Working together the key to success, says PR chamber prez

Peter Herritt
Ramona Thoma

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The Peace River and District Chamber of Commerce celebrates Small Business Week, Oct. 16-22.
Many businesses are working hard to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic challenges, president Peter Herritt says.
“Thank you to all businesses for your resiliency in your recovery, especially in the hardest-hit sectors,” Herritt says.
“By working together, we are succeeding.”
The chamber appreciates the continued economic partnerships with the Town of Peace River, Northern Sunrise County and the M.D. of Northern Lights.
A new economic development committee of the Town of Peace River joined as a partner in 2022.
“The committee assists staff and council to support, enhance and promote business and economic activity in Peace River,” executive director Ramona Thoma says.
“The committee’s role is to plan and undertake economic development initiatives, advise and support Peace River council on matters relating to the local economy and business community and to act as a liaison between council and the business community.”
Several events are planned for Small Business Week.
Two sessions of Lunch and Learn are scheduled at the Peace River Community Futures office.
A session on immigration was scheduled for Oct. 18 from noon to 1 p.m.
MNP partner David Bliss is the guest speaker of the Lunch and Learn on Oct. 20 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. He will speak on the Canada Digital Adoption Program and improving business by using technology.
Blast from the Past Dinner and Dance set for Oct. 21 at the Belle Centre is the main event.
“In partnership with Community Futures Peace Country, we will host a fun evening of looking back on what businesses was like since the first Small Business Week 43 years ago,” Herritt says.
“Dress in your favourite decade and bring your entire staff for a great team-building event.”
Tickets are available at the chamber office.
Several events are also planned for the Christmas season, Thoma says.
Businesses are invited to participates in Passport to Christmas.
Moonlight Madness is set for Nov. 25 in conjunction with the Peace River Light Up in the Park.
Shop Local Saturday and the Santa Claus Parade are scheduled for Nov. 26.
Upcoming in 2023, the Chamber of Commerce Davis Awards are set for Jan. 28.
The chamber welcomes Reilly Bassen- dowski to serve in a role of events assistant and administration.
Chamber members have a variety of resources to help support them.
“With staff and supply chain shortages and high inflation, we support our membership through general membership meetings, social media, partnerships and advocacy,” Thoma says.
“As we continue to move towards recovery, it will be crucial that we continue these initiatives.”
The chamber keeps connected to its members.
“We are currently producing a weekly newsletter to keep members up to date on grants, changes in payroll and advocacy for business,” Thoma says.
“Alberta Chambers of Commerce started Alberta Perspectives.
Surveys are sent out to members and results are given to all levels of government.
Thoma says the chamber also advocates for business in Alberta.
“We bring members’ interests to the forefront of decision-makers,” Thoma says.
“Our advocacy works throughout all three levels of government to support the long-term prosperity of communities across our province.
“We are dedicated to provide solutions to businesses’ toughest problems so they can overcome barriers to growth.
“We also work to build welcoming and inclusive business communities.”
For more information, phone the chamber office at (780) 624-4166 or please send an email to

2022 highlights

Thoma notes several highlights in 2022.
The annual Peace River and District Chamber of Commerce Davis Awards were presented Jan. 29.
The annual Peace River Spring Trade Show returned April 8-9 after being cancelled in 2021 and 2021 by COVID-19 restrictions. Held at the newly-named Baytex Energy Centre, the event featured 86 business exhibitors and 14 home- based businesses and attracted 3,514 people.
Peace River Chamber was a gold sponsor for the Alberta 55-Plus Games held June 16-19 in Peace River.
“We volunteered and cheered for all zones,” Thoma says.
The annual Peace River and District Golf Tournament was held Sept. 9-10 and attracted 110 golfers for a time of team building and networking.
The Peace River Job Fair was held Sept. 28 in partnership with the economic development committee and attracted 32 businesses and 190 job seekers.

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