Members will decide future

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The future of the Falher-based Smoky River Regional Chamber of Commerce will be decided at its annual general meeting Oct. 28 on Zoom.
President Sandy Primeau says members will decide the future of the chamber that has struggled to survive and function in the past few years.
“We need at least 12 people to form a board and move forward,” says Primeau, who has served in the top role for the past few years.
“We have some people who are very interested in getting the chamber reborn.”
She says amalgamation is still on the table.
For the past year, the executives of both the Smoky River chamber and the McLennan and District Chamber of Commerce have worked together to promote a plan to amalgamate the two chambers with little progress.
“There are many issues the new board will have to look at and amalgamation will be one of them,” Primeau says.
“It will be up to the new board to set priorities.”
She is optimistic about a new board.
People are encouraging others to participate.
It’s looking brighter for the chamber than it did two months ago.
Chamber vice-president Eric Verstappen said the chamber would likely fold without more support when he spoke with Town of Falher council at its meeting Aug. 9.
He reported on a survey to members in the previous months.
“We didn’t get many responses,” Verstappen says.
Many indicated they doubt the chamber of commerce benefits local businesses.
Verstappen questions why many of the major businesses do not participate in chamber events and attend monthly meetings.
He says a regional chamber is still the best option for Falher and McLennan businesses.
“Amalgamation will still be a good thing,” Verstappen says.
Perhaps when the chamber shuts down, it could spark discussion to resurrect the chamber, he says.
It could the second time in the last five years that the Falher-based chamber would fold.
After the Falher and Area Chamber of Commerce terminated, the Smoky River Regional Chamber of Commerce was incorporated on Jan. 30, 2017.
Primeau says the name was changed with a vision to create a regional chamber of commerce.
A virtual link to the meeting is available through the chamber Facebook page @SmokyRiverChamber or email Nichole Simard at to request a meeting invitation.

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