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OK We Got This – News Release

OK We Got This – News Release

 

MEDIA RELEASE

April 22, 2020

 

#OK We Got This – Launched by Okanagan’s

Largest Business Network

 

Kelowna:  Chambers of Commerce from the US border in the south to Enderby in the north have launched #OKwegotthis – a multi-faceted program aimed at providing an Okanagan-wide approach to helping businesses across the valley access information, share stories of business leaders who have responded to the crisis, and ensure a unified voice in promoting the value of shopping and investing local.

 

All ten chambers in the valley have agreed to make all their programs and services available to both members and the broader business community right across the valley because we all realize that we are in this together for the foreseeable future.

 

“This is our expertise,” says Jeffrey Robinson, President of the Kelowna Chamber. “While governments play a key role, chambers are singularly positioned to drive local economic recovery: we know how to do this, we’ve got the structure, and the people.”

 

Chambers have been doing this work for over a hundred years in the Okanagan Valley and are uniquely qualified to help local businesses recover from this unprecedented challenge, a fact that was recognized by the World Health Organization and the International Chamber of Commerce. The WHO stressed that “chambers of commerce will be ‘essential partners’ as communities chart pathways out of the crisis.’”

 

Chambers are playing a critical support role for local communities, businesses and not-for-profits now and well into the future. Our thousands-strong Chamber network is working diligently with provincial and federal decision-makers right now – and we have a vital role to play in each of our communities. Led by business leaders who have their feet on the ground, fighting for survival and eventual recovery,  chamber organizations are the largest network representing small business in Canada and locally, have teams on the ground in ten different cities and towns in the Okanagan Valley.

 

It is hoped that government leaders along with other agencies overseeing economic development in their local areas in the valley will join this broad coalition to build the collaborative approach under the rallying cry of OK, we got this.

 

The concept behind this inclusive approach was based on both the need for, and the realization that, we are in this together; and collaboration, innovation and cooperation will see us through to better days. Our health professionals and first responders are doing their part; now it is up to the rest of us in the

Okanagan to say “Ok, we got this”.

 

 

 

It’s time that we individually and collectively display the entrepreneurial spirit that has built this great region of the province.   That means building on new ideas and not being critical. It means understanding that we all have a role in helping our neighbours and our economy stay healthy and strong. And that we plan now for recovery and offer support to all our regional businesses and entrepreneurs as they emerge from this multi-faceted crisis.

 

With more than 4,000 business members from Osoyoos to Enderby, representing more than 25,000 employees in times of full employment, Valley Chambers are well-positioned to promote local connections, receive business intel and advocate for those interests, as well as make the fast pivots which are required to help all communities in the Valley get through this crisis and come out of it stronger. We have adopted the mind-set that “we got this”.

 

 

An example of how the coordinated approach will work can be seen at  www.okwegotthis.kelownachamber.org

 

Or check the campaign’s Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/OKwegotthis/

 

For more information and media contact information, see Backgrounder next page:

 

BACKGROUNDER

 

Participating Chambers & Boards of Trade

 

South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce

Denise Blashko, Chamber Coordinator

admin@sochamber.ca

“As a smaller regional chamber representing Osoyoos, Oliver, Okanagan Falls and surrounding areas we are happy to be part of this greater regional initiative. It is so important, now more than ever, that we are all working together to support one another and to multiply our efforts in the stabilization and recovery of our Okanagan communities.”

 Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce

Nicole Clark, President and Diane Kereluk, Executive Director

director@penticton.org

“It is exciting to be part of a proactive initiative that focuses on emerging from the COVID-19 situation in a way that impacts our business, and indeed our entire community, up and down the Valley,” said Nicole Clark, President of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce. “Pooling our resources and expertise makes us better and stronger, together.”

Summerland Chamber of Commerce

David D. Hull, Executive Director

dhull@summerlandchamber.com

Ron Kubek, President, Summerland Chamber

ron@lightningrockwinery.com

“We are proud to be part of this valley-wide initiative. It’s great to see all our chambers getting together to help all our communities. Using our combined experience, resources and ideas, we can survive and then thrive in this interesting time for both business and residents alike,” said Kubek.

Peachland Chamber of Commerce

Patrick Von Minsel, Representative

peachlandchamber@gmail.com

“This is an important initiative and the Peachland Chamber is proud to be a member of this. It allows us to pool our resources and contacts to deal with this as one voice,” Patrick Van Minsel the Peachland Chamber representative says.

Greater Westside Board of Trade

Calvin Barr, Vice-president

cal@turn-keyfallprotection.com

“With accurate information, collaboration, and some creative innovating ideas. WE GOT THIS!”

 Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

Jeffrey Robinson, Presidentjrobinson@rihlaw.com

“This is our expertise,” says Jeffrey Robinson, President of the Kelowna Chamber. “While governments play a key role, chambers are singularly positioned to drive local economic recovery: we know how to do this, we’ve got the structure, and the people.”

Dan Rogers, Executive Director, dan@kelownachamber.org

“We are uniquely positioned with our bricks and mortar chamber offices not only in the Okanagan, but in over 120 rural and urban communities around the province. Our network is singularly equipped to help BC’s economy get back on its feet. Chambers have access to thousands of British Columbians who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Our staff members, board directors, business member leaders and partners are prepared to move mountains.” Dan Rogers, Executive Director, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

  Lake Country Chamber of Commerce

Kimberley Kristiansen, Manager, manager@lakecountrychamber.com

Jennifer Madsen, President, says “As a small community, we value our Chamber partnerships throughout the valley. This collaborative and forward-thinking initiative sends a strong message of unity and by working together, we will have a much better chance of revitalizing not only our business sectors, but our communities as a whole.”

 Vernon Chamber of Commerce

Kristin Kempton, President

Krystin.kempton@nixonwenger.com

“Chambers of commerce have been the leading voice of business in the Okanagan for more than 100 years and we have the people, the expertise and a passion for this tremendous region,” said Krystin Kempton, Greater Vernon Chamber President.

  Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce

Clyde MacGregor, General Manager

enderbychamber@gmail.com

“Information fights fear. Accessible, accurate information gives businesses the tools they need to fight fear and focus on maintaining the local businesses we love… which gives us all hope that a better day will soon dawn.”

Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre

Patti Noonan, Executive Director

manager@aschamber.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GWBOT – KCC We Got This release Ap 22 FINAL