facets, including:
    • New affordable child care benefits and child care fee reduction programs, paid directly to child care providers, to enhance child care affordability.
    • The creation of 22,000 new child care spaces, the training of more Early Childhood Educators (ECE), and making it easier for current care providers to become licensed.
    Rural Development Program
    The Province’s Rural Development program is located within the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development.
    The program’s strategic direction is currently being re-assessed through the creation of a new Rural Development Strategy. Quoting from the Ministry Service Plan, the new strategy “will move beyond traditional economic development activities by broadening economic, social, and environmental objectives in alignment with community skills, assets and needs.” Consultation on the strategy is ongoing and scheduled for completion by March 31 of this year, with the finalized strategy scheduled for release in the 2018/19 fiscal year. It will include an updated Rural Dividend program that responds to Indigenous and rural stakeholder feedback.
    In the meantime, the key strategies of the Rural Development program for the next year include:
    • Coordinate land-based and socio-economic recovery from the 2017 wildfire and freshet season, including community engagement, and provide rapid response to other economic disruptions.
    • Develop the framework and key themes for a Rural Development strategy.
    • Assess proposals for Rural Dividend funds, allocate the 2018/19 funds, and develop options
    around the future of the fund.
    • Advance bio-economy opportunities for rural communities.
    bceda.ca Page 2

    Economic Development Highlights of 2018 BC Budget
    • Engage with Indigenous peoples to advance specific opportunities for First Nations rural communities.
    Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
    The Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology is responsible for attracting investment to the province, providing economic development tools and information resources to communities, supporting technology-based innovation in BC industries, promoting the integration of Indigenous people snd immigrants into the economy, and much more.
    Funding allocations to the Ministry are essentially flat over the next three years, other than a $5.7 million increase for additional settlement and integration support for immigrants and newcomers, including creating a Centre for Newcomers.
    A review of the Ministry’s various goals, objectives and strategies shows a series of new task forces and organizations to help plan for and support a changing economy. These include (among a long, long list):
    • Creating an Emerging Economy Task Force to inform the development of a provincial economic strategy.
    • Collaborating with industry through the BC Supplier Development Program pilot to help BC companies become more competitive and better integrated into global value chains.
    • Establishing an Innovation Commissioner and Innovation Commission to advocate for and support the technology sector.
    • Continuing to develop economic development tools and resources and raising awareness of available programs through the BC Economic Portal.
    • Increasing BC’s Trade and Investment Representative (TIR) network in the United States.
    • Creating a Small Business Task Force as a special initiatives of the Small Business Roundtable
    to provide advice on strengthening the small business sector.
    Fiscal Outlook
    The single most significant change in the government’s fiscal outlook in the current year is a charge of nearly $900 million from losses at the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC).
    Over the longer term, the budget is forecast to maintain a modest surplus in each year of the three- year fiscal plan, in the range of $200 million to $300 million per year.
    The Province’s operating debt remains on track to be eliminated in the next fiscal year. This does not increase capital spending, but the total debt to GDP ratio (including capital spending) will remains relatively constant at around 16%.
    bceda.ca Page 3

    Economic Development Highlights of 2018 BC Budget
    Other Highlights
    Funding and program support for Indigenous peoples is highlighted throughout most aspects of the budget, including $201 million over three years for housing, the Indigenous Skills Training Program and Aboriginal Friendship Centres. A further $50 million in the current fiscal year is supporting the revitalization of indigenous languages.
    As announced in the Budget Update last fall, PST on electricity for business is being phased out and will be fully exempt as of April 1, 2019.
    Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums will be fully eliminated on January 1, 2020. The loss of MSP revenue is offset by a new employer payroll tax that is charged fully on payrolls above $1.5 million and partly charged on payrolls from $500,000 to $1.5 million. Employers with payrolls below $500,000 are exempt.
    Ferry fares are being frozen on the three largest coastal routes and a 15% reduction implemented for non-major routes. A full 100% seniors discount will be restored for travel from Monday to Thursday.
    Communities impacted by wildfires are being supported with $72 million in wildfire recovery and resiliency activities.
    Additional funding is targeted to “improve land use certainty for economic development.” Wildfire resiliency and recovery is the largest element of this spending, but it also increases spending on “modernizing Crown land use planning” from $2 to $5 to $8 million over the next three years. This funding is intended to support engagement with Indigenous communities, industry, local governments, and other stakeholders to enhance land use certainty while protecting the environment.
    An additional $29 million is provided for the agrifood sector over three years. This funding is allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture to support various initiatives, including assisting beginning farmers with start-up loans, supporting the fruit and nut industry, revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve, enhancing the Buy BC strategy, and supporting the development of a Food Innovation Centre at UBC to help small-scale processors enhance their commercialization potential.
    An additional $18 million is allocated to arts organizations over three years, including $15 million for BC Arts Council grant programs and $3 million for Creative BC to promote and strengthen the motion picture, music, publishing and digital media sectors.
    SUMMARY PREPARED BY:
    Jamie Vann Struth
    Vann Struth Consulting Group Inc.
    bceda.ca Page 4

