Original Published on Aug 17, 2022 at 10:32
By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Smoky River Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to community members and local businesses to take part in several events that will be taking place in upcoming months.
President Nichole Simard is working tirelessly to express what the newly invigorated Chamber is doing in the area and the projects being completed on behalf of member businesses in the Smoky River Region.
“Some people haven’t realized some of the opportunities we’ve made available to our members,” says Simard. “We currently have 28 members across the region and are accepting new members with a discounted rate of $50 for the remainder of the year.”
Simard says the chamber has been collaborating with local towns and the MD to help businesses streamline different processes, in essence helping business owners communicate more smoothly with the communities they are in. She says this includes things like dealing with signage and other property questions.
“We are a body that advocates for businesses,” Simard says. “Our goal is to attract new businesses and encourage existing ones.”
The Chamber’s efforts in its short tenure include creating Honey Fest programs where details of activities were documented, and local members could advertise to have their businesses highlighted. They also reinvigorated the downtown flower baskets and had new signage designed for additional business advertisement.
“We ensure the advertising opportunities are just above our costs so members can get the opportunity for a reasonable rate,” she says.
Back by popular request this November, will be the Passport to Christmas, highlighting and supporting local businesses. Chamber is also organizing a Festival of Trees event to be held with Smoky River Family & Community Support Services.
Simard says the Chamber is currently advocating for high speed (broadband) internet access in the region and is also advocating for diversity and inclusion, all to help ease potential problems with running a business in our region.
“People need to be educated and aware, and that’s our goal,” says Simard. “We want local business owners to have access to any information and resources they may need.”
Simard says the Chamber’s website is almost ready to launch. This will be a location where member businesses can post job vacancies and will also be a place where members can place advertisements at low cost to them.
On August 25, the chamber has organized group transportation to attend this month’s Grande Prairie Chamber Mixer event. Simard says that many members have been requesting a mixer occurring in our region, so they decided to provide this networking opportunity to their members.
The “After 5 Mixer” is hosted by the County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network. If you’re interested in attending, chamber memberships and registration to this event can be obtained prior to August 22.
“This is an exclusive, members-only get together to meet other changemakers, business owners, and maybe even connect with new partners, suppliers and customers,” says Simard. “It’s a great opportunity to expand your network with other businesses in Northern Alberta.”
By participating in this mixer, Smoky River Chamber has become an honourable member of the Grande Prairie Chamber, this means that many of the perks their members have are now provided to the Smoky River Chamber members as well.
Simard also notes the Smoky River Chamber is also linked to the Alberta Chamber of Commerce and Canada Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber is also creating delegate roles within, including event planning, marketing/promotion, and membership roles. The group is actively looking for people who would want to fill those roles within Chamber.
Should you want to become a member of the Smoky River Chamber of Commerce or have additional questions for Simard, please contact her at or by phone at 780-837-6017.
This item reprinted with permission from South Peace News – southpeacenews.com, High Prairie, Alberta