Nipissing First Nation’s economic development committee is working to launch a chamber of commerce. This will be a first for the First Nation, and Chief Scott McLeod said it will be a welcome addition to the community, and very useful for local businesses.
“The number of businesses has grown to a fairly large degree over the past few years,” Chief McLeod said, and the economic development committee “feel the growth warrants us to create a chamber of commerce within our community to be guided by and help the businesses in our community.”
The committee is leading the way to establish the chamber, but once up and running, the organization will be run by members. The chamber is “designed to encourage collaboration amongst the businesses and give them a stronger collective voice,” Chief McLeod said.
See: Nipissing First Nation launches Nbisiing Power
Currently, the chamber “is in the construction phase right now,” as the committee continues working out the terms of reference and detailing a list of businesses to reach out to. Once ready to move forward, the committee will send word that it is open for business, and work to attract members.
Chief McLeod noted the chamber will host development workshops, networking events, and will provide a “stronger voice” for community businesses.
In recent years, small businesses have been thriving in the First Nation, Chief McLeod emphasized. He mentioned that twenty or thirty years ago, the main employer in Nipissing First Nation was the administration office, “but in any town or First Nation, you want to have more diversity in your economy.”
Those days have arrived, as “the small businesses have taken over,” Chief McLeod said, “and they are now the biggest employers in our community.”
“That was a really positive turnaround for our community.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca