• Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

    Following the legalization of recreational cannabis in mid-October, retailers, including the government’s own online store continue to be plagued by an ongoing shortage of product. While these types of hiccups may be excused given cannabis has only been legal since October 17th, it also serves as great evidence for the shortcomings of central planning and the incredible efficacy of free market, supply and demand principles. It also reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from the great economist Milton

    I wanted to take this opportunity to give thanks to our new members and those that choose to renew their Chamber memberships. Through the 2017 – 2018 Chamber year we had some challenges, but we also saw some considerable successes.

    According to the July TransCanada power update, Alberta electricity prices are up an average of 300% from the year prior to $63.44/MWH (mega watt hour) from just $16.78/MWH in June 2017. This massive jump in electricity prices will take its toll on the pocket books of consumers and businesses paying to operate electrical equipment, for their lights, refrigerators, and if they’re lucky, air conditioning.

    With the 2018 Business of the Year nominations now open let’s talk more about why putting your organization’s name or another’s forward is well worth the effort.

    As we continue to emphasize the need for increased economic growth and diversification, an attractive and consistent regulatory regime will be paramount in attracting investment. There will always be a need to ensure a reasonable balance between stakeholders in projects, but they must be done so in a timely manner that is sensitive to economic and competitive pressures that businesses use to weigh investment decisions.

    While you would never know from talking to the Finance Minister, many Alberta businesses continue to struggle. The economic recovery is not being felt by all and our economy is still a shadow of its former self. Costs layered upon business have eroded their competitiveness while the United States of America has increased it’s energy independence and slashed personal and corporate tax rates.

    The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce recently submitted a letter to Mayor Veer, City Council, and the City Manager advocating for a zero per cent increase to the 2018 Operating Budget and not just because we’re trying to be difficult or grab a headline.

    The Alberta Government has introduced Bill 30 An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans for First Reading. Bill 30 makes significant changes to the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards, which will result in new costs and administrative burdens for employers.

    The “Giving Tuesday” movement started in Canada in 2013 and has evolved into an annual movement taking place on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, encouraging individuals and organizations to collaborate to find ways to give back to charities and causes throughout the holiday season. Giving can be in monetary ways and by volunteering and is not just limited to the time and money given by individuals. Business can, should, and does play a key role in assisting local charitable activities.

    Over the years Agri-Trade has expanded to utilize almost every square foot available of Westerner Park, including a substantial portion of the parking lot and still has a waiting list of want-to-be exhibitors. In 2016 we saw over 28,000 qualified agriculture buyers attend the show despite the prime harvest weather of plus 20 degrees following unusually early and heavy snowfall of that October. Those attendees saw 475 farm manufacturers showing the latest and greatest in agriculture machinery and technology