The Strathmore Wheatland Chamber of Commerce (SWCC) has been recognized as the top chamber of the year for its size category.
SWCC Executive Director Scott Silva said he and his team are honoured to have been recognized and awarded.
“It’s quite an honour for the entire board and all of our members here in Strathmore, Wheatland County, so something we’re very proud of,” said Silva, who credited the award to the tireless work from the ground up by his team to engage chamber members, particularly during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regardless of their success, Silva doesn’t plan to stop there and rest on his laurels.
“I know, as always, there’s always more we could have done, but I think we started at a good point where we really were listening to our members, understanding what we can help provide, but also try to get them to the next level, and growth and events, get to get everybody out and back into that spirit of things,” said Silva. “There’s a lot of work that the chamber does behind the scenes and it’s a big part of everybody from our student liaisons to our directors, everybody involved, it’s a lot of teamwork.”
Prior to this occasion, the SWCC has never before been nominated for the category, let alone to take home the title for their size bracket.
Silva said the next steps for the chamber include continuing to grow their membership base and manageably upscale the organization.
“That includes everything from working with our partners like Community Futures Wild Rose, the Town of Strathmore, Wheatland County (and) such things like the digital economy program,” explained Silva. “Right now, we really are going to start to go back to those grassroots and help out those smaller businesses, especially in the areas that don’t have a lot of the digital ecosystem, if you will, and help to improve and build that for them.”
Over the next year, Silva intends to put a significant focus on regional events, which includes the recently established trade show that will be making a return.
“Right now, we really want to focus on that engagement and getting everybody out and that simple idea of knowing your neighbour. A lot of that was lost in the last couple of years,” said Silva. “Thank goodness, we’ve got a lot of new residents here in town, so it’s a great chance for them to get out meet their businesses and meet their neighbors.”
Among his other goals for the SWCC, Silva added he hopes to see the organization reach 150 members this year.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times