The Bulkley Valley Pool and Recreation Centre hosted the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce annual holiday luncheon Dec. 14 and used the opportunity to announce a new program aimed at local businesses.
The Workplace Wellness Program gives employers three options for adding a new employee perk to their compensation packages.
Option 1 is a pay-for-play program wherein employers can sponsor their employees and families by paying a monthly invoice based on the total number of drop-in visits. Businesses with more than 15 employees will receive a five per cent discount.
Employers may also opt for a wellness allowance, which gives them 10 passes, memberships or programs to distribute to employees.
Finally, the pool is offering discounts on annual memberships for businesses with over 30 employees. Businesses that sign on for 10 memberships get 10 per cent off, 15 memberships are 15 per cent off and more than 20 memberships, 20 per cent.
Also, starting Feb. 1, 2023, the recreation centre and chamber are partnering to offer businesses with less than 25 employees the opportunity to take advantage of the same discounts on annual memberships by banding together with other small businesses as a group.
The centre says wellness programs increase employee performance and productivity, decrease absenteeism and WCB claims and help people be happy and balanced making work environments more positive and fun.
The Town of Smithers was also represented at the luncheon. Will George, the Town’s new economic development officer, took the opportunity to make a pitch for businesses to contribute feedback for a new shop local program in advance of the current Love Smithers and Love Northern BC program being phased out in 2024.
White boards were set up in one of the racquet courts and sticky notes were provided to collect suggestions.
“We want to hear from the businesses that are participating on the boards here to see what some of the challenges are, we want input into what the challenges with Love Smithers have been and what some of the best results have been,” he said.
Love Northern BC is a Northern Development Initiative Trust-funded project set up at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to support small businesses.
Following a brief meeting for the chamber board to approve its 2023 operational budget, guests were invited to enjoy an Indian cuisine lunch provided by Foodie Heaven and climb the rock wall to win prizes.
The grand prize, a $1,200 advertising package from The Interior News, was won by Agnes Pion whose new business Freespace Solutions provides professional organizing services.