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Business Walk 2020 – Celebrating Small Business Week

Trail & District Chamber of Commerce Encourages Community to
#ThinkLocalFirst during Small Business Week

2020 Business Walk highlights adaptability as strength and challenge for local businesses

When the Charles Bailey Theatre had to cancel its spring/summer series due to COVID-19, it quickly poured its energy into a project supporting the local business community by creating and sharing video jingles.

Infinity Physio Centre in Rossland’s COVID Jingle “Let’s Get Physio,” inspired by Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical,” announced their reopening. But this catchy tune did more than entertain; it encouraged people to #ThinkLocalFirst.

During Small Business Week, the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) acknowledges the contributions entrepreneurs and small business owners make to the economy. The organization applauds local businesses for their ability to adapt to changing environments and new safety protocols, all while innovating their services or products for their communities and considering what’s best for the bottom line.

Out of the approximately 120 businesses that participated in last month’s 2020 Business Walk, nearly 50% noted adaptability as their most significant achievement so far this year; conversely, a number of those surveyed (15%) considered it their greatest challenge. Meeting obstacles with success speaks to the strength of the South Kootenay business community, which is home to 900 small and medium-sized businesses; collectively this employs the majority of area professionals, outweighing any large employer in the region.

The Chamber conducts the Business Walk as a means to build closer relationships and connect with its network of professionals. With its regular Business After Business events paused indefinitely, the Chamber initially helped host virtual gatherings like the South Kootenay COVID-19 Business Roundtable. As businesses reopened, they recognized the benefit of knocking on members’ doors.

“For us it’s that personal connection—that’s what the Business Walk is about,” explains Executive Director Erika Krest. “Nothing replaces personal connection; when you can read peoples’ expressions and have that extra nuance behind words, it’s very important.”

The annual initiative is encouraged around the province as a tool to facilitate conversations between local leaders and business owners. What’s learned is examined and turned into actionable solutions.

Survey results, for example, uncovered that while large organizations and franchises have succession and emergency plans in place, many smaller businesses hadn’t yet made that a priority. As a result, the Chamber is collaboratively working toward a local solution for business professionals who see value in developing these plans.

Despite strange times, local businesses across the region remain nimble, strong, and dedicated to serving the community, even if it’s from behind plexiglass or masked and smiling with their eyes.

View and download Business Walk 2020 Summary

2020 Business Excellence Awards


Thank you to everyone who put forward their nominations for the 2020 Business Excellence Awards. We have a fantastic list of finalists and voting is now OPEN!

The 2020 award recipients will be selected from Chamber members in good standing. If you don’t see a name on the list they may not meet an eligibility requirement, but we will be contacting ALL nominees to congratulate them on their business excellence over the past year.


Hiring – Bookkeeping Service

The Trail and District Chamber of Commerce is looking for a bookkeeping service.

Proficient in manual bookkeeping, Simply Accounting, QuickBooks, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Prepare Year End, Assemble Tax Returns, Up-to-date computer literacy, including Excel and Word.

Thank you so much for your interest. Please send a resume and cover letter outlining your experience to Short listed candidates will be contacted for an interview by February 3, 2020.

The Trail and District Chamber of Commerce will always endeavour to solicit bids and quotes for services and products from members in good standing first before going to outside bids.

The Skills Centre


The Skills Centre’s mission is “Building a caring community of skilled, productive and engaged people”. They are committed to strengthening the communities of the Lower Columbia River region. As part of this commitment, since 1997 they have been intimately engaged in community development through:

– Providing employment assistance services
– Programs and services for youth
– Training opportunities and support
– Poverty reduction initiatives
– Workforce development, information and services in trades and technology
– Community economic development through initiatives such as social enterprise

The Skills Centre has a new look! Their logo may have changed, but their dedication to our community is the same. If you haven’t been to their website in a while, you should check out the new format here. And, be sure to place your next job posting on their job board!

“The Skills Centre is a member of the Chamber to support and be connected to the businesses in our regional community.  Secondly, the monthly Chamber newsletter is an excellent vehicle to communicate with the  businesses and has a Chamber member we have access to that effective network.”

