Chamber reviews 2020, seeks new board president

·2 min read

Despite a challenging year, the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce was able to look back on several positives from 2020 during its March 18 annual general meeting.

Organizing a successful support program for local businesses adversely affected by Covid-19, running the #LoveLocalPC social media campaign, staging a popular farmers market and encouraging local holiday shopping through its Holiday Passport contest were major highlights from 2020.

Even with the pandemic forcing the cancellation of many events, such as the trade show and Lemonade Days, online activities like the annual Awards of Excellence and virtual meetings for the Women in Business committee were additional successes.

In fact, members of the Women in Business committee increased from 179 to 302 in just one year. With chamber membership fees lowered to $15, most of the 198 chamber members have also renewed their memberships for 2021.

While such successes are noteworthy, 2020 was nonetheless a challenge. Revenue for the chamber was down from $69,984 in 2019 to $35,687 in 2020. Expenses were likewise lower at $44,031 as compared to last year’s $71,356, leaving a 2020 deficiency of $8,344.

Fortunately, the chamber’s financial assets from 2019 totalled $35,386, allowing for the 2020 deficit to be covered. Chamber assets going into 2021, therefore, are $27,042. The MD of Pincher Creek’s decision to give $21,434.50 through the Municipal Operating Support Transfer is a big help in ensuring the chamber’s finances are healthy going into the new year.

2021 will also bring about changes in the chamber board as president Sam Schofield announced he was stepping down in order to address personal challenges associated with the pandemic.

“It has impacted our business quite heavily,” he said. “It has weighed on me both physically and emotionally.”

Mr. Schofield credited the volunteer board members for helping guide the chamber and business community through a tumultuous year.

“I think you’ve done a tremendous job building up the chamber into what it is today,” he continued. “It’s been an honour to sit on this board and help support the chamber’s phase of growth, and I really am excited about this next step in its future endeavours.”

Roy Davidson and Hayden Shackel were other board members who decided to step down from their positions this year. Chamber manager Bonnie Kaack has also resigned as chamber manager for personal health reasons.

Kyla Bruns remains the chamber treasurer, with Stephen Valcourt, Linsey Prout, Kelley Baker, David Tetachuk, Marie Everts and Cassie Ducharme making up the board of directors. Jeff Corradetti was appointed the new vice-president, and Ola Crook has taken over as interim manager.

The presidential position will temporarily remain vacant.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze