By Nikki Jamieson
The Vauxhall Business Society has enough signatures to become a chamber of commerce.
With 38 business signing up to become members of the soon to be established Vauxhall and District Chamber of Commerce (VDCC) last month, the VBS exceeded the 30 minimum needed.
“It’s good for Vauxhall and area to get this going and have a future, because VBS, in our opinion, had very little mandate, where we could work in. And it was only focussed on the Town of Vauxhall and the businesses there, so our membership was kind of handicapped by the area set aside for us as the Vauxhall Business Society,” said Joerg Klempnauer, VBS president. “So I think this is a good step forward.”
With the needed signatures, they can start filling out application forms and supporting papers for the Alberta Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Chamber of Commerce, as per the Board of Trade Act, draft bylaws and start the transfer of assets from the VBS over to the new chamber. If all goes according to plan, they hope to have the chamber up and running by March.
“The whole thing takes time, probably two, three months, until they have it incorporated,” said Klempnauer. “Then we are a (federal) chamber, and then we have to become a member of the Alberta chamber, but that is simultaneously incorporated at registration.”
Right now, the VDCC is set to have the same executive board as the VBS: president, Klempnauer; vice president, Kris Hunter, Scotia Bank; secretary, Peter van Uden; treasurer; Jennifer Schafer, Avail; along with additional board members in Vauxhall mayor Margaret Plumtree and Monika Miller Southern CO-OP.
Once the chamber has been officially formed, an annual general meeting will be held to decide on the executives for the chamber.
“You can’t have an annual meeting of a non-existent corporation, right, you have to have a body that initiates the incorporation. Then we have an annual meeting, and that’s when people get properly elected.”
As a chamber, they will be able to represent more business in the area, which would basically cover everything in the M.D. of Taber, north of the Oldman River. The chamber would allow members to obtain documents such as export papers more easily, process passport applications and do chamber-offered discounts with select businesses.
The chamber will also allow businesses and farms to obtain group insurance for family members and hired staff.
The chamber would be working with the Vauxhall Public Library, who will be performing administrative duties and serve as a home base in exchange for funding from the VBS and, once up and running, the VDCC.
“To us, I think it is a new regime that we’re starting here, a new joint-venture, so to speak, but I think it’s a win-win for both organizations.”
For those of you who worry about the fate of the pancake breakfast on Canada Day, don’t worry, the VDCC will carry on with that, and Klempnauer hopes that as a chamber, they can expand upon their involvement in the area, such as by hosting business seminars.
Klempnauer thanks the people and businesses of Vauxhall and the M.D. of Taber for their support in making the VDCC a reality, as well as the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce and the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce for their help in the process.
“We plan to work very strongly together, because we are only able to do this because the Taber chamber agreed to set this area free, I call it, north of the Bow River,” said Klempnauer.
“We will be working strongly with Taber and Lethbridge (chambers). All those things only have purpose and make sense if you work together with other organizations.”