Upcoming Events


Welcome New Members


RESULTS PRESENTATION and TRADESHOW Business Retention and Expansion Survey

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - 11:15

75 Businesses Surveyed
roughly 1 out of 6 businesses participated

(based on CIty's business licence numbers)

Business are optimistic about Fernie's economic outlook.

Learn more: 

Fernie Chamber of Commerce will be presenting the results of the Business Retention and Expansion Survey and hosting a half-day conference and business to business tradeshow on 

September 15 at 1:00

Park Place Lodge

This event is open to the public.

Please rsvp to members [at] ferniechamber.com. 


Presentation Scehdule 1:00: 

Fernie BR&E Results Overview

Sarah Breen, Researcher, Selkirk College

In 2011, Sarah Breen was offered a PhD position at Simon Fraser University that included working as a research assistant on a national rural development project. She was designated as the field researcher for the Kootenays and from her first visit to the region, she knew she wanted to make it her home. Sarah’s research eventually led her to the folks at the Applied Research & Innovation Centre at Selkirk College and the more she learned about the projects and potential at Selkirk College, the more she wanted to get involved.

Municipal Tools to Support Business Development

Don Schaffer, interim CAO, City of Fernie

Don Schaffer is the Interim Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Fernie. After spending nearly 20 years as a journalist he spent 10 years at the City of Prince George, two as deputy city clerk and eight as city clerk. He moved to Victoria in 2008 to be Manager of Legislative Services; since leaving the City in 2014 he has consulted with local governments on Vancouver Island and has spent time in Kitimat, Merritt and Oak Bay on term appointments prior to coming to Fernie. He is an active member of the Local Government Management Association for 18 years and has  presented to conferences, provided educational sessions to staff and spoken at Local Government Leadership Academy sessions for elected officials.

Moving Forward

Sheila Byers, Chamber Board President


Business-Business Tradeshow 2:00

The B2B tradeshow is a chance for your business to speak with a number of business service providers in our area. From government services, to banking, to coaching. Find out what tools are available to help you grow your bottom line and build a strong business. 

Confirmed exhibitors include: 


TD Canada Trust


Perfect Circle Management

Western Financial Group

Please contact Renne at 250.423.6868 if you would like to be an exhibitor. Limited spots available. 



About the BR&E Project

The Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey was conducted within the Fernie and area during the Winter/Spring 2016. 
The project was led by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce with support from the City of Fernie and the Columbia Basin Trust. Interviews were completed by a local research consultancy firm and BRE Lead (Chamber Executive Director). A BRE Advisory Committee including a Chamber Board Members, a City Administration representative, and community business leaders helped guide the process. 
The Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) provided training, data analysis and report writing support.
BRE is an action-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. It promotes job growth by helping communities to learn about the concerns of, as well as opportunities for, local businesses and to set priorities for projects to address those needs. Ultimately, communities will have greater success in attracting new businesses if existing businesses are content with local economic conditions and community support. Business development and job creation are key factors in fostering healthy and vibrant communities—depending on the characteristics of a community’s economy, anywhere from 40 to 90 per cent of new jobs come from existing businesses.

Goals of the project: 

  1. Identify the needs, concerns, and opportunities of existing local businesses in order that, where appropriate, local action can be taken to respond to the businesses' needs or development opportunities. 
  2. Learn of future plans of the region's local businesses with respect to expansion, relocation, and /or retention, as well as following up where assistance can be provided.
  3. Demonstrate the Chamber's supportive role to commerce in Fernie and build relationships with the entire business community. 
  4. Encourage the business communitiy's active involvement in economic development. 
A business to business tradeshow will be held immediatly following the presentations.

Proud Community Partner