New website offers versatility

The Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce’s new website offers a host of new features that can benefit your business.

The Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce’s new website offers a host of new features that can benefit your business.

Mission Chamber membership represents a cross section of all industries and organizations that operate in the Mission area.

Over two-thirds of the 460 members have less than five employees and a third of that group are home-based. As a reflection of the national small business stats, a growing number of members are self-employed women. Our members are entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks, self-motivated and conscious of where they spend their limited investment dollars. How does the chamber meet their needs?

Where value can come in the form of benefits, most members will agree that the network for business to business interaction, services that stimulate the local economy, and direct community promotion gives them their return on investment. With that the Mission Chamber of Commerce is proud to be able to meet these needs on the virtual level as well.

The new www.missionchamber.bc.ca allows the public to interact with the Mission business community. Check out the site for community events, local sales, employment opportunities and all that members have to offer. It allows users to e-mail members, refer them to friends as well as connect to member’s social networks. With an average of 1,500 views a week, the Mission Chamber site is one of the most visited sites in Mission. Analytics show that most users reside beyond Mission’s borders so opportunities for members can be far reaching.

For members the new website offers them control of their information as well as ability to brand, post photos and videos.

“For small businesses that struggle to find advertising dollars, this is an exciting way to get your message out,” states Chamber president Helen Secco. “A long time in the making, this site is a powerful tool for our members.”

In addition, the site will allow members to communicate with each other easily, relay their concerns in discussion forums and receive real time analytics on who is looking for them through the site portal.

For new businesses it offers a quick way to launch into the community. Not only will they be instantly on the directory when they join the chamber, but they will also have their information sent out on the chamber’s well-connected social networks.

Go to www.MissionChamber.bc.ca.

Increase minimum wage, says chamber

Having put minimum wage on the table during liberal leadership debates, the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce calls on all provincial leadership candidates to present a plan to increase the minimum wage. Plans should include a gradual increase over the next two years with increases beyond 2013 being tied to CPI.

“Business owners need to be able to plan for increases to the minimum wage,” states Helen Secco, Chamber president. “The lack of increase over the last nine years has left wages stagnant compared to inflation. Now with discussion to increase the wage, businesses will need to rethink staffing commitments.

Uncertainty on how this will be accomplished is leaving many businesses unsure of their employees’ futures and their ability to hire.”

The Mission Chamber surveyed its membership and 78 per cent of respondents wanted an increase to the minimum wage. Interestingly, 46 per cent wanted gradual increases and 27 per cent wanted to see an immediate increase. For over half of respondents, labour costs ranged from 30-40 per cent. Respondents represented a cross section of industry sectors and only eight per cent paid staff minimum wages.

“Our members prefer to see certainty from government over the direction of [minimum] wage. They do not want it to be a political flag waved during election seasons,” remarks Secco.

The Mission Chamber also would prefer the cessation of the training wage. With only 2.3 per cent of workers in B.C. receiving minimum wage and most moving from it within the first year of employment, it can be understood that the minimum wage is being used by employers as the training wage already.

The chamber recognizes any increase to minimum wage will affect the final cost of goods to consumers.