Proclaiming Chamber Week

Municipalities unite under Chamber’s mandate to drive regional resilience

A full house is no longer measured by the number of occupied chairs in a room, but rather the size of photo icons on the screen, according to Natasha Lockey of Kootenay Gateway.

Lockey is hosting a Business After Business Trail & District Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) virtual event at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18th. The social event is an opportunity for Chamber members to celebrate and build relationships during Chamber Week (Feb. 15-19, 2021).

“Being where we are now really feels like an accumulation to showing up,” says Lockey, who attends Business After Business events to connect with her peers and learn about new resources and opportunities. “We’re such an engaged, connected group and every time I attend, I create deeper relationships.”

The Rossland business owner has devoted her life to getting people to the mountain, providing transport for skiers, snowboarders, and bikers.

Lockey also runs mountain bike workshops, through which she helps women unleash their Betty—the fun, playful side of their personality. Her partner in life and business, former Paralympic snowboarder Ian Lockey, manages Kootenay Gateway’s operations and tags in as a driver for the company’s shuttle.

The dynamic duo is proud to help facilitate connection between municipalities by transporting residents and tourists alike to events and recreational activities across the region.

Chamber Efforts Amplify Collective Voice

Relationship building isn’t only taking place at the membership level. The Chamber’s work with other BC organizations is supported by South Kootenay municipalities through funds allocated to regional economic advancement.

“Chamber Week is about punching above our weight when it comes to advocating for our region at the provincial level,” says Trail City Councillor and Chamber Representative Paul Butler. “But the Chamber does more than serve as an influential voice; it’s a cornerstone organization for our local business community.”

To further bolster the Chamber’s efforts, Executive Director Erika Krest asked area leaders to proclaim Feb. 15-19, 2021 as Chamber Week in recognition of the organization’s ongoing mission to stimulate and elevate the region.

According to to Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette, the village is making a concerted effort to retain its current businesses and grow its downtown core, and the Chamber’s support has been vital.

“The Chamber brings a united front to businesses, and we are always stronger and more resilient when we work together,” he says.

Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore views the Chamber as a repository for information, which is critical while the pandemic continues to affect the community.

“The Chamber’s done such a great job consolidating and explaining the various supports and programs from the provincial and federal governments,” she explains. “They’ve convened weekly sessions for stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions.”

The Chamber promotes pro-business stances among community leaders and lobbies the government to implement favourable policies. Backing from municipalities not only facilitates these efforts, but also presents a unified front that’s crucial to fostering a healthy economy.

Warfield Mayor Diane Langman appreciates the Chamber’s #ThinkLocalFirst initiatives, particularly praising the recent holiday campaign because, she says, “without local businesses, we don’t have community.”


Find more details on February 18th’s Business After Business event here and on Facebook.

Also available from the Chamber network is the ‘Building Resilience to Thrive’ online program. The 6-week program (regularly $700) is only $35+tax for Chamber Members (100% reimbursement available through the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce). The third session begins February 24th; register by February 18th to reserve your spot!

Interested in becoming a Chamber member? Our membership page has information on member benefits.

Keep an eye out for more Chamber Stories, published monthly in the Trail Times as well as online. Please also follow us on social media: Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram and sign up for our newsletter.