November 1st, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. ###
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Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Chamber Issues

I have noticed that the Chamber of Commerce is having an AGM and I have heard through the grapevine that we could potentially see a new president at the helm.

I must say, I think this is refreshing news. Several long-standing businesses in the community have not been happy about the direction of our Chamber and have therefore chose to pull their membership. In my opinion, I believe that the Chamber has lost sight of their primary responsibility - that of promoting the businesses in our community. I believe the Chamber has become more of a festival organization than a promoter of business. This is my opinion as a business owner and a paid Chamber member, but after speaking with other business owners that did not renew their memberships, I don’t think I’m too far off the mark. We have approximately 430 registered businesses in the community, but our Chamber only has 129 members. Begs the question why membership is so low in comparison to business licenses?
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I remember not too far back when we had Moonlight Madness, usually coordinated by Anita Ferguson, where businesses were open late, people were shopping and it was held in November when everyone is buying their Christmas gifts, not in December when people are usually done. The Chamber’s Christmas in the Park event is wonderful for family and friends, but is having a night in December the smartest time for people to shop locally for Christmas? Maybe I’m off the mark, but I do the majority of my shopping in November, around the time we used to have Midnight Madness.

I have found it so frustrating that I considered creating a Merchants Association and I believe it would have done well.

Thank goodness I don’t have to do that with a new Chamber president coming on board with, hopefully, a new vision.

I hope whoever applies for the position works positively with our Economic Development Committee, Community Futures and municipal Council.

It was posted on social media that some of us running for Council should not be voted for based on the fact that we were “born here and therefore lack a broader world view.”
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We were also told that we carry “baggage associated with lifelong ties to family, friends, that this is how it’s always been done.” As a businessperson and Councillor, these types of statements can only cause divisiveness. It’s unfortunate that an executive member of the chamber thinks so little of my skills as a human and businessperson, seeing as I am born and raised in Crowsnest Pass.

So let’s hope that with a new person at the helm, we can and should work cooperatively for the betterment of the Crowsnest Pass because after all, a strong, thriving business community leads to a strong and thriving tax base.

So in short, I’m very excited to see who puts their names forward and takes this association back to its grassroots and works with all the businesses in the community. I hope we all support it and help it become what it used to be.

These are exciting times in the Crowsnest in so many ways. Together, with all groups united, we can make this into a place where everyone prospers.

At least that’s the way I see it.
 
LS
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November 1st, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. ###
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