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The Chamber of Commerce honours Strathmore’s best businesses

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

 Harold Kulik and Kyle Bow of Enviro Windows were presented with the New Business of the Year Award at the Strathmore and District Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards on Thursday, Oct. 19. Pictured are Chamber of Commerce president Terri Kinsman, vice president Wanda Reinholdt, Harold Kulik and Kyle Bow.

Harold Kulik and Kyle Bow of Enviro Windows were presented with the New Business of the Year Award at the Strathmore and District Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards on Thursday, Oct. 19. Pictured are Chamber of Commerce president Terri Kinsman, vice president Wanda Reinholdt, Harold Kulik and Kyle Bow.

The best of the best in Strathmore and area’s business community came together to celebrate business during the Strathmore and District Chamber of Commerce’s business awards night on October 19. The awards banquet was held during Small Business Week in Strathmore.

 

Wanda Reinholdt, vice president of the Chamber, acted as the master of ceremonies for the event.

Special dignitaries included the president of the Chamber of Commerce Terri Kinsman, Strathmore Mayor Michael Ell, Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt and keynote speaker Chief Economist of ATB Financial Todd Hirsch.

The chamber thanked Mayor Michael Ell for his leadership and commitment to the success of Strathmore.

“I am humbled,” said Ell. He spoke of the board of directors of the chamber of commerce, saying that most of them are small business owners who know the value of a strong chamber of commerce. He also spoke of the chamber’s increase in membership in 2017.

“The chamber supports our downtown revitilization plan, which is going to increase business visibility and downtown access,” he said.

He thanked the chamber of commerce for their commitment and their vision.

MLA Derek Fildebrandt thanked the Chamber of Commerce, and recognized Mayor Ell for his passion for the community. He also acknowledged the former councillors from the county and the town and congratulated the new mayor and council for the Town of Strathmore.

Fildebrandt expressed concern about the way small businesses are taxed in Canada.

“What happens in Ottawa effects us very directly here. Changes that are being made in Ottawa to small business I don’t believe are particularly well planned,” he said.

He said small businesses were family businesses, like family farms that want to pass on their businesses to their families.

He said he hoped the federal government would stop and reconsider its proposal on taxing small businesses. He also took the opportunity to thank first responders like the fire departments in Wheatland County and Gleichen for their response to the devastating fires over the past week.

Todd Hirsch was the keynote speaker for the evening. He spoke of three types of issues that drive Alberta’s economy. Hirsch spoke of the ebbs and flows of the energy sector, he spoke of wage decreases within the energy sector and how the energy sector is more like a strong backbone to the economy, rather than the driving engine to the economy.

“The energy sector has shifted roles,” said Hirsch.

He touched on retail and housing activity and noted that there may be a correlation between Alberta’s economy and retail sales.

“We are at an all time high for retail sales,” he said.

He also spoke of the changes within the housing market over the first five months in 2017.

Afterwards, there was a buffet supper catered by Kim’s Catering before the awards presentation. The Western District Historical Society presented a number of historical Canada 150 themed awards, which were presented by President Rhonda Stockwell and Lynne Fair. The Chamber’s Small Business Week Awards presentation was given by Reinholdt and Kinsman.

Stockwell and Fair honoured businesses that have retained historical significance in the community, The Western Irrigation District, The Strathmore Hotel, and The Strathmore Standard.

In terms of the chamber of commerce’s awards, the New Business of the Year was awarded to Enviro Windows. The Community Spirit Award was presented to Gregory Harriman & Associates. The Customer Service Excellence Award was presented to OK Tire. The Rural Business Award was presented to Poplar Bluff Organics and the Chamber Choice Member Award was presented to ATB Financial.