Houston and District Chamber of Commerce president Darrin Super with one of the chamber’s merchant gift certificates available for purchase. (Houston Today photo)

Houston and District Chamber of Commerce president Darrin Super with one of the chamber’s merchant gift certificates available for purchase. (Houston Today photo)

Chamber president bullish on the community

Business organization celebrates 61st birthday

The Houston and District Chamber of Commerce may have passed the six decade mark but age has by no means a factor in its continuing role as a vital organization within the area, says its current president.

Darrin Super said his joining the chamber to make a contribution as it advocates for local businesses came naturally.

“I was actually asked to become a board member by another board member. I’m an import to Houston so this was one way of giving back to the community that was so welcoming to us, showing us what kind of community this is,” he said.

In Houston now for nine years as a co-owner of Bulkley Valley Home Centre and eight years now with the chamber as either a director or president, Super said he and his family came north from the Fraser Valley looking for a smaller community in response to the growth there of recent years.

“We just wanted that small community feel again, someplace where you can stop and smell the roses,” he said.

Houston and area has provided that opportunity with Super being bullish on its prospects.

By far he said the greatest challenge chamber members have faced in the past years is the COVID-19 pandemic which restricted economic activity and introduced a large element of the unknown for many.

“I think its effects will continue to be felt,” Super said in emphasizing that local businesses are coming back and showing their resilence.

Previous to the pandemic, businesses and communities had to regroup when Houston lost its only large grocery store, a gap that has now been filled.

“We now have new businesses and it’s exciting to see what’s happening,” he said.

And while it is difficult to predict situations into the future, Super is confident the area will continue to grow and he’s looking forward to the potential, for example, of a continuing modernization and renewal of the downtown core.

“I’m a glass half full kind of person,” he said.

Here are some important facts about the Houston and District Chamber of Commerce thanks to a posting on its Facebook page:

– its founding meeting was March 28, 1961.

– it is now called ‘Pitch In’, the annual province-wide spring clean up event but before that, the chamber had its own campaigns.

– before the chamber advocated on behalf of the community, Houston was not included on highway information signs.

– the first tourist information booth was opened in 1971 thanks to the chamber.

– the Houston Merchant Dollar Program, in which certificates are purchased to then be redeemed in participating stores, is a way to help local dollars stay within the community.