Chamber in Transition

The Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce is a shining example of how great things can grow out of an egregious situation.  In 2015 without warning or consultation the Town of Port McNeill made the unilateral decision to take back control of the Visitor Information Centre and stop funding the Chamber of Commerce (previously funded by 75% of business license money collected by the Town).  Besides terminating that essential funding other repercussions were the loss of a full time employee that managed the Chamber & Visitor’s Info Centre as well as office space.

Recently I sat down with Chamber President Gaby Wickstrom who is running the organization from her home office. Continue reading “Chamber in Transition”

The Sky’s The Limit

What does lunch on a glacier, tree top logging, medivacs and fire-fighting all have in common?  Guess no further — the answer inquisitive readers is West Coast Helicopters Maintenance & Contracting Ltd.

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Headquartered in Port McNeill with bases in Nanaimo, Bella Coola and Campbell River they’ve come a long way since two pilots, 1 engineer and 2 helicopters started off without a hangar or office back in 1993.

The original vision began as a lifestyle choice.  One of company’s owners Terry Eissfeldt laughs when he admits, “we all needed a job.” But more than that he says, “we saw the potential in building a business with the idea that although it was work, we all valued people and atmosphere.”  With that in mind their company motto has always been “safety, service & reliability.” Continue reading “The Sky’s The Limit”

Bloom Where You’re Planted 

Show of hands readers.  How many of you have met the new owner of the flower shop in Port McNeill called Flora Borealis ?  Good for you if you have. If you haven’t, take a few moments out of your day and  go introduce yourself to Tracey Little.  Tracey kindly took time out of her day on January 19th to chat with me about her new business.

K: I love the name of your store.  How did you come up with the name?

T: I’m obsessed by the northern lights so it was the first name I came up with – everyone liked it.

K: How long have you been on the North Island?

T: Just over a year.

K: Do you have previous entrepreneurial experience?

T: My first business was selling my own crafts, sewing and jewelry.  I’m selling a few prototype necklaces in the store right now.  I worked for a florist in Grade 12 and the year after I graduated.  And I got my first wild flower book at about 7 or 8-years-old.  I know the botanical names of many flowers. Continue reading “Bloom Where You’re Planted “