Airdrie Chamber to focus even more on shopping local
This week the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce gathered, virtually, for its Annual General Meeting and promised to focus efforts on promoting the Shop Local movement more than they already are.
As they do that over the next year, the Chamber Board will be very familiar with each other. The entire board that served Airdrie business in the past 12 months has offered to return for, what they hope will be, a much brighter year ahead as COVID-19 restrictions are set to ease.
"We've been through a hard time with businesses over the past 15 months, going through this pandemic," said Executive Director Marilyne Aalhus. "I think, realistically, that this board is just very much committed to seeing our Chamber through this next stage."
Here is a list of the Board of Directors:
- Darcy Forbes, Past President - Vitreous Glass
- Nikki Nordick, President - Airdrie Puppy Pals
- Chris McNicol, First Vice President - Woodside Golf Course
- Ami Ballman, Second Vice President - RARE Cannabis Carmen
- Jacoba-Haist, Treasurer - MNP
- Peter Adegoju, Director - Mathnasium Airdrie
- Asif Ahmed, Director - RBC
- Allison Anhorn, Director - ZIVA&EM Boutique
- Charlene Gize, Director - Kensington Insurance Services
- Shane Groarke, Director - GP Law
- Antoine Ouellette, Director - The Pest Control Guy INC
- Ron Zuke, Director - AIR 106.1 FM
- Rebecca Nielsen, City Liaison City of Airdrie
To help businesses to recover post-pandemic, the board will be doing stratic planning over the next month to determine how the chamber can best help Airdrie business. Aalhus said while the Airdrie Chamber has always made the "Shop Local" movement its primary focus, the pandemic has made it clear that it must stay as its top priority so that businesses in the city continue to succeed.
"We are announcing in the coming weeks a Chamber Market platform which is an e-commerce store that will be available to our community so that we have an opportunity to go online in order to find local products as opposed to maybe going to the big Amazon stores online. This is actually going to be an Alberta-based market that we will heavily, heavily market within our own community."
Aalhus said the chamber is also planning to launch a "heart" Airdrie gift card to allow people to shop for their loved ones over the Christmas holiday period to further hone in on the shop local movement.
With all of the challenges that businesses have faced over the past year, Aalhus has, perhaps, a surprising choice of what she feels has been the most challenging for the Chamber of Commerce to navigate through.
"I think balancing the public perception," she said. "I think, obviously, it's a polarizing topic. We are trying to continue to simply try to educate our businesses and provide them with resources but it's really been difficult because of the mixed emotions throughout this entire process."
She says constantly trying to stay on top of things to see what the business community could benefit from and keep up as they struggled through subsidies and understand what's best for them has been a difficult chore.