Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce CEO Colleen Clark announces plans for a new survey, amid COVID-19, for local businesses. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley chamber takes education efforts online

A local business advocacy organization will be offering webinars, instead of in-person events

As Langley Greater Chamber of Commerce continues efforts to keep in touch with Langley entrepreneurs and business operators, they’ve followed the lead of many companies and organizations that have moved their communication efforts with staff or members online.

Such is the case with their Lunch & Learn series that is traditionally held in the chamber’s Willoughby board room a few times a month, explained director of communications Jaclyn Van Den Berg.

“We have been working hard to turn some of our events into free webinars so our [chamber] members still have access to educational opportunities without leaving home,” she explained.

Along those lines, they’ve announced the cancellation of all events until the end of April, but confirmed they’ll host two webinars next month.

The first is on Wednesday, April 15, called Selling or Buying a Business in B.C., and will provide what Van Den Berg calls a roadmap for successfully navigating the sale or purchase of a small business.

“For many small business owners, their business is their most valuable financial asset, so maximizing its value and successfully completing a sale when the time comes is vitally important. For business buyers, the challenge is finding the right opportunity that will fit their financial and lifestyle goals,” she added.

Speakers in this workshop will also address the potential impacts the COVID-19 crisis might have on the market for the near term, and what business owners can be doing to maintain or increase the value of their businesses during these uncertain times.

The next session, being held on Wednesday, April 22 and called Tell Less, Ask More: Lead Like a Coach, will be lead by marketing and communications leader and coach Colin Macrae.

According to Macrae, there’s evidence that leaders who adopt a coaching-leadership style (rather than a traditional directive one) see increased performance, retention, and engagement.

Additionally, organizations with strong coaching cultures report above-average revenue growth, he insists.

His workshop will introduce participants to a coaching framework and equip them with what he describes as practical, actionable techniques to unlock the potential within an organizations and teams.

Typically, the chamber lunch workshops are held at the chamber offices and there is a $10 fee for chamber members, and $20 fee for non-members, and they’re asked to bring their own bag lunch. These sessions are free, and offered through the online platform of Zoom. They still run noon to 1:30 p.m. on the designated day.

Pre-registration is still required by calling 604-371-3770 or emailing events@langleychamber.com.

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Checking the pulse of local business

In the meantime, starting Friday (March 27), the chamber’s CEO Colleen Clark announced efforts to survey members every two weeks – through BCMindreader.com, – to find out how Langley businesses are faring in the age of COVID-19, and how their needs are evolving.

“This information will inform ongoing recommendations to government and, perhaps more importantly, help track the efficacy of government programs and initiatives as they roll out,” Clark said. “This is your best opportunity to be heard on an ongoing basis and get the support you need-in the days, weeks, and months ahead.”

She said the first survey was seen as successful in this effort.

“Our first COVID-19 business impact survey saw close to 8,000 responses [province-wide] and informed many of the existing supports for business already put forth by the B.C. government,” Clark concluded, noting the results will be shared.

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