The Rustic Crust


The inspiration for Rustic Crust Pizza comes from the traditional Napolatena style pizzas that were made by the Italian families who emigrated to our small city of Trail, British Columbia, in the 1900’s. It didn’t take long for the Italian people to infuse our community with a number of Italian customs, among them a huge passion for traditional Italian pizza, especially those made in authentic wood-fired ovens that were found throughout Italy. For the last century, these local pizza-makers have been producing unique mouth-watering pizzas using the freshest most flavourful ingredients harvested from their own back yard gardens.

Like the best neighborhood restaurants you’ll find worldwide, Trail’s restaurant scene in the past was primarily owned and operated by close-knit families. Their products were more a labour of love than a quick money-making scheme. The resulting pizzas, though most were unaware at the time, were of a world class standard. Though not Italian by any known blood line, the Wiley family, who have called Trail home for four generations, feel they’ve acquired some cultura italiana by osmosis.

Cooking out of a wood-fired oven began for the Rustics at Mirror Lake where Papa Rich, with a little help from friends and family, built their first adobe oven with clay dug from the banks of nearby Kootenay Lake. After a few experiments with chicken, bread and some other goodies, pizza night quickly became the favorite of the family for a little friendly competition, good eats and good times. It was during these evenings that the hunt began for the best crust and toppings they could create, and shortly after they developed a desire to share it with others.

The Wiley’s felt what was missing in Trail’s current culinary scene is authentic Napolatena style pizza — hence, the Rustic Crust.

Upcoming Small Business Week Activities


The Trail & District Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Junior Achievement, FortisBC and Basin Business Advisors Program to offer FREE business development workshops and sessions to our Lower Columbia area businesses and employees during Small Business Week.


1. Junior Achievement Program: Helping students explore their entrepreneurial potential
Date: Monday, October 17
Time: 12 – 1pm
Location: Colander Restaurant, 1475 Cedar Ave. Trail

2. Saving Energy, Saving Money: How FortisBC can help businesses improve their bottom line and help pay for it too!
Date: Wednesday, October 19
Time: 7:30 – 8:30am
Location: Fortis building, 1290 Esplanade Ave. Trail

3. Succession Planning: Thinking about retiring from your small business?
Date: Friday, October 21
Time: 9am – 12pm
Location: Community Futures of Greater Trail, 835 Spokane St. Trail

4. Small Business BC: FREE webinars all month!
Date: October 1 – 31
Click here for the schedule and more information


Details about each workshop & how to RSVP:

1. Junior Achievement Program:
Helping students explore their entrepreneurial potential

In 2016, over 38,000 BC students benefited from Junior Achievement BC programs delivered free of charge by volunteers from local business communities who bring their real-life experience into the classroom. Their programs focus on work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Through these programs, students in grades 5 to 12 gain the confidence and skills they need to become the next generation of business and community leaders.

Find out how you can help students explore their entrepreneurial potential and understand how businesses operate, or how you can give them a hands-on learning experience of running their own retail stand.

Please RSVP to the Chamber at or 250-368-3144 if you are able to join us for this lunch seminar. Participants are responsible for paying for own lunches.

2.  Saving Energy, Saving Money:
How FortisBC can help businesses improve their bottom line and help pay for it too!

How can something as simple as your lights affect your bottom line? FortisBC will show local businesses how they can lower their bottom line operating costs by upgrading to energy efficient equipment and implementing some simple, easy practices. FortisBC will also provide details about a new instant rebate program: the Business Direct Install program. The Business Direct Install program ( offers a free no-obligation facility energy assessment, followed by the installation of recommended energy efficient equipment, including lighting, from local participating contractors. It also includes rebates up to 50% of the installation costs!

Please RSVP to the Chamber at or 250-368-3144 if you are able to join us for this morning breakfast meeting. Refreshments will be provided.

3. Succession Planning:
Thinking about retiring from your small business?

Planning the transfer of your business to someone else requires more than putting out a For Sale sign. Now might be the time to get serious about creating a succession plan that works for you, your employees, your business and your community.

The Basin Business Advisors Program can help you get started on the right foot. This three hour workshop is designed to help you explore options and to answer some of your questions.

We will review:
– Preparing your business for sale
– Identifying potential buyers
– Marketing your business
– Legal and financial accounting ramifications and support required
– Common business valuation techniques

Call 1-855-510-2227 Ext. 5 to register, or visit Please register at least two business days prior to the workshop to secure a spot.

