I am very pleased to bring this update to our committed membership on behalf of the Board of Directors. The year 2020 was an extremely tough one for a majority of our membership. Although we are not out of this pandemic yet, we are starting to see rays of hope that we will one day resume all of our normal day to day behaviour. Rather than dwell on the pandemic, which I am sure most of you are frankly tired of, I will focus on the Chamber activities.
As we entered 2020, we set our sights on 3 key objectives.
I am proud to say that we accomplished everything on our strategic plan that was within our control.
When things in the world turned, we as a chamber shifted as well, doing what we do best, which is looking out and advocating for our membership. We provided information to all of our members on sometimes a daily basis to help them navigate through the fog. We sat at municipal, provincial and federal tables to put a voice forward for our members. Our team participated on many different forums:
We continued to grow our relationship with the Economic Development Department at the Municipality and we are considered to be the voice of business in Chatham-Kent. We are the ones being called on for comments on municipal plans that affect business across our area and we continue to provide depositions or letters of support to council on important business matters.
We made the most progress on our social media and communications plan this year. We took great pride in our facebook page and we launched an instagram account to connect more with our younger membership. Through both we are working tirelessly to share and repost all of the social media marketing by our members to get them more exposure through their social media platforms.
The past year was a year of many firsts, and although we did not get to do all of the in-person networking events that we typically do, we made the best of what we could. We turned most of our interactions to virtual platforms, hosting virtual happy hours and water cooler talks. For the first time in history, we hosted a virtual Business Excellence and Rural Urban Awards, keeping those long standing traditions alive and moving forward. We had many well deserving winners of awards and we are all pleased that we still got to celebrate them in a virtual setting. A special thank you to all of our sponsors and a big thanks to Eric and YourTV for your continued support.
Our golf tournament took place and turned out to be a huge success, giving many people the much needed chance to get out and have some fun.
We also took the opportunity this year to do a much needed facelift of our office exterior, which is close to being complete. If you haven't seen it yet, please take a drive by as it really pops out now and provides another renovated facade in historic downtown Chatham.
I am very proud of our dedicated staff. Gail and Sarah always continue to put their best foot forward and do great things for our membership base. All of our efforts would not be possible without you. Thank you to both of you. Also a big thank you to all of our volunteers, especially our Board of directors and committee representatives for all of the hours you put in. It is much appreciated by all!
As we leave 2020, and shift our focus to a prosperous 2021, I would like to say that it has truly been an honour to chair our chamber and I look forward to seeing all the hard work and plans continue to come to fruition. We strive to provide a second to none value for our members. Thank you to all of you for your continued support of the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce!