The recent Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce AGM saw the return of Jim Humphrey to the president’s seat. Humphrey said that the Chamber’s biggest priorities going forward this year will be to achieve a higher level of cooperation between businesses, as well as focusing more on promoting Lake Cowichan as a whole.
“[Cooperation] is more important for a small community like Lake Cowichan than it is for more urban areas,” Humphrey said. “There aren’t as many businesses here, and we need to get them to start sharing ideas.”
Humphrey served the Chamber of Commerce as president from 2005 until 2012, when he officially stepped down from his position, stating the importance of new people and ideas to bring the organization in a different direction.
Rita Dustow and Ron McKenzie both served as president for a year each.
While several residents expressed concern over an allegedly shrinking business community during last month’s public meeting, Humphrey said much of the burden lies on the community itself.
“The community needs to step up,” he said. “Local businesses need the people of Lake Cowichan to shop locally. If they’re not profitable, like any business, there will come a time when they will have to close their doors. You just can’t run a business with a defecit each year.”
Humphrey said that another goal for the Chamber this year will be to enhance their annual Business Showcase, which works to make local businesses more visible and to introduce new businesses to the community. He also said he hopes to work with town council to promote tourism and attract new residents to Lake Cowichan.
The Chamber of Commerce’s AGM also saw two new members elected to the board of directors: Patricia Thomson and Graeme Service.