Crowsnest Pass council meets with chamber of commerce

·2 min read

Since instating a new board of directors at the end of 2021, the Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce has been steadily working on new initiatives for the municipality’s business community.

Chamber president Daiana Lazzarotto attended the May 3 Crowsnest Pass council meeting to give council members an update on the chamber’s direction and to renew ties with the municipality.

“We consider ourselves under construction,” Lazzarotto said. “We are transitioning.”

Part of that transition involves extending the chamber’s focus beyond its members in trying to help the entire business community.

“The community as a whole matters more, so we’re moving into a support-local-business period,” Lazzarotto added. “We need to find out why people are a part of the organization and why they're not, and then grow on both of those. We’re excited to see where that goes.”

The chamber’s annual Lifestyle Show was unfortunately cancelled this year due to financial constraints on businesses coming out of Covid restrictions. Lazzarotto said not even half of the needed participants signed up for booths, with many businesses already meeting their advertising needs through online forums, and the chamber felt pushing ahead with the show would have led to a sub-par result.

Fortunately, the Pincher Creek Chamber of Commerce invited Crowsnest Pass businesses to participate in its trade show, with booth rental prices offered at the same rate reserved for members.

Helping businesses begin recovering from the pandemic is, of course, a top priority for the Crowsnest chamber. To emphasize local business, the chamber is moving forward with a shop local and eat local campaign while continuing its Best of Crowsnest awards. The chamber also aims to develop a chamber and contractor directory and website, as well as a visitor’s guide and networking events.

A “community as classroom” educational initiative for students in the municipality is something Lazzarrotto said is also in the works.

Reaching out to council was the first step the chamber hoped to take in improving relations between the two organizations, especially in sharing support, information and communication. Though the chamber’s current bylaws prevent a council member from sitting on the board, Lazzarrotto said there was potential to revisit the idea later in the year.

The idea was enthusiastically welcomed by council members.

“This is a breath of fresh air — we’ve been trying to get something going with the chamber since I’ve been here, unsuccessfully,” said Mayor Blair Painter. “We feel that we should be partners and that we can be partners.”

Coun. Vicki Kubik agreed.

“It will be good to talk about the mutual concerns that we have for the community in driving it forward,” she said.

The next council meeting will be held Tuesday, June 7, 7 p.m. at council chambers.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze

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