A mix-up in scheduling had the Chamber of Commerce scrambling at the last minute to come up with content for its monthly luncheon December 3.
Representatives of SaskPower had been scheduled to explain the utility’s application for a three-year rate increase to local business leaders, but informed the Chamber they wouldn’t be coming.
Amie Zamonsky. Chamber president, stepped up to the plate at the last minute. Being the final monthly meeting of the year, Zamonsky took the opportunity to talk about the organization’s 2013 highlights.
Among these was a significant increase in membership. The 47 new businesses that signed up in 2013 represented a bump of more than 10 per cent.
“We’re really happy with our numbers,” Zamonsky said. “We’ve seen a good increase in our businesses that are involved with the Chamber so we’re very happy to have a lot more come on board and looking forward to more in the future.”
Zamonsky attributed most of the increase to new business coming to town and the Chamber administration’s proactive approach to attracting them to membership. She said there were also a number of home-based businesses that saw the benefits and signed up.
Other highlights included two of the really big news stories of the year.
“Two of our priorities were the airport, as well as, the trades and technology centre,” she said. “We were really excited that the funding was announced at the provincial budget for the trades and technology centre. As well, the airport did receive $150,000 in funding this year.”
Finally, Zamonsky spent some time talking about the two TransActions conferences the Chamber held this year in partnership with the Yorkton Tribal Council. The idea of TransActions is to encourage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities to work together in entrepreneurship and economic development. The fourth annual conference was held March 6 and 7. Organizers have been so pleased with success and growth of the initiative they decided to put on a second one in November specifically targeting youth entrepreneurship.
Juanita Polegi, Chamber executive director, also spoke at the luncheon, outlining the benefits of membership with specific emphasis on the Chamber’s group insurance plan that allows small businesses to take advantage of the same kind of insurance benefits that larger businesses enjoy.