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Westlock Chamber of Commerce moves meetings to Zoom

Virtual attendance for awards gala a possibility this spring
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Members wanted meetings back, said Westlock & District Chamber of Commerce president.

WESTLOCK — The Westlock & District Chamber of Commerce will start meeting again next week, this time via Zoom.

The first meeting of this year, scheduled for Jan. 28, will keep the usual Chamber timeslot of 8-9 a.m.

“Members have inquired about it at different points, which is obviously a factor [in bringing meetings back]; in addition, the uncertainty of when the restrictions on gatherings will be lifted was a big factor,” said president Graeme Harrington via email Jan. 22.

“We are hopeful that attendance will meet or exceed that of our in-person meetings, but we honstely don’t know what to expect.”

Tina Viney of Friesen Viney Stasiuk Chartered Professional Accountants will talk about taxes for businesses. She’ll also cover changes instituted due to COVID-19 and potential relief measures for business owners, and Harrington says Viney “will hopefully attract some attendees.”

The Chamber’s members last met Oct. 22 at the Westlock Legion. In November, Harrington announced the executive board’s decision to postpone all meetings. Two weeks before that, the Chamber also cancelled a small business lunch that was scheduled for Oct. 28, 2020 as cases of COVID-19 were increasing in the Westlock area and the Town of Westlock instituted a mask bylaw.

At the time, they were hoping to reschedule it for November, but further provincial restrictions and a worsening COVID-19 made that impossible.

The Chamber is looking to expand how it serves and engages with members and the business community. The Business and Community Awards Gala that was supposed to happen last year in person could be moved to a virtual venue in the spring.

“We are constantly looking at what other Chambers are doing and what the needs of the business community are, to try and creatively do what the Chamber is meant to do.”

Andreea Resmerita,