• Chamber Champions rallies AVCC members around businesses most impacted by COVID-19

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    Program to help businesses, charities has $100,000 goal

    KENTVILLE, N.S. — When it comes to the Annapolis Valley business community, actions are speaking louder than words in helping those negatively impacted by COVID-19.
    The Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce (AVCC) has introduced a new membership package aimed at supporting not only area businesses affected by the pandemic but charitable organizations as well.

    AVCC president Darryl Pike said member businesses that can afford to are being encouraged to invest $1,000 in a Chamber Champion membership for 2020. Existing members can top-up their membership or new businesses can join as founding Chamber Champions members. Pike said the goal of the campaign is $100,000, of which $4,685 has already been raised.

    Proceeds will be used to purchase gift certificates from those businesses most affected by COVID-19, whether they were forced to close or make significant adjustments to the way they operate. The intent is to help offset lost revenue and increased costs.

    The chamber will then donate the gift certificates to charitable organizations in the Valley to help with fundraising activities. The pandemic has also impacted the ability of several not-for-profit organizations to fundraise.

    “The goal is to try to help spread out the wealth,” Pike said. “We’re doing it for the betterment of our communities and our region.”

    As president of the AVCC, Pike recognizes that the organization is bigger than one individual or business, or a group of individuals and businesses: it’s about the sustaining the overall wellbeing of the Annapolis Valley by helping to promote an environment where businesses can thrive.

    The motion to use the Chamber Champions membership program in 2020 to help those affected by COVID-19 passed unanimously when put to a vote by AVCC board members.

    “These kinds of things, because it is a volunteer position, make me feel good about doing such work in our region,” Pike said.

    Chamber Champions evolution
    The concept was introduced in November 2019 as chamber volunteers undertook strategic planning for the coming year. It was to include discounted prices for chamber event tickets and a free ticket to all chamber events. The plan also included introducing some new events.

    The intent was for the free tickets to be passed on to non-members. The goal was to help increase overall event attendance - and membership - strengthening the AVCC and building its brand through showcasing what the organization is doing for Valley businesses. When the pandemic derailed those plans, the focus evolved into to a COVID-19 relief effort.

    The AVCC currently represents 400 member businesses and their employees throughout Kings and eastern Annapolis counties.
    Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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    For more information on the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce or the Chamber Champions program, visit www.annapolisvalleychamber.ca.