Slave Lake and District Chamber of Commerce Notebook

October 28, 2019

Round table discussion

The bulk of the Chamber of Commerce meeting was a round table discussion. The topic was “what are the biggest business issues you are facing right now and what would you like to see the chamber address?”

Marketing, finding and retaining staff, and educating clients on what a company has to offer were common themes. Another issue mentioned was the difficulty in delivering the same level of customer service, when the prices of items go up and people expect to get more for less.

Business survey

Community Futures, Town of Slave Lake, and Alberta Labour are going to various businesses with a survey, said Josh Friesen, from Community Futures. Around 50 businesses have completed the survey and the goal is to have 100 by mid-November. Individual answers are confidential, but the data collected from the survey will be shared with businesses, municipalities, and used for grant applications.

It’s a “tool that is going to help our community a lot,” said Friesen.

To participate contact Community Futures at 780-849-3232.

Past events

Chamber president Frankie Giroux shared about Small Business Week, which was October 21 to 25.

Highlights included the social evening and marketing sessions. The social evening was an opportunity for new businesses and individuals to get to know the chamber. It was at Dog Island Brewing and had a good turnout. Strong Coffee Marketing, from Edmonton, did a group and one-on-one marketing sessions. Around 30 people attended the morning marketing session and 16 people had one-on-one meetings.

Based on “feedback so far, it was very helpful,” said Giroux.

Upcoming events

Oct. 31 was the Third Annual Mini Monster Halloween. As of Oct. 28, around 50 businesses were signed up, more might. In 2018, kids started to Trick-or-treat at 10 a.m.

Nov. 7 is LeaderCast Women 2019. This is the second year that Community Futures has hosted a LeaderCast. It is an all-day leadership seminar at the Legacy Centre in Slave Lake. The televised speakers are all women, but the conference is open to any gender. Tickets include lunch, are $80 and available at eventbrite.ca or by calling Community Futures at 780-849-3232.

Nov. 15 is Moonlight Madness and the Santa Claus Parade. Various stores have extended hours and sales for Moonlight Madness.

The window-decorating contest is from Nov. 12 to 15, with the judging done by the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Arts Council on the morning of Nov. 15.

The Fix is organizing a Gingerbread house competition. There are posters around town or contact the Georgie Gauthier at the Fix for more information 780-843-0465.

At 6:30 p.m., the evening of festivities kicks off with the parade. The theme is ‘Christmas Around the World’. It starts at Northern Star Hotel, goes up Main St. and ends at Vanderwell Lodge on 6 Ave. NE.

After the parade, the winner of the window contest lights the tree in Citizens’ Park. There is also hot chocolate and a bonfire in the park.

This in conjunction with the Christmas Craft Sale on Nov. 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. and Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the MRC in Slave Lake. Tables are $55 per vendor. Vendors can contact Deb Parsons at 780-805-0721 or debbiesplaces@hotmail.com. There are currently around 50 vendors signed up, but more tables are available.

Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for youth aged nine to 12, and eight and under are free. All proceeds are divided between the Slave Lake Food Bank, Santas Anonymous, and Slave Lake Adult Education.

Finances

The chamber is projecting a loss for 2019, because of unexpected costs for washrooms, tables, chairs and garbage at Riverboat Daze. With the surplus from last year, the chamber should have enough money to cover everything.

Going forward the plan is to to shop around and get something in writing before renting tables etc.

Town of Slave Lake

Mayor Tyler Warman presented about the town, which is working on budget, strategic planning, and the impact of the Alberta government’s budget. The town is also lobbying the government and AHS to recruit more doctors. One came in September and another is coming in January, but since there are often vacancies, the town wants AHS to recruit 10 doctors instead of eight.

High Prairie School Division

Steve Adams shared for the High Prairie School Division. It is meeting with various ministers. It hasn’t been able to get together with Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn. The school division is still figuring out the impact of the new Alberta Budget which was released on Oct. 24.

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