Kicking Horse Chamber looks to bring Golden together

It was a busy year in 2012 for the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce, and things are only going to be busier in 2013.

It was a busy year in 2012 for the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce, and things are only going to be busier in 2013, according to the president of the Kicking Horse Country Chamber, Lori Baxendale.

“Looking back in 2012 we made a concentrated effort to focus on policy and advocacy. I think we were successful in that,” she said.

Baxendale pointed to the four-way partnership between the chamber, the Town of Golden, Golden Area Initiatives, and Tourism Golden as being a strong relationship moving forward.

“What we are really looking forward to, is to continue partnerships and collaborations in the future…Partnerships and teamwork is essential for the future,” she said. “There is an overlap of interests in organizations to see businesses succeed in Golden. From a tourism, economic, town and chamber perspective, there are many issues we can work on.”

One area the chamber is looking at for the future is better highway signage.

“We have to see how we can get people into this community, and having them stay here, so they see what we have to offer,” she said.

Baxendale also pointed to the success of the Golden lifestyles show which was held for the first time in 2012. Almost 1,000 people came to the event to see a wide variety of businesses.

“We are really looking forward to that, to get 1,000 people through the door for those businesses. I think that one of the great parts of the show is that there are no limits to who can exhibit. If you have something to promote then this is the event for you,” she said. “This is truly for everyone.”

She also said that receiving feedback from both businesses and shoppers is only going to make the chamber stronger moving forward.

“We value feedback. We can’t fine tune things without feedback. We want to find out what people want us to do for local businesses,” she said.

Shopping local all year long is something Baxendale hopes people will do in 2013.

“Shopping local is not just about Christmas shopping. The chamber has to be an important part of a culture of shopping local in Golden all year round,” she said.

Baxendale added that the chamber is working hard to support all business in Golden.

“The chamber’s most important function is supporting businesses of all kinds in Golden; however we also need people to support the chamber. It is critical that people purchase memberships because you are not just supporting the chamber, you are supporting the organization that helps small business in Golden,” she said. ”If you believe in small business in Golden, and want to see small business in Golden succeed, if you want to ensure that small business in Golden has a voice, then we urge people to support the chamber.”

She encouraged people to join the chamber in 2013.

“Memberships are not the only way to support the Chamber of Commerce. Volunteering by being on the board of directors is also helpful. We are in a new year and our annual general meeting is around the corner. If people want to support small businesses in Golden then they could think about being on our board of directors,” she said.

“It is also important for the chamber to stay modern and progressive. I really have to congratulate the manager of the chamber, Ruth Hamilton, for what she has brought to table in terms of social media. She does an excellent job of feeding all of our important information about our members, events, program and services through Facebook and Twitter.”