More options needed

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Businesses in the Falher-McLennan area may soon have more options to better promote their products and services.
Concerns and plans were shared at the monthly meeting of the Smoky River Regional Chamber of Commerce held Feb. 3.
“Recently, we’ve heard from business owners about a few challenges the chamber may help support,” president Nichole Simard says.
Businesses and chamber members have identified a need for more and better advertising opportunities, filling vacant job opportunities and access to high-speed Internet, she says.
“We will be adding sections on our future website to help showcase local job postings, tender requests and to help with advertising opportunities,” Simard says.
High-speed Internet is another priority.
“The board has voted to advocate as the voice of the business community and join with partners who are working to bring high-speed Inter- net to the region,” Simard says.
She says the chamber board continues to work to help speed up the process and stress the value and importance that access to the Internet impacts and builds local businesses.
The board invites concerned businesses to contact the chamber board.
Plans for the chamber to amalgamate with the McLennan and District Chamber of Commerce continue.
Board members heard about the benefits of a regional chamber in a presentation Jan. 27 from Leduc-Nisku-Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director Jennifer Garries.
“We all agree that having Jennifer speak to us was a huge benefit for our board and members,” Simard says.
“Jennifer’s depth of experience and the diversity of their own regional chamber gave us a new perspective of what kind of traction and momentum we can gain by all working together toward a common purpose.”
Simard says it was “eye-opening” to see the scope of how the Leduc-Wetaskiwin-Nisku chamber operates and serve its members that also includes Devon.
“Jennifer gave us many great ideas on how we can grow forward,” Simard says.
“We are excited to put some of those ideas into action here and to continue to partner with Jennifer,”
Simard says Garries helped the Smoky chamber board understand issues involved in amalgamation.
“She completely understands our need for mutual respect, community autonomy and financial considerations or a potential blend,” Simard says.
Amalgamation discussions continue. Simard invites any business owners or representatives in the region interested in amalgamation discussions to contact the chamber.
For more information, contact the chamber by phone at [780] 837-6017 or email at smokyriver

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