The Battlefords Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting Tuesday at the Chamber building in North Battleford, in which financials were presented for this year.
Among those was the financial statement for 2019 prepared by Swanson Gryba & Co., which saw the Chamber post a small operating loss of $553.
Making up that deficit will be a priority at the Chamber in 2020. The 2020 budget, which was approved at the meeting, calls for a revenue projection of $301,000 and expenses of $276,000, for a projected surplus of $25,000.
A prime focus for 2020, said chief operating officer Linda Machniak, will be membership development and community activities. There will be a focus on visiting current members, as well as visiting non-members and encouraging them to become part of the Chamber.
The Chamber has also received federal approval to expand its federally-mandated service area this year to include the RM of Battle River, RM of North Battleford and RM of Meota, which is seen as an opportunity to reach out to businesses in those areas as well.
Also, the Chamber has plans to enter a contract with Century Signs for a digital sign to go on their front lawn, which could run digital ads aimed at those travelling on the highway. They are waiting for the final approvals to go through before that goes ahead. The hope is to have it in place by May.
There are also plans to host indigenous awareness training in partnership with the provincial Chamber, with one session set to go Feb. 26 and another tentatively scheduled for Oct. 8.
Also, there will be a focus on communication and awareness profile development through a once-a-month “voice of business” page in the News-Optimist about Chamber happenings.
In one other piece of business from the meeting, Chamber director Tisha Carriere was elected to serve as Member-at-Large on the Battlefords Chamber’s executive committee for 2020.
The Chamber is looking forward now to a couple of events happening over the next few weeks. One is the Chamber on Tap event at Porta Bella restaurant on Feb. 6, in which the topic will be the Red Pheasant Urban Reserve development east of Territorial Drive in North Battleford. That event is sold out.
Also coming up is the “Power Hour” on March 6. The Chamber is hosting an event at the Western Development Museum that will include representation from all the various levels of government.
Scheduled to attend are Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Rosemarie Falk, Battlefords MLA Herb Cox, Mayor Ryan Bater of North Battleford, Mayor Ames Leslie of Battleford, and area Chiefs representing Battlefords Tribal Council and Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs.
The event was described as a chance to have the levels of government “all at the same time, all in the same room,” said Chamber past-chair Dallan Oberg, ready to field questions on how the levels of government are helping businesses in the region and community.