Martensville, Warman Chambers of Commerce ponder merger

Directors of the Warman and Martensville Chambers of Commerce have each unanimously approved a proposal to amalgamate the two organizations.
The process is still in the early stages, and the membership of the two organizations will have an opportunity to learn more about the proposal at two open houses in early September, as well as a special meeting in early October.
The amalgamation proposal was outlined in a letter to the membership of both organizations on Tuesday, August 15. In the letter, Martensville Chamber of Commerce President Tracy Fesiuk, Warman Chamber of Commerce President Elise Hildebrandt, and Jamie Malmgren, Executive Director for both organizations, said under the proposal, the assets and membership of the two bodies would be combined for the net benefit of both. Continue reading “Martensville, Warman Chambers of Commerce ponder merger”

Second annual business awards generates interest

Warman Chamber of Commerce Executive-Director Jaimie Malmgren chats with a business owner at a joint luncheon for Martensville and Warman Chambers of Commerce on January 12

With nearly 100 nominations received so far, excitement is building for the second annual Warman-Martensville Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards..
Warman Chamber of Commerce Executive-Director Jaimie Malmgren said the number of nominations submitted for this year’s competition far exceeds last year’s inaugural event.
“The response to the nomination process has been very successful,” said Malmgren in an interview following a joint luncheon for members of the Martensville and Warman Chamber of Commerce in Warman on Thursday, January 12. “Many of the businesses were nominated in multiple categories. We’re now in the application process, and any business that was nominated has until February 1 to submit their application.”
An independent panel of judges will then review the applications and select the top five finalists for each category. The categories include: Business of the Year, Best New Business, Customer Service, Community Involvement and Marketing.
The five finalists in each category will be announced on March 15.
The awards ceremony is slated to take place in Martensville on Friday, May 5.
“Because it’s a joint event that both the Martensville and Warman Chambers of Commerce are collaborating on, we’re alternating the awards banquet between the two communities,” she said. “Last year it was in Warman, so this year it will be in Martensville.”
The January 12 luncheon brought together nominees from the business community to learn more about the process, said Malmgren.
“If they were a first-time nominee or if they were nominated last year and didn’t make the list of finalists, they were interested in knowing more about it. We had last year’s award recipients who talked about their experience, and they explained the benefits to their businesses of participating in the competition.”
Malmgren said she expects most, if not all, nominees will submit extensive applications.
“We’re thrilled with the response,” she said. “The energy in the room today was fantastic. Interest in the awards is growing. We’re looking forward to May 5.”

Taxes, red tape among concerns for small business

Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek, Kelly Block, is flanked by two of her staff members at the economic roundtable discussion in Martensville November 7
Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek, Kelly Block (centre), is flanked by two of her staff members, Ottawa Executive-Assistant Josh Boyes and office assistant Fran Gorbenko at the economic roundtable discussion in Martensville November 7

Small businesses and consumers will be the big losers in the federal Liberal government’s plan to implement a carbon tax, according to local business leaders.
During a roundtable discussion in Martensville on Monday, November 7 with Kelly Block, Member of Parliament (MP) for Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek, members of the Martensville and Warman Chambers of Commerce voiced their concerns about federal economic policies and regulations. At the top of the list was the impending carbon tax, followed closely by the increase in Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payroll deductions. These initiatives will increase the cost of doing business and ultimately cost consumers more, according to the consensus at the meeting.
Block is currently in the midst of a fall tour of communities in her constituency, speaking with business and community leaders, as well as ordinary citizens.
“I’m looking to get feedback from stakeholders about the impact of government policies,” said Block. “As a member of the Opposition party in Parliament, it’s our duty to hold the government to account, and this information that we’re gathering as part of these discussions is important because it allows us to do our job, which is speaking on behalf of Canadians.”
Block said the concerns raised at the meeting in Martensville were similar to comments she has heard at her weekly regional MPs’ caucus meetings.
“We try and keep our finger on the pulse of our ridings and the province as a whole,” said Block. “My colleagues are reporting many of the same comments that I’m hearing here today.”
Several local chamber of commerce members who are working in the field of real estate said the recent changes to regulations for first-time home buyers have negatively impacted the marketplace.
“The new rules have taken away a lot of purchasing power and caused a lot of stress,” said Elise Hildebrandt, a mortgage broker and President of the Warman Chamber of Commerce.”It’s a huge concern.”
The federal Conservative Party is holding a leadership debate in Saskatoon on Wednesday, November 9. Block said there is a large field of candidates in the running, and it promises to be a healthy exercise in democracy.