The Yorkton Business Summit is a new event hosted by the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce, designed to help the businesses in the region network and face challenges they might encounter in the region.
Topics covered over the day included the state of business in Yorkton, First Nations business opportunities, tools for developing online business and a keynote presentation by Ben Voss, CEO of Morris Industries.
Mike Stackhouse, President of the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce, thought that the inaugural event achieved the goal the Chamber had, which was to get local expertise on display.
“The things that work in Yorkton might not apply to other cities. What we have is a group of people here from Yorkton. I think it’s most pertinent for Yorkton business people is to hear from successful Yorkton people, because what works here, works here, it might not work elsewhere.”
Stackhouse in particular was impressed by Evan Taypotat, Chief of Kahkewistahaw First Nation, who discussed the challenges they face with economic development and education.
“He was extremely entertaining, extremely informative and very eye opening... I found it to be really refreshing to hear him speak frankly, in a tone that took on some accountability for himself and his people, but at the same time making note that there’s more to it than him and his people, and we need to understand each other better, and not just be one group here, one group over there. We should be in this all together. To hear him talk about wanting to include everybody was really refreshing and really encouraging.”
Getting a perspective on Morris Industries through Voss was another highlight for Stackhouse, and he enjoyed the opportunity to get a glimpse inside one of Yorkton’s longest-lived businesses.
“Even though they have been here for almost 100 years, there are a lot of people who have lived here their entire lives who have no idea what they do, so that was eye opening as well.”
In the last section of the day, the state of business address by Laurie Renton of LR Futures, Evan Ortynsky of the Key Auto Group and Jordan Schenher of Modern Mattress, a theme developed, that being a need for Yorkton businesses to get together the community as a whole.
“The challenges they face as businesses are common. If we can promote Yorkton as a whole, there’s a pretty good chance that the same person who buys a new mattress for their home is going to need a new vehicle at some point, is going to need to do some financial planning, is going to need to buy a home from a realtor... I think, even though all the businesses here are different, they’re all intertwined and their success is defined by the overall success of our city,” said Stackhouse.
While they do not know the schedule yet, Stackhouse believes there will be more Business Summits in the future. He was pleased to see the business community to turn out in support, especially for a full-day summit in the middle of the week.