The Trail and District Chamber is getting back to the business of small business.
The 280-member group led by Executive Director Audry Durham has always acted as a primary small business network, but contractual responsibilities with the city took time away from focusing solely on small business ventures.
“For the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce, 2017 was an exciting year with lots of growth, change and new activities throughout the year,” Durham began. “We continued to focus our past years efforts on the term ‘relevance’ in the services we deliver to members. With amped up communications with new and existing members, we are building our membership organically and retention is up.”
The catalyst to become more member-focused happened last July with the ending of the City of Trail’s Visitor Centre service contract and as of Dec. 31, the administrative and operational contract for the RV campsite.
“This has freed up a lot of time to do chamber things,” Durham said during Annual General Meeting on Monday.
“The biggest benefit by far is that we are now able to designate substantially more time on our membership.”
She says the biggest area of growth has not been an increase in numbers, though the group currently represents more than 3,000 people working in the Greater Trail area.
“Where we have grown is with membership attendance to events and our member-to-member, face-to-face, interactions,” Durham added. “We are excited to see what will happen in 2018 as we continue to transform our chamber services to meet our membership’s interests and business needs.”
Planning for the second Annual Kootenay Healthy Lifestyle Expo is now underway. The chamber-organized event, run from the Trail Memorial Centre arena, is on target to increase exhibitors by 40 per cent and expand into the curling rink.
Durham says attendance is projected to double to 2,000 people for the two-day June event.