Great deal of work completed in very short period for members and the community

By John LeVatte

When we were younger many of us, well this writer for sure, dreaded that time of year when our report cards were sent home.

If you had studied hard, read all the required texts, kept your homework up to speed and attended all of your classes regularly then you were in the clear and could expect a pat on the back and a well done when your parents and others looked over your year’s work.

And if you didn’t do all of the above you were in the doghouse for most of the summer and could expect a stern lecture to start your new school year in September.

Now that we’re older, report cards are not as scary. In fact, they are a very necessary part of our day-to-day business because they allow us to look back and take stock of what we’ve done well during a specific period of time.

That is certainly the case with the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce.

Since January, the Chamber has gone through an incredible amount of change and has done so while offering new services, information and event programming to its members. In other words, our report card is full of A’s and even a couple of A+’s.

This is no small feat considering the special things we have done while moving to a new location and setting up in a totally different part of the Town of Perth.

Some of the exceptional highlights so far in 2015 include:

• Moving to Inge-Va House Museum
• Introducing a new General Manager
• Completing the most successful Festival of the Maples ever
• Holding a very successful Annual General Meeting
• Continuing our very popular and successful ‘After 5’ events
• Re-invigorating our social media presence
• Completing an important agreement with the Town of Perth
• Unveiling a much-needed, all-new website
• Completing member focus articles that are highlighting our members like never before – most recent story on Perth Brewery reached more than 7,500 people on Facebook!
• Holding a very successful 2015 Chamber golf tournament
• Launching a new focus on member advocacy and government relations on our new website including a focus on this year’s federal election
Clearly it is always good to take stock and see where you’ve been so that you can better know where you need to go. For the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce it is very clear we have had a very successful 2015…but we’re just getting started.

Planning has begun in earnest on a major music event for winter 2016 and we are gathering partners and momentum to sponsor a labour market gaps symposium.

With our new website, a site our members have told us has not worked well for a very long time, we are communicating with our membership like never before. We are featuring news and features they can use. And we will continue to highlight our member businesses and will be proactively involved with both the Canadian and Ontario Chambers to ensure our members’ needs are taken into consideration when policy and programming is created.

Yes, it has been a very busy six months, but stay tuned everyone…there is so much more to come….

*as appeared in the August edition of Business Today newspaper