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Battlefords Chamber highlights 2022 successes, readies for 2023

After the return of BBEX, several meetings with government officials, and renovations, the chamber is planning for a big year with a new community relocation guide, shopping sprees, and more.
Liam Pollard of Vantage Chartered Professional Accountants reads the audit, while Linda Mackniak and Kayla Petersen look on.

BATTLEFORDS — Battleford’s Chamber of Commerce opened 2023 with its annual member meeting on Feb. 7, highlighting the successes of 2022 and their plans for the rest of the year. 

“I would say there were several highlights,” Linda Machniak, chief operating officer, said. “We’ve finished lots of projects from 2021,” which included their presentation of the accreditation certificate, rebranding and name change.

Other highlights include the return of the BBEX awards, the creation of 89 “Meet our Members” videos for a shop local campaign, a luncheon and fireside chat with Premier Scott Moe and the induction of the Craig family into the business hall of fame.

In addition to these accomplishments, the chamber completed a slew of renovations, including replacing old lighting fixtures, painting and adding new carpet in the Baluch Mural Meeting Room. 

“We’ve done a lot of work in the building here …,” Machniak said.

According to the documents provided at the AMM, advocacy work in 2022 continued to be very busy with issues in the labour market, property assessment issues in Saskatchewan and Ukrainian refugee settlement issues.

“Of course, there’s lots of advocacy work that gets done on behalf of members and businesses on issues related to all levels of government. It’s always a really busy year.”

Looking ahead to the rest of 2023, Machniak expressed excitement for the Chamber’s plans.

“We probably have two new projects,” Machniak said. 

Their new program started in 2022 to engage a co-op or USask student as an intern, welcomed Sarah Hashin this year, and she plans to work in partnership with the chamber, Destination Battleford, the city of North Battleford and the hotel association. 

As Destination Battlefords is currently without staff, she’ll be doing some work. As they re-establish their role, she’ll be supporting their efforts and helping them with a new website, social media and administrative work. 

The chamber is also planning to create a community relocation guide, which Machinak says will help business owners if they have to relocate or are hiring people from outside of town. 

“We also are planning for a large-scale shop for the Battlefords campaign in the fall. Years ago, we did several million dollar shopping sprees, so we’ll come up with something,” Machniak said, though a few more details have to be nailed down.

The chamber is also looking forward to attending the Saskatoon food, fuel, and fertilizer business summit hosted by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce for all four Western Canadian provinces.

“I know there are some guest speakers that will be very interesting because we all know those are three commodities highly prized in the world right now. The good thing is Western Canada has them in spades.”

At the meeting, the budget was approved, and in 2022, the chamber had an operating surplus of $6,980.

With the financials presented by Liam Pollard of Vantage Chartered Professional Accountants, and as the chamber of commerce uses a new accounting firm every three years for their audit, Swanson, Gryba and Company were chosen for the next three years. 

Cassandra Germsheid was nominated and elected to serve as member-at-large on the executive committee.