April 26, 2021 meeting
Shop Slave Lake – the board will look at various online platforms and bring a recommendation to the next members meeting, said Kimberly Hughes, Slave Lake and District Chamber of Commerce executive administrator.
Customer service – it is still in the project development stage. The steering committee is meeting in May, and will hopefully have something to report at the next meeting.
Advocacy Committee – a few board members have joined the committee and there is room for some Chamber members.
At this time, the group has no set focus, said Chamber president Josh Friesen.
Strategic planning – This will likely be in June. The board is looking at quotes from consultants to run the session.
“Our membership and the business community is our primary concern,” said Friesen, but the board also wants to get feedback from other groups, including nonprofits, municipalities, school boards, industries without members, and Alberta Health Services. The membership engagement will likely be a live meeting. The rest will be surveys.
Downtown revitalization planning – The Town of Slave Lake recently met with about 10 downtown businesses to discuss plans for revitalizing downtown Slave Lake, said Leah Jones, Slave Lake Economic Development Officer. This includes leveling off the area around Rennie Hall Plaza to allow events. Once engagement with this group is completed, the town will begin talking to a larger group.
Riverboat Daze – “I can’t plan for a lot with the restrictions,” said Hughes. However, the Chamber is planning a parade some time in July. The date isn’t set, but will likely coincide with nonprofit events such as an art walk.
There may also be other opportunities for “small outdoor activities,” says Hughes. She is working on a tentative plan for “small scale block party, but that would be the best-case scenario,” she adds. At the moment, it doesn’t look like a block party will be allowed.
Business Excellence Awards – This is scheduled for Saturday, October 16 to kick off Small Business Week. Hughes is discussing with the Legacy Centre on what an in-person event might look like. However, she is also working up a virtual Plan B, if in-person events on that scale aren’t allowed.
The Chamber is “slightly in the red,” said treasurer Rebecca King. Because it was not allowed to hold any events in 2020.
One possible cost-saving item was changing liability insurance providers. Also, the Chamber has been approved for a $60,000 COVID-19 loan from the government. If it pays back $40,000 before December 2022, the final $20,000 will be forgiven. The plan is to only spend the $20,000 and save the $40,000 to return to the government.
There are also some other emergency funds in the bank, but the Chamber doesn’t want to use these, said Friesen.
Town of Slave Lake
Over the weekend, there was a fire at Barton Park, said Slave Lake mayor Tyler Warman. This should be covered by insurance, but there’s been a lot of community support of people volunteering to fundraise or help build a new park.
The town is asking community members to get involved with petitioning the provincial government to fix the highways, he added.
The Slave Lake Tourism Society is revamping slavelakeregion.ca, said Jones. This year, business listings in the directory are free. Also, nonprofits and other groups organizing events can put them on the list of upcoming events. To do either, email Jones at [email protected]
Restrictions permitting, the society is also planning on taking front-line workers on a tour of the various tourism spots, she added. These are called familiarization tours.
The next Chamber of Commerce member meeting will be Monday, May 31 from noon to 1 p.m. on Zoom. Register on myslavelake.com.