Chamber of Commerce launches Small Business Week

Small Business Week starts locally on October 19

By KIRAN MALIK-KHAN, Connect Weekly

The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce will be launching Small Business Week from October 19 through to October 22, and on the agenda is a litany of events catering to different topics, and individuals. Incorporated in 1973, The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce has been a leading advocate for local businesses. It has an estimated 550 current members; and is working diligently to grow membership.

Alexis Foster, Communications & Marketing Manager, joined the Chamber earlier this year in February, and explained how the organization works.

Small Business Week 2015

“The Chamber works with the Alberta Chambers as well as the Canadian Chambers to advocate on behalf of our membership (businesses) on policy issues which our membership identifies as important to them. For instance the Fort McMurray Chamber is highly involved in the development of policies regarding the construction of Highway 63, minimum wage, and new construction on the Energy East Pipeline. We will be attending the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting in October to help address these policies and develop the Canadian Chamber policy book.”

“Aside from advocacy on federal, provincial and municipal levels the chamber provides several value added programs to our members. We have discounts on fuel, office supplies, conferencing services, MasterCard/Visa merchant rates and insurance,” she said.

“We are now advertising in our e-newsletter for our members. We have also started a Coffee and Conversations program where we invite our members to visit the Chamber office and discuss how their business is doing, any challenges they are having, or just to come in and chat. We really want to be able to offer more services that provide value to our members but in order for us to do that we need to be able to talk openly with our members to discover what they believe is truly a value added program or services. This is a big part of why we have changed our Small Business Week to include a full week of different sessions which we hope will help our members during this economic environment,” Foster continued.

Thus, different sessions range in topics from networking, working with Millennials, to fostering relationships.

“We’ve had phenomenal support so far and we have ATB Financial, Don Scott Law Office, MNP, Community Futures, Economic Development, and the business licensing department and the new Business Innovation Centre involved in our week. The community appreciates Small Business Week. Everyone wants to work together. We have seen it before in Fort McMurray. We have such a great, giving community and they want to work together to see our businesses succeed.”

“If people support local, you grow local and that is what we really need in a time like this. We need to work together, pool our resources and help out our partners where we can,” said Foster.

In sum, Foster noted, supporting Small Business Week, and strengthening the sector is beneficial on many levels.
“We just really hope to see a lot of people come out to our sessions. If you can’t attend a session try to visit our Small Business Showcase and see what we have available here. If people support local, you grow local and that is what we really need in a time like this. We need to work together, pool our resources and help out our partners where we can,” said Foster.

You can register for sessions by visiting Eventbrite, or by calling: 780-743-3100.

– Connect Weekly –