The Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce applied for funding for two projects through the Northern Community Economic Development program. The one project for an empty retail spaces tour in the downtown core did not receive the funding. — Lauren Collins photo

Qualicum Beach chamber working on project between biz, students

Social media training rolling out in the fall

The Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce received funding for one of its two applications with the Northern Community Economic Development through the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Chamber CEO Anne Dodson said the chamber received $5,240 in funding for a two-part social media training bootcamp, but was denied $1,955 in funding for an empty retail spaces tour.

The two-part social media training bootcamp, she said, would be for local businesses and not-for-profits. Dodson said she recently attended a bootcamp in Nanaimo called “Keep It Simple Social Media,” and she said it was really beneficial.

“It’s really pointed training, it’s how to get this done, how to do it so it doesn’t take over your life as an entrepreneur, how to schedule your social media.”

Dodson said for small business owners, if they’re doing any social media work, it’s not strategized. With this bootcamp, she said, business owners can have all their social media work for the week done in 30 to 60 minutes.

The second part of the training, Dodson said, would have students from Kwalikum Secondary School team up with participating business owners to work together to come up with a schedule where students could spend an hour a week with the businesses to help them implement the work from the bootcamp.

“They (the students) will hold their hand a little bit, and go, ‘Ok, this is your strategy, this is how you want to implement it and this is how you came up with it in the workshop, and I’m here to show you where to click.’ It’s so inherent for the high school students.”

She said the chamber is looking for more opportunites to be more connected with the high school students and help them get ready for their careers.

“It should bridge some gaps there between our business community and the kids and also with our not-for-profit organizations. I think there will be a lot to learn on both ends.”

The funding from the NCED will help offset the costs for the workshop, said Dodson, adding she hopes the the program will roll out in early fall when the students are back in school.

The second proposal the chamber was asking for was funding for an empty retail spaces tour. The tour would have building owners, chamber staff and Town of Qualicum Beach staff tour empty retail spaces in the downtown area in the hopes of creating a database of sorts for potential businesses to find spaces to use.

Dodson said the chamber would like to go ahead with the empty retail spaces tour at some point but it’s not in the budget right now. She said it could go ahead after the social media training bootcamp is rolled out.

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