Innovation seems to be the buzzword of the day.
Everyone from government leaders to local entrepreneurs are trying to find ways to change; alter; transform; revolutionize what they do.
The same goes for local Chambers of Commerce. As with any member-based organization the need for us to be willing to change is just as important as it is for your local business.
If we keep doing things the same way for too long, people will fail to see the value in what we provide and will seek what they’re looking for elsewhere. This forces us to keep thinking forward and looking at what to add or subtract and it forces us to have honest discussions about what is working and what is not.
One of the things we decided to add this year was a quarterly ‘New Member’ event with the goal of introducing members to each other and to the Chamber. Because there are so many different reasons to join the chamber and different benefits for doing so, it can be overwhelming for new members (and not so new) to get a handle on how to really take advantage of their membership.
After some of our existing members asked about attending we decided to open it up to businesses who might need a refresher, or who have new staff in place. Everyone is welcome, and they have been very successful so far.
Speaking of new members, over the last several years we’ve consistently seen our membership grow about 10 per cent annually. There is generally some attrition each year due to several factors, but we are adding more than we lose, which is certainly the goal. 2017 was no different, as we added 39 new members.
Something worth mentioning is that 17 of those new members were new businesses to the City of Lacombe. This a substantial number for a community our size, and we’re excited to see the momentum continue.
Our Board of Directors is committed to continuing our organization’s work in the community in the many ways that takes place. We’re proud to partner with other groups, businesses and individuals to move ahead and help sustain a positive environment for economic growth.
They are open (as am I), to suggestions, ideas, concerns that affect the business community and encourage dialogue about these topics. We look forward to working with you!
-Monica Bartman, Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce Executive Director