Local realtors delivered a pile of toys to the Salvation Army last week that will be distributed to needy kids in the region during the holidays. (Submitted photo)

Local realtors delivered a pile of toys to the Salvation Army last week that will be distributed to needy kids in the region during the holidays. (Submitted photo)

Business notes: Cowichan realtors make season special for children

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

Local realtors did their part to make this Christmas the best it could be for the unfortunate kids in the region.

Wendy Shaw, a realtor with Sutton Group West Coast Realty, delivered a pile of toys that she gathered from realtors to the Salvation Army that was distributed to children in need in the Cowichan Valley.

Shaw said the act of kindness from the realtors from numerous companies during the festive season has become an annual tradition, and a way to show the community that realtors do a lot more than sell houses and property.

“We didn’t collect as much this year as we have done in the past because we used to have an event where the realtors would gather and donate toys, but we couldn’t do that this year because of COVID-19 health protocols,” she said.

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“Think local, go local, find it close to home,” is the theme behind the upcoming shop-local campaign from the Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber secured a $65,000 grant through the federal government’s Strategic Activities Program, which is administered by the BC Chamber of Commerce for programs across the province that promote ‘shop local’ and are designed to strengthen the local economy.

The campaign involves the development of shopthetown.ca, a comprehensive online directory for all businesses and organizations within the chamber’s district which includes Saltair, Chemainus, Thetis Island and Crofton.

Residents will easily be able to find all products, supplies, services, venues and attractions available locally.

A regional events calendar will complement the directory and a job board will be added to promote local opportunities and assist businesses in hiring new staff.

The directory will launch at the beginning of February, 2022.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be one of the 88 recipients awarded a grant under this program,” said chamber president, Stephanie Ballantyne.

“This generous grant will allow us to create two legacy products which will help promote local in our communities for years to come.”

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Paper Excellence, which owns the Crofton mill, has donated $50,000 to the Pacific Salmon Foundation to support regeneration and recovery of wild Pacific salmon.

These funds will support the foundation’s community salmon program, which supports volunteer and community-driven organizations that undertake salmon conservation and restoration projects.

“With half of Pacific salmon populations in a serious state of decline, we welcome the generous donation from Paper Excellence, which will advance vital community-based salmon enhancement and conservation activities,” said Michael Meneer, president and CEO of Pacific Salmon Foundation.

“The Community Salmon Program supports more than 300 volunteer-led programs in B.C. with dedicated individuals committed to improving salmon habitat and survival.”

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Several local organizations will benefit from Mosaic Forest Management’s annual Season of Giving campaign.

This year, the forest company will donate $37,000 to community and food programs through organizations across Vancouver Island, including the Cowichan Valley Basket Society, the Lake Cowichan 50+ Activity Centre, Cowichan Valley School District 79 through Nourish Cowichan Society, and the school lunch programs at Lake Cowichan School and Palsson School.

“Mosaic’s sponsorships and donations program supports numerous events and projects in coastal B.C. communities every year,” a press release from the company said.

“Mosaic is honoured to work closely with its neighbours on initiatives that have far-reaching benefits to the community.”

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Island Savings is giving $67,000 to organizations that are “good for business” on Vancouver Island and throughout the Southern Gulf Islands

Over four weeks, donations are being distributed by Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, to organizations that help local businesses keep growing.

These gifts of support are part of Island Savings’s year of Simple Generosity, in which $1 million is being distributed to individuals, families, non-profits and businesses throughout B.C.

In their final round of donations, entitled “Good for Business,” Island Savings is focusing on entrepreneurs in the communities they serve.

Instead of choosing only a few businesses to receive direct funding, Island Savings is instead making donations to organizations that can reach many more local businesses through their programs and services.

The recipients include the Women’s Enterprise Centre, Community Futures BC, VIATEC, and Innovation Island.

“We talk to our business members every day and while many feel more positive about future prospects, they remain entangled by the financial and resource constraints brought by the pandemic,” said Kendall Gross, president of Island Savings.

“Within our Simple Generosity program, we are boosting their opportunities to access education, resources, mentorship and other forms of support by funding programs that help owners grow and run a thriving business.”

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