Tom Henihan, Express Staff
In celebration of Small Business Week, Diane Chiasson, Economic Development Officer with Smoky River Regional Economic Development hosted a SRRED wine and cheese social at the McLennan Golden Age club on October 26.
A number of local business people and members of the McLennan Chamber of Commerce attended the gathering with guest speaker Dan Pearcy, CEO, Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce. Pearcy was accompanied by Tom Pura of GP Chamber’s marketing and communications.
One of the messages that Pearcy emphasized was that strong local chambers enhance a strong regional economic environment while at the same time acknowledging that each chamber has its own dynamics and distinct means of funding their organization.
“One of our objectives as a mid-size chamber is to ensure the growth of the smaller chambers around us and try to help the smaller communities around us to grow their businesses, to work as a region where we are all a lot stronger,” says Pearcy. “The more we can get going on in our region the better it is for all of us.”
Pearcy also spoke about the importance of putting on events such as mixers, golf tournaments, managing the petroleum show, and small business week.
“A lot of these events revolve around networking businesses together,” says Pearcy. “It’s about encouraging them to work together.” Other primary areas that Pearcy addressed were networking and marketing on behalf of chamber members, and advocacy, which involves lobbying all three levels of government.
“When trying to effect change, lobbying government for change in legislation in order to create better conditions for business to operate, that takes time,” says Pearcy. “When you get into policy development that is a very slow process.”
Following the general overview and presentation, those who attended had an opportunity over a snack and a glass of wine to ask questions and engage in informal discussion and exchange of ideas.