Dear Chamber Members and Partners,
Please find below our March update, starting with a situational update as to the environment business members and organizations are facing and how we, the Board of Directors and staff, are dealing with the challenges facing you as members, as well as our chamber’s operations and strategy during these ongoing difficult times.
Our members continue to experience challenging times as business owners, managers and residents. Since this pandemic took hold in Canada a year ago, the federal, provincial, and municipal governments have taken broad sweeping measures to protect Canadians from the COVID-19 viruses. Some of these programs have ended, or, in some cases, the scope and size of the programs have changed, such as the Federal CEWS and Rent Programs.
Our community, region, province saw a resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases in December which triggered a response from the province to shut many businesses back down again for at least four weeks. The Government and AHS then announced in January that there would be four phases of reopening with timing of each opening dependent on active cases of COVID-19 hospitalization rates and other considerations. We are just now starting a full phase two opening. Next week, March 22 there will be an announcement regarding the current situation and if any further relaxation of rules will be coming regarding phase three. The government will take into account all current and relevant information at that time to make decisions going forward. We as a chamber of commerce have advocated to ensure businesses are able to open as soon as possible when it is determined safe to do so.
We at the Chamber understand how devastating this pandemic is to your business, and we also have heard from you, our members, that in these rapidly changing times, a heightened awareness of the pandemic has increased not only within the business community but with your customers and within the community as a whole.
Breakfast Networking Meetings on Thursday mornings were cancelled last March and we are looking to resume these meetings in a modified, virtual format. We look forward to a time these popular meetings can be held in person again!
After Hours Mixers are cancelled, and we will work in cooperation with our partners in the future to resume these gatherings when it is practical to do so.
Our Monthly Luncheons have also been postponed as per the AHS Rules for meetings and we are hoping to resume these in September???
The Board elections, are postponed to the Fall of 2021. Our Current President, Wade Cummings and our board of directors have agreed that Darryl Popik our 1st Vice President will move into the Presidency role on July 1, 2021 as Wade will have fulfilled his term as president on June 30. The nomination committee will meet in a timely manner to ensure elections are correctly conducted in October. This decision was not made without much debate but it was determined that business members should be in a better position to volunteer on the board at that time and allow members to concentrate on their businesses in the next six months.
The Board has met on a monthly basis for regularly scheduled board meetings as well as additional meetings.
Chamber Trade Fair & Sale
The Great Canadian Trade Fair has once again been cancelled for 2021 and a Fall Trade Fair could be possible as we have tentatively book Millennium Place for early October. We look forward to organizing this event in the future to help our members promote their goods and services to the community.
Our Annual Golf Tournament is in the planning stage at this time. Last August 26, 2020, ninety-two golfers enjoyed a great day on the course with many safety precautions in place to protect participants, sponsors, partners and staff. We are working out the details with the Broadmoor for another safe, fun event on June 9, 2021 obviously only if we have AHS and Strathcona County permission.
Canada Day Parade
In our March Board Meeting it was determined that we would cancel this year’s Parade. With little confirmed evidence at this time that we can host a parade as parades would not be allowed until phase four of AHS opening plan, we do not have confidence that we can organize a safe event in such a short window.
No new room booking reservations will be accepted at this time. The resumption of meeting room rentals will be addressed as we work with AHS and address safety concerns for participants and staff.
Certificates of Origin Documents
Our office is closed to the public but we can meet by appointment only Monday to Friday. Please contact Todd at 780-416-3056 or call 780-464-0801 to book an appointment.
• Our office is open by appointment only at this time as specified by AHS. Our staff are all available via email and phone Monday through Friday to serve you.
• If you have an emergency, please feel free to call Todd Banks anytime at 780-416-3056.
• We will continue enhancing our “Shop Local” program to assist local businesses. You may have seen our Shop Local Signs throughout Sherwood Park and on social media and our “Shop Local & Win” program for March and April.
• We have a webpage specifically to help members with up to date information for business needs and updates from federal, provincial and municipal governments and other organizations to help you during these difficult times.
• Please follow the link to our COVID-19 Business Resources page at www.sherwoodparkchamber.com/covid19
The Chamber Board and Staff would like to assure you that we value your membership and all the goods and services you provide to our community. We also understand the considerable stress you are going through, not only as business people but also with your families and friends. If we can help in any way or if you have any thoughts on how we can help you get through these troubling times, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com
or phone Executive Director Todd Banks anytime at 780-416-3056.
Please note: All future dates listed are speculative and may change as we follow Alberta Health Services’ direction and our Chamber’s Board of Directors’ instruction.