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Following the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce Board meeting and budget deliberations, the Chamber has made some significant decisions that will impact the 2020 fall event season.

The first decision was to cancel the 2020 Great West Home & Leisure Show.

“This decision was not made lightly as we know it’s a major event for our community, but in consideration of the present circumstances, the uncertainty of the regulations pertaining to mass gathering restrictions this fall and the significant decline in exhibitor interest for our fall show, we felt by making a decision early on we could provide some greater certainty to exhibitors and our contractors and our own operations”, stated Chamber of Commerce President, Tracy Noullett. “Our trade show team spent the last month reaching out to past exhibitors to survey the interest in participating in our show and whether or not we could proceed with the show; however we found that a majority of our exhibitors would be unable to participate or commit with a number of factors impacting those decisions”, further commented Noullett.

The cancellation of the Great West Home & Leisure Show will have significant budget implications for the Chamber of Commerce, but the organization will be looking at avenues to mitigate the challenging financial situation to the organization, reducing costs where they are able, while still delivering value to the community.

“We have a strong and resilient team that is looking at ways to adjust and respond to the current situation, while mitigating risk to the organization. They are looking at different options and opportunities and we know there will be exciting things to come within the organization as we adjust our own business model” Noullett indicated.

At the same meeting, the Chamber of Commerce also determined that it would still proceed with the annual Business awards by delivering the event in a different way.

“We will be looking at a blended model where we deliver a gala experience virtually, while promoting local businesses and incorporating enhanced recognition for our winners, nominees and sponsors” Executive Director, Lisa Kowalchuk said. “We want to create an unforgettable event that will create even greater recognition for our business community long after the event concludes”.

Noullett added “this is a great way to showcase our business community, to celebrate the amazing achievements of our businesses and to recognize the resilient and determined nature that our community has showcased during this time. Whether through customer service, innovation, export, marketing, mentorship or the many other categories of recognition, this is a great way to nominate and recognize the businesses who are surviving this pandemic and have showcased their amazing fortitude through this”.

The Chamber will also look at delivering other 2020 events in a virtual format and are also pleased to announce a new membership model for 2020 where any business can join through a trial membership option in order to gain exposure to the many benefits the Chamber provides and to become part of the largest, most unified business network in our region.

“There have been a number of strategies that we have had on our radar for the last few years and the pandemic has just accelerated many of our implementation plans, allowing us the opportunities to test, explore and launch these ideas in this new environment”, further commented Kowalchuk. “These are challenging, but interesting times, and it is allowing us to not only adapt, but truly transform what we do as we move forward”.

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Tracy Noullett, President

c/o Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce

(403) 527-5214 ext.225

The Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer-led organization, proudly representing the interests of businesses in our region, and working diligently to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy through our connections, support and influence. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has stood for promoting business, monitoring government and championing managed growth in the local economy. The Chamber represents over 800 businesses in our region and is aligned with both the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), which represents over 25,000 businesses and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce (CCC), which represents over 200,000 businesses. With the largest and most influential business organizations locally, provincially and federally, the Chamber network is the most unified, valued and influential business network in Canada and works together to shape policy and programs that will make a difference to businesses in our region.

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