Chamber President reports on busy year

The Claresholm and District Chamber of Commerce had a busy year in 2019, attracting new members, sponsoring and hosting events, and embarking on a labour market partnership to develop the local workforce.
President Amanda Zimmer presented a year in review of the chamber at its annual general meeting at Casa Roma Pizza and Steakhouse on Feb. 26.
She reported the chamber has 82 members strong, seven new members, and 479 followers on Facebook.
The chamber supported the community in a variety of ways.
It sponsored the Canadian Senior Pro Rodeo Finals; an initiation hockey tournament; and the Claresholm Winter Festival.
Donations were also made to the Youth of Tomorrow and the Willow Creek Composite High School prom.
Cash and food bank donations to the Claresholm Food Bank were collected as admission to the recent trade expo and consumer fair.
Letters of support were sent for Lorna Musick on her retirement after decades of service to Elford’s Men’s Wear and Janet’s Fashions; the Town of Claresholm Community and Regional Economic Support program; the Claresholm Skating Club’s community facility enhancement program grant application; and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot project.
The chamber provided a welcome package for an Airstream recreation vehicle rally in Granum; co-hosted a provincial election candidates forum in Nanton with the Nanton and High River chambers; and created a positive youth ticketing program in partnership with the youth justice committee.
Twenty tables were purchased and are available for rent, and the chamber heard a presentation from the Foothills Junior Achievement.
Another initiative was “Opportunities for Growth” where the chamber partnered with the town’s Economic Development Committee on a series of public education nights.
The topics were the future of agri-food; mental health awareness; and rural immigration in Claresholm.
The events hosted by the chamber included Fair Days parade participants; Fair Days chili cook-off; business awards; Old Fashioned Christmas; trade expo and consumer fair; hosting entrepreneur Nick White of Burgundy Oak at last year’s annual general meeting; and attending the regional chamber of commerce meeting in Fort Macleod.
The chamber also helped form a labour market partnership committee with the Economic Development Committee and Community Futures Southwest to leverage current activities, staff and financial resources to champion workforce development as a driver for economic prosperity in Claresholm.
Finally, the chamber also developed a set of policies and procedures for the executive.