The newly reorganized Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce presented a more confident front to the County of Wetaskiwin council while making a funding request during its Nov. 1 meeting.
Councillors approved $7,500, with the decision to review further funding options during the 2016 Municipal Capital and Operating Budget deliberations.
After a few years of struggle the chamber recently entered a 16 month contract with the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce.
In May of this year the County of Wetaskiwin approved $7,500 for the chamber. However, in June the council provided notice the funding would be provided following a outline detailing the benefits the county receives as a member of the chamber.
“I really believe we’re now in more of a position to be a partner with the city, the county and the businesses,” said chamber president Wayne Di Lallo.
“We are proud to connect with the Leduc Chamber. It brings a different perspective to how the chamber was run in the past,” he added.
Executive director for the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Garries told council the partnership between the Leduc and Wetaskiwin chambers will bring the same level of programming to the community as the Leduc businesses receive.
“Since coming in last month we’ve actually reached out to every single business that has been part of the chamber. We’ve had 10 per cent face-to-face contact with members and we plan to increase that and increase the level of engagement,” said Garries.
“We’re excited to bring in the Town of Millet as well. So we really want to work with the three municipalities in this region and build those businesses together,” she added.
Garries says the revamped chamber is bringing a range of events to the businesses community, including: round table discussions with all levels of government regarding hot topics that pop up, educational workshops, social media workshops, municipal luncheons, agri-business luncheons, business awards, website and marketing promotion, a business expo and trade show and a golf tournament — for connecting and networking in a more relaxed atmosphere.
The request Di Lallo, Garries and Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce vice president Tony Goode presented to council was for $12,500. “And not to just give us $12,500 but to invest in every area,” said Garries.