Kim Miller walked into the Chamber of Commerce, thinking she was going to volunteer with the visitors centre. That serendipitous mistake in 1999 set her on a career path to strengthening local businesses in her community.
Miller had just moved from Toronto with two young boys when she offered to volunteer her time with the Chamber.
“I thought the best way to find out about the community was to go to the visitors centre and volunteer,” she says.
She quickly realized her mistake but stayed on for about a year, after which the former Chamber of Commerce manager left and Miller was asked to step into the role.
“It was the business people who made me want to stay,” Miller says.
“Powell River is an amazing place to live and work, and the business community is so diverse.”
Miller has found the role to be a great match for her outgoing personality and desire to help local entrepreneurs.
“I don't want a job that’s sitting in an office, where there is no one to interact with,” Miller says.
“Many small businesses need assistance in a variety of ways, I’m able to provide that, or know another organization to point them towards.”
The Chamber currently has roughly 400 members, a number that’s grown over the years, especially as local businesses take advantage of the health and dental benefits plan they offer.
“A lot of owners are realizing that they should give incentive to employees to keep them. An insurance plan can make a big difference,” Miller says.
“Covid especially has brought this to the forefront.”
The Chamber’s regular activities also include guest speakers, socials, and the annual awards event that recognizes the hard work of local businesses.
It also provides a number of benefits to its members, as well as promoting their businesses locally. Members can take advantage of preferred rates for e-commerce, credit and debit card processing, fuel and shipping rates, and travel-related offers.
Miller has seen much change in the business community over the years. In the last five to seven years, many new businesses have moved into the area, with younger people at the helm, and many have taken their products and services online.
“Today’s way of doing business is very different than just a few years ago; there are challenges as well as opportunities,” Miller says.
To learn more about how membership with the Powell River Chamber of Commerce can benefit your business, visit www.powellriverchamber.com.