September 27, 2021 meeting
The Chamber of Commerce received a Shop Local Canada grant.
This is for support from the Alberta Chamber of Commerce to discuss proven ideas for a shop local campaign, said Kim Hughes, Chamber executive administrator. She was waiting to hear from the team lead. The grant is for $22,500. The funds come from the federal government through the Canada and Alberta Chambers.
Also, Community Futures and the Chamber have a Love Local Shop Local campaign which includes featuring local businesses (High Prairie, Slave Lake to Wabasca) on social media and an interactive directory on communityfuturessl.com.
There are still spots available for local businesses to be part of the pilot project for a customer service training program. It will have three parts – online training, an ambassador program, and secret shoppers. The website is still being developed. The pilot will likely be in January or February 2022. Quite a few businesses have already signed up.
The strategic plan is almost done. All of the Chamber board members at the meeting were excited about it.
Part of the goal is to “help us start pivoting,” said Josh Friesen, Chamber president.
The proposed Chamber golf tournament has been postponed until spring 2022.
“Hopefully, as early as possible,” said Friesen.
The goal of the tournament is a Chamber fundraiser and to provide businesses owners an opportunity to network and market their businesses.
Business Excellence Awards
Nominations for the 2021 Business Excellence Awards are open on myslavelake.com. There are 10 instead of 13 categories this year. The criteria for the awards has changed.
The award ceremony will be online.
The committee is working with some “fun ideas of how to make it interactive and exciting,” said Friesen.
The ceremony will be during Small Business Week – October 17 to 23.
Mini Monster Halloween
Local businesses can be a part of Mini Monster Halloween. They are put on a map of businesses which will be handing out candy. The Slave Lake Public Library is also doing a story walk, with pages of a book in the windows of local businesses.
“It was a success the last few years,” said Friesen.
Halloween is a Sunday. Will it be another day? Asked one of the attendees.
“Half the businesses are closed,” said Friesen. The committee will discuss which day to do it.
The event is a collaboration of the Chamber, Community Futures, and the library.
Moonlight Madness is tentatively booked for November 19. In a normal year, this includes a parade, special sales, and a Christmas market.
The board had not discussed Moonlight Madness yet, but it was on the agenda for the Sept. 28 meeting. People interested in being on the planning committee can contact the Chamber at email@example.com.
“It’s looking really good right now,” said Hughes.
“We’ve been fiscally responsible,” said Rebecca King, treasurer. The Chamber has not able to hold its big fundraising events in 2020 or 2021. However, the Chamber is “above water,” she added.
Labour market partnerships
Matthew Holden, with Alberta Labour and Immigration, reported that there is money available for labour market partnerships. Also, he has (and will be) facilitating roundtable discussions for Chambers and economic development officers in the region – which includes Slave Lake, Westlock, and Lac La Biche.