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    2019 Family Day

    Published on 09-Feb-2018 by Mike Guarnery 2019 Family Day

    Changes to Family Day

    2019 Family Day

    Published on 09-Feb-2018 by Mike Guarnery 2019 Family Day

    The BC Government announced that BC Family Day will be moved to the 3rd weekend in February starting in 2019.  Our Chamber has advocated for its continued schedule of staying on the 2nd weekend for the past 4 years.  This announcement was not surprising as the Premier has hinted about this change.  Having a separate Family Days has allowed resort communities like Kimberley to enjoy having a weekend for British Columbians, then showcasing our amenities to visitors from other Provinces.

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    2017-18 Board of Directors

    Published on 23-May-2017 by Mike Guarnery 2017-18 Board of Directors

    On May 16th, the election of the Kimberley & District Chamber of Commerce 2017-18 Board of Directors occurred at Annual General Meeting at Centre 64.  Congratulations to new board members Chantel Delaney (Sprout Grocery) and Jill Bentley-Lobban, (Kimberley Centex); as well as continuing board members Chantel Hack (Burrito Grill), Thomas Datt (Enchanted Forest B&B), Brian Conn (Kootenay Shade Works), Sabrina Park (Creekside Physiotherapy), Rachelle Langlois (Sun Life Financial Services, Inc.), Kenton Lane (Hryciuk Gallinger), Darren Shaben (Jim Pattison Broadcast Group), and non-voting member Karen Rempel (Rocky Mountain Event Planners).

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    What's Happening in Kimberley

    Published on 15-Dec-2016 by The Chamber What's Happening in Kimberley

    To find out more what is happening in Kimberley, please check out Tourism Kimberley’s calendar, at: www.tourismkimberley.com/events/calendar

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    Kimberley Business Excellence Award Tickets

    Published on 03-Oct-2016 by Mike Kimberley Business Excellence Award Tickets

    Kimberley Business Excellence Award Tickets are on sale. Contact the Chamber office to reserve your seats. Come out and celebrate our business community on October 22nd at the Kimberley Conference Centre.

    Kimberley Business Excellence Award Tickets

    Published on 03-Oct-2016 by Mike Kimberley Business Excellence Award Tickets

    Kimberley Business Excellence Award Tickets are on sale.  Contact the Chamber office to reserve your seats. Come out and celebrate our business community on October 22nd at the Kimberley Conference Centre.  This event sold out last year.  Please contact the Chamber at 250-427-3666 early to reserve your seats.

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    Fire Prevention Training

    Published on 03-Oct-2016 by Mike Fire Prevention Training

    Learn how to extinguish fires using dry chemicals with the Kimberley Fire Department.

    Fire Prevention Training

    Published on 03-Oct-2016 by Mike Fire Prevention Training

    Learn how to extinguish fires using dry chemicals with the Kimberley Fire Department.

    This training is for business or home fire prevention.  Contact the Chamber to RSVP.  There are two times and locations.
    October 4th, 10:00 a.m. at the parking next to Centre 64
    October 5th, 6:00 p.m. at the fire station in Marysville.

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    Provincial Mine Rescue Competition

    Published on 17-May-2016 by The Chamber Provincial Mine Rescue Competition

    350 participants and visitors will be attending the Provincial Mine Rescue competition from May 30 – June 4.

    Provincial Mine Rescue Competition

    Published on 17-May-2016 by The Chamber Provincial Mine Rescue Competition

    350 participants and visitors will be attending the Provincial Mine Rescue competition from May 30 – June 4.

