The first Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1599 in France. A baby in comparison, the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has, in one form or another, been active for 104 years. You may be wondering if an institution that has been around as long as we have can still be relevant.

Initially chambers were founded to advocate on behalf of business. The role of chambers expanded to offer members networking, tangible cost-saving benefits, workshops, business assistance, community information and, in our case, Visitor Services.

When you are as closely connected to an organization as are our staff and board members it can be a challenge to look objectively at our activities. Times have changed and so must we. In the past, Chambers were seen as organizations for those that were “male, pale, and stale”. True or not, perception is reality. Our board and staff should be representative of the makeup of the business community and our activities should be tailored to meet the needs of businesses on the Saanich Peninsula.

The time following an election is an opportunity for new board members, with their fresh eyes, to assess our activities. Gathering and integrating feedback from community stakeholders is essential to our progress. As a business network, we are also a social network.

We are thrilled when we receive expressions of gratitude for the support we have provided to members. We want more success stories on the Saanich Peninsula. Stay tuned for some changes at this chamber. Bold new adventures await!

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