If starting a business or maintaining an existing one, you need to network. How large or broad that network is depends on the business and you market area. Businesses sometimes only feel they need to network with their customers or clients but the reality is they must network in the broader economy to really understand what is driving or influencing the market in their regional area.
Knowing how your industry is doing in the regional area and who the players are is important. Being involved is essential so that your voice is heard and decisions can be based on sound information.
On Vancouver Island one can join their local Chamber of Commerce, which offers many programs and services as well as being an advocate for small business. Valuable business information and assistance is also available through the Chambers of Commerce throughout the Island. Another source of broader economic information is the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance. Among other things they provide regional leadership for regional business attraction, retention and expansion.
Each year VIEA hosts an Economic Summit with keynote speakers, workshops, and seminars focusing on the latest trends and issues facing the Vancouver Island economy. This summit also provides an outstanding opportunity to network with the over 500 delegates representing every industry, community, and corner of the island.
The issues that face business and communities on the island are best tackled in a coordinated manner, reducing the amount of duplication of effort and cost. This also raises the profile, increasing the impact of the effort to resolve the issue.
No matter what your business or organization you work for, It is always an advantage to look at the bigger picture in order to understand what is influencing the decision-making.
Below are links to the sources mention in this blog:
Chambers of Commerce
- Alberni Valley avcoc.com
- Bamfield bamfieldchamber.com
- Campbell River & District campbellriverchamber.ca
- Chemainus & District chemainus.bc.ca
- Comox Valley comoxvalleychamber.com
- Discovery Islands discoveryislands.ca
- Duncan-Cowichan duncancc.bc.ca
- Gabriola Island gabriolaisland.org
- Galiano Island galianoisland.com
- Gold River goldriver.ca
- Ladysmith ladysmithcofc.com
- Mayne Island mayneislandchamber.ca
- Nanaimo (Greater) nanaimochamber.bc.ca
- Parksville & District parksvillechamber.com
- Pender Island penderislandchamber.com
- Port Hardy & District ph-chamber.bc.ca
- Port McNeill & District portmcneill.net
- Port Renfrew portrenfrewcommunity.com
- Qualicum Beach qualicum.bc.ca
- Saanich Peninsula peninsulachamber.ca
- Sooke Region sookeregionchamber.com
- Tofino – Long Beach tofinochamber.org
- Ucluelet uclueletinfo.com
- Victoria (Greater) victoriachamber.ca
- West Shore westshore.bc.ca
- Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot cfac.ca
- Community Futures Cowichan cfcowichan.ca
- Community Futures Nanaimo cfnanaimo.org
- Community Futures Strathcona cfstrathcona.ca
- Community Futures Mt. Waddington cfmw.ca
Vancouver Island Economic Alliance
- VIEA viea.ca
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