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    JulyFest 2016 Bocce Registration

    Published on 16-May-2016 by The Chamber JulyFest 2016 Bocce Registration

    Julyfest registration and information for bocce, parade and volunteers can be found at: http://www.kimberleyjulyfest.com

    JulyFest 2016 Bocce Registration

    Published on 16-May-2016 by The Chamber JulyFest 2016 Bocce Registration

    Julyfest registration and information for bocce, parade and volunteers can be found at: http://www.kimberleyjulyfest.cm

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    BC Chamber Board announces leadership change

    Published on 31-Mar-2016 by The Chamber BC Chamber Board announces leadership change

    VANCOUVER, March 29, 2016 - The Board of the BC Chamber of Commerce announces that Jon Garson, previously President and CEO of the organization, is no longer with the BC Chamber.

    BC Chamber Board announces leadership change

    Published on 31-Mar-2016 by The Chamber BC Chamber Board announces leadership change

    BC Chamber Board announces leadership change

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    VANCOUVER, March 29, 2016 - The Board of the BC Chamber of Commerce announces that Jon Garson, previously President and CEO of the organization, is no longer with the BC Chamber.

    On behalf of the BC Chamber Board, Chair Brant Hasanen and In-Coming Chair Patrick Giesbrecht thank Mr. Garson for his service to the BC Chamber.

    The BC Chamber Board has launched a search for a new President and CEO.

    About the BC Chamber of Commerce

    The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is "The Voice of Business in BC."

    Media Contact

    Patrick Giesbrecht
    In-Coming Chair
    BC Chamber of Commerce
    C 604.825.2123
    E patrick@ggandco.ca

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    Business After Business

    Published on 09-Mar-2016 by The Chamber Business After Business

    Business After Business will be held on April 21st at the Kimberley Visitor Centre, from 5:00 – 7:00. Nic Milligan, Manager, Community & Governmental Affairs at Teck Coal will be our guest presenter. Nic will discuss Teck’s current role in Kimberley, and the current state of mining and its effect on the regional economy. As we expect a large turnout for this, please RSVP to: manager@kimberleychamber.com. We look forward to seeing you there

    Business After Business

    Published on 09-Mar-2016 by The Chamber Business After Business

    Business After Business will be held on April 21st at the Kimberley Visitor Centre, from 5:00 – 7:00.  Nic Milligan, Manager, Community & Governmental Affairs at Teck Coal will be our guest presenter.  Nic will discuss Teck’s current role in Kimberley, and the current state of mining and its effect on the regional economy. 

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    Supporting Kimberley Businesses

    Published on 09-Mar-2016 by The Chamber Supporting Kimberley Businesses

    Are you interested in buying a business, or selling your commercial property or building?
    Check out the next generation supporting Kimberley businesses and our lifestyle at Imagine Kootenay.

    Supporting Kimberley Businesses

    Published on 09-Mar-2016 by The Chamber Supporting Kimberley Businesses

    Are you interested in buying a business, or selling your commercial property or building?

    Check out the next generation supporting Kimberley businesses and our lifestyle at Imagine Kootenay.

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    Kimberley OCP Update

    Published on 18-Jan-2016 by The Chamber Kimberley OCP Update

    Over the next few months, the City of Kimberley will be updating its Official Community Plan (OCP) to align with the Imagine Kimberley Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) and some of the City’s other strategic documents. It is important for the City to align all of its policy documents to ensure a clear and unified understanding of the City’s vision and objectives for growth.

    Kimberley OCP Update

    Published on 18-Jan-2016 by The Chamber Kimberley OCP Update

    Over the next few months, the City of Kimberley will be updating its Official Community Plan (OCP) to align with the Imagine Kimberley Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) and some of the City’s other strategic documents. It is important for the City to align all of its policy documents to ensure a clear and unified understanding of the City’s vision and objectives for growth.

    Click below to download the PDF for more information

    Kimberley OCP Update Backgrounder Jan 2016 Kimberley OCP Update Backgrounder Jan 2016 (266 KB)

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    Counterfeit Currency and you: workshop

    Published on 15-Jan-2016 by The Chamber Counterfeit Currency and you: workshop

    Keep fake bills out of your till!


