For Immediate Release
August 14st, 2023
Stronger as one – Local Chambers of Commerce Express Intent to Merge
The Boards of Directors of the three Chambers of Commerce on the lower Sunshine Coast recently signed letters of intent to merge into one organization by the end of the year.
For some time, merger discussions have been underway between Gibsons, Sechelt, and Pender Harbour Chambers of Commerce, each serving their respective areas and operating as independent entities. Combined, the chambers’ membership base exceeds 500, and annual revenues are $170,000.
The decision to pursue a merger revolves mainly around enhancing member benefits, services, and sales. By combining into one organization, members will pay one annual membership fee to achieve expanded exposure to customers, suppliers, and vendors from Port Mellon to Egmont. One Board of Directors also unifies and strengthens positions on advocacy, public policy and legislative priorities for all businesses on the Sunshine Coast.
Gibsons, Sechelt and Pender Harbour Chambers of Commerce have formed a joint volunteer task force to proceed with merger requirements and to engage local businesses in the process, culminating with a membership vote by November. Task force members are Doug Marteinson (Gibsons), Gaetan Royer (Sechelt), and Ron Badley (Pender Harbour).
“The idea of integrating our three Chambers of Commerce on the Sunshine Coast has been a topic of discussion for several years,” expressed the Board Chairs of the three Chambers collectively. “We understand that most of our businesses on the Sunshine Coast aspire to promote their services and engage customers from across the region, beyond the confines of their individual towns. The evolution of online meeting tools, workshops, and the robust reach of social media have bolstered our capacity to connect without barriers. It’s a unanimous feeling among our Boards and staff: timing is optimum for this pivotal union.”
With a 70-year history in British Columbia, Chambers of Commerce is a network of organizations made up of business owners and entrepreneurs who advocate and promote the interests of their local business community. They provide access to valuable resources, benefits and relationships that help businesses save money and effectively market their products and services.
More detailed information on the proposed merger process will be posted on the Chambers websites by the end of August.
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