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New Nelson & District Chamber Board faces challenge amid COVID-19 pandemic

The new board members include returning members Michael Borch of Baker Street Men’s Wear, Bob Hall of Selkirk College and Rebeckah Hornung of Whitewater Ski Resort and newly elected Darren Davidson of Davidson Communications & Media, Chris Drysdale of Cloudside Hotel and Sean Dooley of Hipperson’s Hardware.

Under the cloak of a world-wide pandemic, the Nelson Chamber of Commerce took to Zoom to host its annual general meeting.

The virtual meeting allowed the Chamber to elect a new board as well as plot a course to deal with the devastating impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Chamber will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the business community in the coming months to advocate for the assistance required to ensure businesses remain strong and viable within our region,” said Chamber President Tanya Finley.

Back for another two-year term as directors are Michael Borch of Baker Street Men’s Wear, Bob Hall of Selkirk College and Rebeckah Hornung of Whitewater Ski Resort.

The trio is joined by newly elected directors Darren Davidson of Davidson Communications & Media, Chris Drysdale of Cloudside Hotel and Sean Dooley of Hipperson’s Hardware.

“Considering all the uncertainty and turmoil that  is going on with the business community, we truly appreciate the interest and commitment these business leaders have demonstrated by putting their name forward. and to work on your behalf as part of the Chamber Board,” said a Chamber spokesperson.

“The Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce plays a prominent role in the Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership with Community Futures, the City of Nelson and Electoral areas E and F.”

Presenting the Chamber Financial Review Engagement, Treasurer Ed Olthof was pleased to report that the Chamber continued to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and stability through 2019.

“The Chamber Board and staff continues to adapt and manage revenues, investments and expenses in order to provide ongoing benefits to our membership and to the Greater Nelson Area and businesses within our Chamber catchment area,” Olthof said.

Nelson and District Chamber Executive Director Tom Thomson noted that the Chamber also plays a vital advocacy role for business through municipal and regional governments, and have been working closely with our partners at the Canadian Chamber and BC Chamber for years.

"This year has been especially important in advocating directly to the Premier, Finance Minister and Minister Michelle Mungall in developing support programs for business during the COVID 19 pandemic," Thomson said.

Many businesses in Nelson continued to operate during the past two months, including some restaurants offering takeout, retail operations moving to online sales and building trades.

Tuesday, food service, personal service, outdoor and retail industries are getting a road map to follow for reopening.

Thomson said the Chamber will continue to advocate for local business as it navigates this new phase.

“It's extremely important that we continue to hear from business on the issues they are facing, and to continue the active dialogue with senior levels of government."