    As the sole issuer of genuine currency in Canada, the Bank of Canada is responsible for issuing quality bank notes that are readily accepted and secure against counterfeiting.


    Sabrina will inform small business owners on bank note security features and teach bank note verification at point of sale.


    Note checking is a quick and responsible practice.

    Counterfeit Currency and you: workshop

    Published on 15-Jan-2016 by The Chamber Counterfeit Currency and you: workshop

    Wednesday January 20, 9:00 – 10:00 am PST

    Sabrina Cardiero of The Bank of Canada - Adobe Connect webinar meeting

    Keep fake bills out of your till!

    As the sole issuer of genuine currency in Canada, the Bank of Canada is responsible for issuing quality bank notes that are readily accepted and secure against counterfeiting.

    Sabrina will inform small business owners on bank note security features and teach bank note verification at point of sale.

    Note checking is a quick and responsible practice.

    Web conference details:
    To join this free webinar,
    1. Register at your local Community Futures to receive the workshop material package.
    2. On January 20, click on the link below a few minutes before 9:00 am. Enter as a guest andtype in your name where requested. Turn up your computer speakers. We start at 9 am sharp.

    http://cfbc.adobeconnect.com/bankofcanada/

    Click Here to download the PDF

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    Canada-B.C. Jobs Grant

    Published on 11-Jan-2016 by The Chamber Canada-B.C. Jobs Grant

    The Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG) is opening to BC Jobs Plan priority sectors, with targeted funding of up to $3 million, for eligible employers and organizations in these sectors to train new and current employees for available jobs. THE CJG WILL OPEN TO APPLICATIONS FOR BC JOBS PLAN PRIORITY SECTOR TRAINING ON JANUARY 4TH, 2016.

    Canada-B.C. Jobs Grant

    Published on 11-Jan-2016 by The Chamber Canada-B.C. Jobs Grant

    The Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG) is opening to BC Jobs Plan priority sectors, with targeted funding of up to $3 million, for eligible employers and organizations in these sectors to train new and current employees for available jobs.  THE CJG WILL OPEN TO APPLICATIONS FOR BC JOBS PLAN PRIORITY SECTOR TRAINING ON JANUARY 4TH, 2016.  

    Click the link below for more information

    https://www.workbc.ca/Employers/Run-your-business/Canada-B-C-Job-Grant/Canada-B-C-Jobs-Grant-B-C-Jobs-Plan-Priority-Secto.aspx

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    Free Downtown Ski Shuttle!

    Published on 23-Dec-2015 by The Chamber Free Downtown Ski Shuttle!

    The Peak to Platzl Downtown Shuttle is a free transportation service between the Kimberley Alpine Resort base area, on-mountain accommodations and the downtown shops, pubs and restaurants.

    Free Downtown Ski Shuttle!

    Published on 23-Dec-2015 by The Chamber Free Downtown Ski Shuttle!

    The Peak to Platzl Downtown Shuttle is a free transportation service between the Kimberley Alpine Resort base area, on-mountain accommodations and the downtown shops, pubs and restaurants.

    Free transportation between the ski resort and the downtown shops and restaurants. Extended hours on New Year’s Eve! Click Here for more info on the City of Kimberley's website.

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    Business Workshop

    Published on 23-Dec-2015 by The Chamber Business Workshop

    The Chamber is collaborating with business coach, Rick Unruh on a workshop series, “Retool your Business in 2016 for Better Performance”. Please join us for a complimentary entrepreneur development presentation on January 15th at B.J.’s Creekside Pub from 8 – 9:30 a.m. More information about the training and reserving your attendance can be found on our Events section of the Chamber’s website, http://www.kimberleychamber.com

    Business Workshop

    Published on 23-Dec-2015 by The Chamber Business Workshop

    The Chamber is collaborating with business coach, Rick Unruh on a workshop series, “Retool your Business in 2016 for Better Performance”.   Please join us for a complimentary entrepreneur development presentation on January 15th at B.J.’s Creekside Pub from 8 – 9:30 a.m.  More information about the training and reserving your attendance can be found on our Events section of the Chamber’s website

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    Kimberley Chamber AGM

    Published on 23-Dec-2015 by The Chamber Kimberley Chamber AGM

    Kimberley & District Chamber of Commerce announces their Annual General Meeting
    To be held at the Kimberley Conference and Athlete Training Centre
    January 21, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Kimberley Chamber AGM

    Published on 23-Dec-2015 by The Chamber Kimberley Chamber AGM

    Kimberley & District Chamber of Commerce announces their Annual General Meeting

    To be held at the Kimberley Conference and Athlete Training Centre

    January 21, 2016 at 6:30 pm

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    Get Youth Working! Program

    Published on 06-Nov-2015 by The Chamber Get Youth Working! Program

    We are pleased to announce that the Get Youth Working! Program has received NEW funding and is now available in our region of BC.

