A personal thank you to each one of you that has renewed your membership. The member benefits and services we provide are at the core of what we do. The Chamber Board and Staff strive to provide you with value on your investment in the Chamber. During our tourism presentation to Council I talked about the value on investment, or VOI, that we provide to the Municipality as part of the tourism contracted services.

Perhaps you could look at your Chamber Membership and the value you receive. Are you making the most of your membership? Are you planning a new venture or developing a new product line or service? It’s important to keep the Chamber informed about what you are doing so we can best serve you. In the next few weeks board members and staff will be scheduling visits with Chamber Members to ‘take the temperature’ of the business climate in Trent Hills. If you are interested in meeting with us, please contact the office to schedule a meeting. We are interested to hear what you have to say and how it can shape the activities that we undertake in the coming year.

Generating revenue for Chambers is not just through membership fees. We are very proud to offer rates that are considered very modest in the Chamber world. We accomplish this through various non-dues revenue opportunities. Affinity programs are partnerships that we create either locally or through the Chamber Network to provide the Chamber with compensation for administering and marketing the programs to members. The Group Insurance, Merchant Card Rates and new Travel program are examples of affinity programs. While many Chambers are required to generate revenue through fundraising events, we are fortunate to operate the ServiceOntario office which provides the additional resources to operate a Chamber.

We will be presenting our financial statements for the year at the Annual General Meeting in March. We had a very successful year, in part due to the exceptional docking season. The Chamber Board of Directors has committed $7,500 from reserves to support downtown revitalization in each of the three communities, as well as $2,500 to improve the docking facility at Old Mill Park. It’s important that we invest in our community and I’m thrilled that we are able to contribute in this manner. – Lori Schuett, Chair