The Chamber (DICC) is a group of local business owners, managers, leaders of non-profits and volunteer organizations who meet monthly to discuss the goings on for Quadra and surrounding islands and is led by an elected board of volunteer directors. Each meeting is open to all members and we openly welcome anyone interested in becoming a member. Our current membership stands at over 100!
Aside from the opportunity to network with fellow islanders, there are other more tangible benefits of membership such as insurance, medical and health benefit programs for small businesses, brochure racking on our local ferries, stores, and Visitor’s Info Centre. (See links below)
A sometimes-heard perception about the Chamber is that it is strictly a tourism development board. While tourism is certainly at the heart of a lot of discussions, we are also working on forestry, fishing, hiking and biking trails, seniors housing, rental accommodations, transportation and a multitude of other topics. The marketing activities of the tourism board (which was a sub-committee of the Chamber) in the past years have clearly had an effect, and we can all see the increase in economic activity on the island.
Tourism marketing has been put on a back burner for the time being while we focus more on broader economic development. Aside from representation to local, regional and provincial governments, through membership funding, the Chamber has been able to offer financial support for various causes such as:
$1,300 towards the senior’s housing initiative.
$10,000 for portable outhouses to be placed at various strategic hiking & biking trailheads.
$1,000 annually for Canada Day celebrations.
$500 Newcomers welcome meet and greet.
$1,500 supporting the Visitors Information Booth.
$1,000 Quadra Island Food Bank.
$2,000 Quadra Island Cycling Coalition.
One of the hottest topics lately has been the desperate lack of rental accommodation for locals and seasonal staff required for various businesses. Without going into too much detail, there is an interesting new mechanism introduced by the provincial government, where the tourists visiting our region will pay a small surcharge on their accommodations. These funds go directly back to this community for marketing and development of tourism services, but most importantly; a portion of these funds can be used for the development of affordable housing. This has the potential to alleviate some of the issues we are currently facing. More information on this can be found online: www.destinationbc.ca/what-we-do/funding-sources/mrdt/.
I invite anyone who is interested in learning more about the Chamber to contact one of the Directors listed below, or better yet, come out to one of our regular monthly meetings held every 3rd Thursday of each month.
Your current board, currently consisting of:
Lynden McMartin – President
Valerie Stapinsky – Vice President
Judy Hagen – Treasurer
Mark Lasby – Secretary
Sarah Bradshaw – Director
Coleen Marlow – Director
Andreas Hagen – Director