    This Program, funded by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund, offers employers in our region of BC a $2,800 hiring incentive to hire eligible youth 15 to 29 years of age. Additionally, employers may request up to $1,000 to purchase training for the newly hired youth.

    Get Youth Working! Program

    Published on 06-Nov-2015 by The Chamber Get Youth Working! Program

    We are pleased to announce that the Get Youth Working! Program has received NEW funding and is now available in our region  of BC. 


    This Program, funded by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund, offers employers in our region of BC a $2,800 hiring incentive to hire eligible youth 15 to 29 years of age. Additionally, employers may request up to $1,000 to purchase training for the newly hired youth.


    The Program is open to all employers and youth if they meet the following eligibility criteria 


    EMPLOYER Criteria:

    • Eligible regions: Cariboo, Kootenay, North Coast and Nechako, Northeast, Thompson-Okanagan, and Vancouver Island / Coast
    • In business for a minimum of one year
    • In good standing with WorkSafeBC 
    • Must employ new hire for a minimum of 3 months and 30 hours/week
    • Employers will not qualify if employee is hired prior to signing a Get Youth Working Funding Agreement 


    NEW HIRE Criteria:
    • Unemployed, 15 – 29 years of age
    • Has not applied for EI, not currently receiving and must not have received EI within the past 36 months; or 60 months for a parental claim
    • Not a full-time student or returning to school
    • Is a resident of BC and legally entitled to work in Canada
    • Not be participating in another Canada Job Fund program.




    Check out www.getyouthworking.ca for more information and how to apply.

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    CBT Grant Writing Workshop

    Published on 16-Oct-2015 by The Chamber CBT Grant Writing Workshop

    Katherine Hamilton, CBT Liaison, will be offering a free Project Development and Grant Writing Workshop on Tues.Oct.20th 9am-11:30am at COTR Kimberley Campus. You can pre-register at COTR 250-427-7116 ext.3752.

    CBT Grant Writing Workshop

    Published on 16-Oct-2015 by The Chamber CBT Grant Writing Workshop

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    Nominations for the 2015 Business Excellence Awards Now Closed

    Published on 06-Oct-2015 by The Chamber Nominations for the 2015 Business Excellence Awards Now Closed

    Kimberley’s Business Excellence Awards gala will be held on October 24th at the Kimberley Conference & Athlete Training Centre. The gala includes an outstanding dinner featuring prime rib and vegetarian lasagna, music from Rick Parsons, an open discussion about business in Kimberley, the award ceremony and a great time. Tickets are only $40.

    Nominations for the 2015 Business Excellence Awards Now Closed

    Published on 06-Oct-2015 by The Chamber Nominations for the 2015 Business Excellence Awards Now Closed

    Thank you to everyone who submitted their nominations for this years Annual Business Excellence Awards. Nominations are now closed

    Kimberley’s Business Excellence Awards gala will be held on October 24th at the Kimberley Conference & Athlete Training Centre. The gala includes an outstanding dinner featuring prime rib and vegetarian lasagna, music from Rick Parsons, an open discussion about business in Kimberley, the award ceremony and a great time.  Tickets are only $40.  


