Chamber members report staff, types of work, areas of growth 

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An interesting picture emerges of Whistler's business community and employment in the Whistler Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Membership Survey.

One hundred and twenty-two businesses contributed to the survey, 16 per cent of the Chamber's 752 members, which was sent out in March.

The majority of respondents coming from Business and Professional Services, Accommodation, and Food and Beverage (each at 14.9 per cent), followed by Construction and Trades (11.6 per cent), and Activity and Recreation (8.3 per cent). Other sectors responding included Education, Real Estate and government.

Asked when their businesses opened in Whistler, the majority of survey participants (45) opened between 1990 and 1999, 34 opened between 2000 and 2009, 19 opened between 1980 and 1989, 13 opened between 1966 and 1979, and 10 opened since 2010.

Most respondents, 66 per cent, were for-profit corporations, 16 per cent were sole proprietorships, 12 per cent were partnerships and six per cent not-for-profits. The majority of business owners were male (44 per cent), with female and co-ownership between male and female at 28 per cent each.

When asked to state how they stay up-to-date with general business information, industry news and trends, respondents stated they followed the national media (42 per cent), social media and local media equally (23 per cent), and industry associations (12 per cent).

In terms of what stage each business was at, most said they were established (59), 22 said they were in a growth stage, 17 said they were expanding, 17 said they were declining, two were at the start-up stage, and one was at the seed stage.

When asked to confirm the total number of employees in the businesses surveyed during winter and summer seasons the breakdown is as follows:

Winter

Some 12 respondents have one employee; 34 have two-to-four employees; 20 have five-to-nine employees; 12 have 10-14 employees; 11 have 15-19 employees; four have 20-24 employees; one has 25-29 employees; 11 have 30-49 employees; 11 have 50-149 employees; and four have over 150 employees.

Summer

Some 11 respondents have one employee; nine have two-to-four employees; 21 have five-to-nine employees; 17 have 10-14 employees; seven have 15-19 employees; five have 20-24 employees; seven have 25-29 employees; five have 30-49 employees; 14 have 50-149 employees; and four have over 150 employees.

In terms of the nationalities of seasonal employees:

Winter

Some 53 respondents have hired from Australia; 117 hired from Canada; 19 hired from Czech Republic; 17 hired from Japan; 12 hired from the Philippines; 30 hired from New Zealand; 12 hired from South Korea; and 47 respondents hired from the United Kingdom.

Summer

Some 51 respondents have hired from Australia; 115 hired from Canada; 19 hired from Czech Republic; 17 respondents hired from Japan; 11 hired from the Philippines; 30 hired from New Zealand; 11 hired from South Korea; and 47 respondents hired from the United Kingdom.

In terms of programs and services offered by the Chamber the most popular was the Whistler Spirit Pass Program, followed by the Chamber's advocacy work on behalf of the business community and the reputational value of being a Chamber member (tied), with the networking potential offered by Chamber events such as luncheons, Women of Whistler. Golfing events came in third followed by educational opportunities.

"The majority of businesses who responded have been in operation for over 20 years and are well established in the market," said Chamber president Fiona Famulak. "Not only must we support them in their next stage of development but also we have an oppcortunity to engage that same group, for example, through training, education and mentorship programs, to coach other entrepreneurs and business owners in the earlier stages of the business cycle."

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