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Economic recovery advisors hired to help local businesses

Kootenay Employment Services (KES) has hired two economic recovery advisors to support businesses in the Creston Valley and Cranbrook area.

KES officials said Amy Hotchkiss and Kris Dickeson will help businesses connect to existing support under the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior of B.C. Rural Business and Community Recovery Program.

Their tasks will include guiding businesses through accessing support, delivering one-on-one coaching, virtual workshops and working with local community organizations to bring economic recovery support to the area.

According to KES officials, The Rural Business and Community Recovery Program is funded by the ETSI-BC and the Province of British Columbia. The program is delivered locally through partnerships between Kootenay Employment Services, Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Golden Community Coop.

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Dickeson said she will be covering Cranbrook, Kimberley and surrounding communities and will bring 20 years of media and marketing to the table.

“I am pleased to have this opportunity to connect with the diverse variety of employers and business owners in this area,” Dickeson said. “For over a year they have been forced to deal with unimaginable obstacles that have
changed how businesses operate. Cranbrook-Kimberley area business owners are strong, determined and want to succeed. Our goal is to help them achieve this.”

Hotchkiss will be based out of the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake region. She said her background is in international economic development and wants to help grow the community.

“I am looking forward to meeting local business owners and hearing firsthand the challenges they are facing,” Hotchkiss said. “The Creston Valley is overflowing with potential to be a place where people can afford to live and work. We hope to help the business community and help them grow.:

KES officials said Hotchkiss and Dickeson will join Melanie Rowland from Golden and Theresa Wood from the Columbia Valley.

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