Supporting local is important to many, especially in small communities. In North Dundas, the countless small businesses are fortunate to have the support of the local Chamber of Commerce, which always welcomes new memberships, and is currently seeking board members. The only time commitment for board members is a meeting once per month, typically lasting less than two hours.
“We just need input, we need information, we need to put our heads together,” said Chamber President, Nanda Wubs-Huizenga. “We need one treasurer, and anywhere from four to ten directors.”
Board members represent various local business sectors, with the greatest need currently for members representing the retail sector. The North Dundas Chamber offers the most affordable membership in all of Eastern Ontario at just $120 per year.
The Chamber advocates on behalf of members and helps with the challenging endeavor of running a local business. For example, the Chamber recently sent out a Business Health Check Survey to get an idea of how businesses are doing, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A weekly Chamber newsletter is offered for anyone who wants to keep up with Chamber activities.
The scope of the benefits offered by the Chamber may come as a surprise to some local business owners. Beginning earlier this year, the Chamber began offering a free bi-monthly event called the Chamber Chat, which is an informal opportunity to learn about what the Chamber is doing, and is a great way to network with other business owners. These meetings typically take place at a restaurant, or, in the case of the next meeting on April 21 at 9 am, the meeting will be a catered event at the North Dundas Business Centre. Nanda told the Times that in her experience, connections are made at these meetings, and business often ends up being informally conducted between business owners.
Another significant benefit provided by the Chamber is the Chamber Group Benefit Plan, which is an affordable alternative to workplace benefits, because the premiums are based on all members within the Chamber, rather than just the employees at a given workplace. The Chamber also gets a small commission on the premiums from this plan, so it is an easy way to support fellow local businesses while also saving money. Other Chamber benefits include advertising opportunities (including a business listing on the Chamber website, plus different advertising packages available), discounted trade show booths in both North and South Dundas, and discounts for members for businesses including at Purolator, Grand & Toy, Esso, Rogers, and more.
Nanda emphasized that many businesses simply don’t realize how much benefit the Chamber could provide for them. “There’s a lot of bang for their buck!” she said. The Chamber’s Annual General Meeting, which is open to all businesses, will take place at Smokie’s Vineyard on May 19 at 7 pm. Those seeking more information about the Chamber, including how to join, can visit their newly revamped website at www.northdundaschamber.com.