The Kanata Chamber of Commerce promises to be a more vocal and politically active group with the introduction of an economic and business development committee this year.
“With the amount of businesses we had, we really felt there wasn’t a strong voice for the businesses in the west end,” said Rosemary Leu, executive director of the Chamber. “We felt that is something we need to do more of this year.”
The committee will hold regular meetings with city councillors and discuss issues affecting businesses in the city’s west end.
“The city has a tendency to focus inside the Greenbelt,” said Leu. “We want to make sure things are looked at outside the Greenbelt.
“We have much more of an effect when we speak together.”
The committee will also hold meetings with local federal MPs and provincial MPPs.
“The focus will mostly be municipal, because that’s where we can have the most impact,” said Leu. “Certainly we’ll be looking at the city budget.”
The Chamber held its annual general meeting at the Brookstreet Hotel on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and introduced a brand new executive.
This year’s executive is:
- Rick Chase, president elect.
- Greg Weatherdon, past president.
- Angela Houle, past president.
- Peter O’Leary, vice-president communications.
- Lynn Johnston, treasurer.
- Cathy Smithe, vice president, membership.
This year’s board of directors is: Houle, Blair Latour, Phil Nguyen, Mark Nisbett, O’Leary, Weatherdon, Stephen Buss, Chase, Megan Cornell, Joanne Ironside, Johnston, Phil Sweetnam, Barbara Lippett and Alana Haining.
The Chamber, which presently has a membership of 400 businesses, saw a net income of $14,000, with the increase coming from the growth in membership.
“We’re getting more recognition in the community,” Leu said. “I think there’s more recognition of who we are and what we do.”
The Chamber has a host of special events on its schedule for this year including:
- Food for Thought, Kanata’s Food and Wine Show at the Kanata Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites on Nov. 15.
- The People’s Choice Business Awards at the Brookstreet Hotel on Feb. 13.
The Chamber also has a new location this year, moving from the second floor of its site on 555 Legget Dr. to the ground floor.
“We grew so much we had to move to a new location,” said Leu.
It has also started a Chamber Academy, a series of workshops and small seminars available to its business members.
Every month, the Chamber will continue to offer breakfast and after-hour meetings as advertised on its website: www.kanatachamber.com.
For more information about the Chamber please call 613-592-8343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.