The new Tourism Smithers vehicle was largely responsible for the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce 2018 deficit. (Thom Barker photo)

Chamber reflects on $280,000 of work promoting business in Smithers

Smithers District Chamber of Commerce posts $21K operating deficit for 2018.

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce acclaimed its 2019-2020 treasurer and four board members at its annual general meeting (AGM) March 21.

The new treasurer is Trever Morris of Pacific Employee Benefits. Morris grew up in Houston, is a certified financial planner and has lived in Smithers with his wife and three children since 2012. He replaces Bruce Hutchison in the treasurer role.

Hutchinson, of Applied Fire Solutions, will now fill a director position on the board that had been vacant. Brian Atherton, Baron Carter and George Whitehead were re-acclaimed to their director roles for another two years.

At the lunch meeting held at Pioneer Activity Centre, Michael Mehr of the accounting firm Edmison Mehr reported on the Chamber’s 2018 financial position.

He noted that 2018 ended with a deficit of $21,179 on a total budget of $280,141, attributed mainly to the purchase of the new “Get Good Natured” Tourism Smithers vehicle and an increase in advertising and promotion expenses.

Heather Gallagher, Chamber manager, said the marketing money was well-spent because it had a high impact for Smithers. Advertising in 2018 included expenditures on a double-page centre spread in BC Business Magazine’s inaugural “City Guide,” a TV commercial, a mobile-friendly website, the “Put Your Money Where Your House Is” shop local campaign and the tourism vehicle.

Despite the 2018 deficit, Mehr reported the Chamber’s overall financial position is in the black with cash on hand at $79,880 and net assets of $113,958.

In her annual report, Gallagher highlighted a number of Chamber initiatives, including the Smithers Secondary School entrepreneur program and mobile ice cream parlour, the Northwest Trade Expo, Project Comeback which seeks to attract young professionals to the Bulkley Valley, the Community and Business Awards, and the new Smithers Music initiative and website.

Gallagher also honoured Susan Bundock, the Chamber’s administrative assistant who will celebrate 22 years with the organization in April.

“From her knowledge of visitor centre operations and student training, to her excellently executed day-to-day operational skills, we thank Susan for her dedication and contributions,” Gallagher said.

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Michael Mehr, of Edmison Mehr, reports on the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce financial position during the organization’s annual general meeting at Pioneer Seniors Activity Centre March 21. (Thom Barker photo)

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