    ×

Latest News

    BC Economic Development Association Budget Highlights

    BC Economic Development Association Budget Highlights

    Published on 21-Feb-2018 by Mike Guarnery BC Economic Development Association Budget Highlights

    Economic Development Highlights of the 2018 BC Budget
    FEBRUARY 20, 2018
    Today’s 2018 BC Budget is focused on affordability, with emphasis on housing and child care.
    Both issues affect local economic development in a variety of ways, including by influencing the supply of labour, helping with the retention and attraction of youth and skilled workers, moderating the impact of short-term rentals on the housing and accommodation markets, and by affecting home construction as an economic generator.
    Housing
    The government unveiled a 30-point plan to address housing affordability. Notable points for economic development include:
    • Broadening the taxation of accommodation properties to include short-term rentals. As previously announced, the Province has agreed with AirBnb on the collection of PST and MRDT and the same approach is being pursued for other accommodation platforms. A related point is the expansion of the powers of strata bylaws to discourage short-term rentals.
    • Expanding permissible use of MRDT revenues to include affordable housing. The municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) is currently used only to fund tourism marketing and product development. It will now be eligible for use in housing initiatives, providing an additional funding source for communities struggling with housing for seasonal tourism workers.
    • New and increased taxes, includZing a new speculation tax targeted at those not paying income tax in BC, an increased and expanded foreign buyers tax (increasing from 15% to 20% and expanding beyond Metro Vancouver to include the Fraser Valley, Capital and Nanaimo Regional Districts, as well as Kelowna and West Kelowna), and increasing property transfer and school tax rates for home values above $3 million. The speculation tax does not apply to homes that are used as a primary residence, but may impact, for example, second homes owned by out-of-province or out-of-country residents.
    • Various measures to address tax evasion and money laundering and promote transparency in the housing market, including by creating new databases on the “beneficial ownership” of property, on the assignment of pre-sale condo purchases, and to strengthen audit and tax collection powers.
    bceda.ca Page 1

    Economic Development Highlights of 2018 BC Budget
    • Planned investment of $6.5 billion over 10 years to build 114,000 units of affordable housing, including units aimed at post-secondary students, indigenous peoples, the homeless, and women and children fleeing violence. Additional measures are targeted at renters, including strengthening tenancy rights, expanding rental assistance benefits for seniors and working parents.
    • Initiatives relating to local government include the leveraging of municipal tax exemptions for purpose-built rental housing by extending it to include provincial property taxes, examining the tax treatment of residential property in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), and committing $5 million over three years to fund housing need assessments and a commitment to work with municipal partners on possible new policy tools, such as rental zoning.
    Child Care
    A $1 billion investment in child care has several facets, including:
    • New affordable child care benefits and child care fee reduction programs, paid directly to child care providers, to enhance child care affordability.
    • The creation of 22,000 new child care spaces, the training of more Early Childhood Educators (ECE), and making it easier for current care providers to become licensed.
    Rural Development Program
    The Province’s Rural Development program is located within the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development.
    The program’s strategic direction is currently being re-assessed through the creation of a new Rural Development Strategy. Quoting from the Ministry Service Plan, the new strategy “will move beyond traditional economic development activities by broadening economic, social, and environmental objectives in alignment with community skills, assets and needs.” Consultation on the strategy is ongoing and scheduled for completion by March 31 of this year, with the finalized strategy scheduled for release in the 2018/19 fiscal year. It will include an updated Rural Dividend program that responds to Indigenous and rural stakeholder feedback.
    In the meantime, the key strategies of the Rural Development program for the next year include:
    • Coordinate land-based and socio-economic recovery from the 2017 wildfire and freshet season, including community engagement, and provide rapid response to other economic disruptions.
    • Develop the framework and key themes for a Rural Development strategy.
    • Assess proposals for Rural Dividend funds, allocate the 2018/19 funds, and develop options
    around the future of the fund.
    • Advance bio-economy opportunities for rural communities.
    bceda.ca Page 2

    Economic Development Highlights of 2018 BC Budget
    • Engage with Indigenous peoples to advance specific opportunities for First Nations rural communities.
    Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
    The Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology is responsible for attracting investment to the province, providing economic development tools and information resources to communities, supporting technology-based innovation in BC industries, promoting the integration of Indigenous people snd immigrants into the economy, and much more.
    Funding allocations to the Ministry are essentially flat over the next three years, other than a $5.7 million increase for additional settlement and integration support for immigrants and newcomers, including creating a Centre for Newcomers.
    A review of the Ministry’s various goals, objectives and strategies shows a series of new task forces and organizations to help plan for and support a changing economy. These include (among a long, long list):
    • Creating an Emerging Economy Task Force to inform the development of a provincial economic strategy.
    • Collaborating with industry through the BC Supplier Development Program pilot to help BC companies become more competitive and better integrated into global value chains.
    • Establishing an Innovation Commissioner and Innovation Commission to advocate for and support the technology sector.
    • Continuing to develop economic development tools and resources and raising awareness of available programs through the BC Economic Portal.
    • Increasing BC’s Trade and Investment Representative (TIR) network in the United States.
    • Creating a Small Business Task Force as a special initiatives of the Small Business Roundtable
    to provide advice on strengthening the small business sector.
    Fiscal Outlook
    The single most significant change in the government’s fiscal outlook in the current year is a charge of nearly $900 million from losses at the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC).
    Over the longer term, the budget is forecast to maintain a modest surplus in each year of the three- year fiscal plan, in the range of $200 million to $300 million per year.
    The Province’s operating debt remains on track to be eliminated in the next fiscal year. This does not increase capital spending, but the total debt to GDP ratio (including capital spending) will remains relatively constant at around 16%.
    bceda.ca Page 3