4. Small Business BC: FREE webinars all month

October marks the start of Small Business Month in British Columbia, a time to recognize the contributions entrepreneurs and small business owners make towards the economy and our local communities. This year is extra special because it marks the 10th anniversary of Small Business Month in our province.

To celebrate, Small Business BC and The Province of British Columbia have partnered to offer the Small Business Month Free Services Plan that will allow entrepreneurs and small business owners in BC FREE access to Small Business BC’s education and client services products and services with promo code SBMATE2016, including seminars, webinars and Ask the Expert sessions, between October 1, 2016 and October 31, 2016.

Click here for a schedule and more information.

West Kootenay Brain Injury Association

west kootenay brain injury assoc.

The West Kootenay Brain Injury Association (WKBIA) is a non-profit organization that builds community and creates opportunity. They empower adults and families living with the effects of an acquired brain injury to enhance their quality of life, and increase independence and community involvement.

The WKBIA offers a variety of services, free of charge, in safe, confidential environments throughout the West Kootenays. To learn more about this important organization, call (778) 450-4502 or visit their Facebook page.

Canadian Cancer Society: West Kootenay

cancersocietyCanadians recently came together to celebrate the Tragically Hip: A National Celebration! Fans gathered for the love of the iconic band but also to raise critically needed funds for brain cancer research. Participating venues, including the Royal Theatre and the Arlington Bar & Grill in Trail, the Element Club Bar & Grill in Castlegar, the Civic Theatre and Mike’s Place Pub in Nelson and Clyde’s Pub in Grand Forks, broadcasted the concert that was live from the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ont., on Aug. 20th.

The Canadian Cancer Society was welcomed into participating venues across the country, to ask for voluntary donations to the newly established Brain Cancer Research Fund in Honour of Gord Downie. Together, West Kootenay Boundary communities raised desperately needed funds toward the national campaign, which is still being tallied across the country but was well received locally with $5,000 total raised. Alongside, a text to give push garnered $8,705 nationally in donations on Saturday night – the program since its inception July 1st has raised $12,055 and continues to be live until September 1st. Donors can still text the word FIGHT to 20222 and choose to donate $10, $20 or $25, or give via or by calling 1-800-268-8874.

Without the support of venues and also Canadians who gave, the Society’s effort would not have been possible, and the message to tens of thousands of people would not have been heard. Because of Gord Downie’s very public confession of Glioblastoma, a cruel and incurable brain cancer, it has become a national topic of conversation. The Hip campaign was an exciting opportunity for the Society and is just one example of the many revenue development initiatives managed and supported by the Society’s staff and amazing volunteers.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a volunteer organization that strives to eradicate cancer and support individuals in their fight against cancer. The office located in Trail serves the West Kootenay Boundary as a landing pad for connecting locals with services such as financial support for those traveling for treatment or wigs for those undergoing chemotherapy. The office also works to raise funds for such support services, cancer research, and prevention education through community events such as the Daffodil Dash and Relay For Life and other means of revenue development like the Daffodil campaign.

Here’s a look at support statistics for the Southern Interior for 2015/16:
– Cancer Information Service Inquiries: 775
– CancerConnection matches: 112
– Camp Goodtimes participants: 42
– Financial Support clients: 210 (Note: the CCS provides the most financial assistance to residents in the Southern Interior. The next highest is the North with 118 clients.)
– Lodge: 1,352 clients

The Canadian Cancer Society values the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber connects like-minded business professionals and organizations that share a common goal of serving its communities and providing a service to residents.

To follow the local office, check out its Facebook page.

Genelle Travel

genelle travel

Book your next vacation with Genelle Travel. They offer a variety of vacation packages, tours, river and ocean cruises and other unforgettable custom travel packages. Leave the details to the.  Just sit back, relax and enjoy!

Your Full Service Local Travel Agency. Groups, Corporate Travel, Sun, Europe, Cruises, Fight Centre, Vacation Centre, Travel Insurance & Destination Weddings. Members of Travel Professionals International & Virtuoso Luxury Travel Specialists. CPBC Licence no. 65928

As part of Genelle B&B Guest House, they offer a 4hr fly fishing package by drift boat down the Columbia from Castlegar with experienced guide for $375.00 double occupancy

Call Gordon at 1-877-693-2189 or click here to visit the Genelle Travel website.