During a Creston town council meeting, Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce president Melanie Joy asked for the council’s support as it starts discussions around an economic development vision.
“And we are really starting the beginning of those conversations,” said Joy.
Joy says the Chamber is starting from the ground up.
“The chamber is just gearing up into kind of a new year, and we want to see how we can partner with the other economic development partners here in the valley.”
Originally, the letter Joy presented was asking for funding from the council, but she rescinded that request, instead just asking for a letter of support.
“We also asked for support from our RDCK members just to start the conversation. We’re applying for a grant for a consultant that can ask some of the basic questions. What does our economic development look like currently and how can it look differently in the future if we can share resources and just kind of what that structure might look like?”
“Creston has had different structures in the past with economic development, but we really do need a conversation just to see what the possibilities are out there.”
While they look to the future, Joy says their current goal is their first step.
“Our biggest priority this year is reconnecting with the businesses in the Creston Valley and letting them know that we are back on our feet and want to support and advocate for the businesses here in the Creston Valley. ”
Additionally, Joy said there could be potential benefits in joining the Chamber with other partners.
“The tourism center, which is being run currently through RDCK, the Creston Valley Tourism Society, and also the economic development, which is through KES at the moment, and then the Chamber of Commerce: those are kind of the couple of partners that we want to start the conversations with, but it could go broader than that,” explained Joy.
“We really just want to start asking the question of what that can look like.”
The town council was happy to provide a letter of support.
“I know they’re reexamining how they’re doing things and would like to work with an advisor,” said Mayor Arnold DeBoon.
“So putting in for the grant is something we definitely support.”