    Economic Development Highlights of 2018 BC Budget
    Other Highlights
    Funding and program support for Indigenous peoples is highlighted throughout most aspects of the budget, including $201 million over three years for housing, the Indigenous Skills Training Program and Aboriginal Friendship Centres. A further $50 million in the current fiscal year is supporting the revitalization of indigenous languages.
    As announced in the Budget Update last fall, PST on electricity for business is being phased out and will be fully exempt as of April 1, 2019.
    Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums will be fully eliminated on January 1, 2020. The loss of MSP revenue is offset by a new employer payroll tax that is charged fully on payrolls above $1.5 million and partly charged on payrolls from $500,000 to $1.5 million. Employers with payrolls below $500,000 are exempt.
    Ferry fares are being frozen on the three largest coastal routes and a 15% reduction implemented for non-major routes. A full 100% seniors discount will be restored for travel from Monday to Thursday.
    Communities impacted by wildfires are being supported with $72 million in wildfire recovery and resiliency activities.
    Additional funding is targeted to “improve land use certainty for economic development.” Wildfire resiliency and recovery is the largest element of this spending, but it also increases spending on “modernizing Crown land use planning” from $2 to $5 to $8 million over the next three years. This funding is intended to support engagement with Indigenous communities, industry, local governments, and other stakeholders to enhance land use certainty while protecting the environment.
    An additional $29 million is provided for the agrifood sector over three years. This funding is allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture to support various initiatives, including assisting beginning farmers with start-up loans, supporting the fruit and nut industry, revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve, enhancing the Buy BC strategy, and supporting the development of a Food Innovation Centre at UBC to help small-scale processors enhance their commercialization potential.
    An additional $18 million is allocated to arts organizations over three years, including $15 million for BC Arts Council grant programs and $3 million for Creative BC to promote and strengthen the motion picture, music, publishing and digital media sectors.
    SUMMARY PREPARED BY:
    Jamie Vann Struth
    Vann Struth Consulting Group Inc.
    bceda.ca Page 4

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    2019 Family Day

    2019 Family Day

    Published on 09-Feb-2018 by Mike Guarnery 2019 Family Day

    The BC Government announced that BC Family Day will be moved to the 3rd weekend in February starting in 2019.  Our Chamber has advocated for its continued schedule of staying on the 2nd weekend for the past 4 years.  This announcement was not surprising as the Premier has hinted about this change.  Having a separate Family Days has allowed resort communities like Kimberley to enjoy having a weekend for British Columbians, then showcasing our amenities to visitors from other Provinces.

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    2017-18 Board of Directors

    2017-18 Board of Directors

    Published on 23-May-2017 by Mike Guarnery 2017-18 Board of Directors

    On May 16th, the election of the Kimberley & District Chamber of Commerce 2017-18 Board of Directors occurred at Annual General Meeting at Centre 64.  Congratulations to new board members Chantel Delaney (Sprout Grocery) and Jill Bentley-Lobban, (Kimberley Centex); as well as continuing board members Chantel Hack (Burrito Grill), Thomas Datt (Enchanted Forest B&B), Brian Conn (Kootenay Shade Works), Sabrina Park (Creekside Physiotherapy), Rachelle Langlois (Sun Life Financial Services, Inc.), Kenton Lane (Hryciuk Gallinger), Darren Shaben (Jim Pattison Broadcast Group), and non-voting member Karen Rempel (Rocky Mountain Event Planners).

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