The Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce is expanding as they welcome businesses from the Town of Sexsmith.
Grande Prairie Chamber Chief Executive Officer Tanya Oliver says the Sexsmith Chamber of Commerce board, which is volunteer-run, decided it was time to close up shop and approached the Grande Prairie-based organization to see what it might look like to have the Sexsmith members join the larger organization.
“We have already been surfacing the region for decades, and we already have some existing businesses located in Sexsmith as members,” Oliver says. “So we came to an arrangement where we are transitioning their members who are not already part of our chamber into becoming members.”
With the transition, the Grande Prairie-based Chamber added 30 additional members. With that, Oliver says it came at a perfect time, as one of the main priorities in 2023 for the Grande Prairie organization was to build and grow regional connections. She adds during the pandemic, an unintentional side effect was people ending up working in “silos.” Throughout 2023 one, the Grande Prairie and District Chamber has been working to break those silos down while fostering and growing relationships.
“One of the things that will change is, just like we meet with our elected officials in the region, we will now have dedicated meetings with the mayor in Sexsmith and their economic development team and their CAO to learn more about the unique challenges that Sexsmith faces,” she says. “We have such a unique area of the province, and we provide such a significant impact to the province and Canada, so to be able to work with Sexsmith in addition to the larger communities, we will just strengthen that.”
She says along the lines of building relationships, the chamber will be holding a mixer in Sexsmith in November to get to know the different businesses in the municipality and start building those relationships.