It won’t happen until May but the Houston and District Chamber of Commerce has already started to prepare for its 2021 annual general meeting.
Chamber manager Maureen Czirfusz last week began taking names and information from people wishing to sit on the chamber’s board.
“A notice will be sent to the membership two weeks before the meeting,” said Czirfusz.
An exact date has yet to be set and the meeting, adhering to COVID-19 protocols, will be virtual.
The current board is made up of Halley Finch, Bulkley Valley Credit Union, as president with Glen Kelly from Finning as vice president and Tanya Reitsma from Reitsma’s Home Hardware as secretary/treasurer. Darrin Super from Bulkley Valley Home Centre is past president.
The directors are Kevin Alles from Countrywide Printing & Stationery Ltd., Claudia Brietzke from the Tahtsa Group and Jordan Porth from Happy Jack’s Restaurant & Grill.
The District of Houston representative to the board is councillor Jonathan van Barneveld.
The past year has been a challenging one for the local business community as it adapted to various restrictions and changes tied directly to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, the chamber has become a focal point for collecting and passing along information to local businesses on what assistance various levels of government can provide.
And it has raised the profile of local businesses to help develop a greater appreciation for those local businesses in encouraging people to shop local.
And while preparations begin for the annual general meeting, the chamber is also preparing to begin to point out any gaps in the region’s tourism industry.
Using a $10,000 grant, the chamber will then provide a guide for tourism investment and what might need to be done to provide infrastructure to attract tourists.
Houston is one of 13 entities in the north to receive money to develop and promote tourism from a provincial program set up two years ago to aid places where mill closures or other cuts in forest products actvity brought on social and economic impacts.
The money comes from the provincial government and is being funneled to the receiving communities by the Northern B.C. Tourism Association.
“We are set to start in April with some focus groups for the tourism strategy,” said Czirfusz.