A new wrinkle to the Estevan Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting (AGM) this year created plenty of thoughtful and valuable discussion for the local business community.
A seven-member panel discussion was held featuring seven Chamber members and business leaders in Estevan and area, pictured below: Laurel Buck (A&A Jewellery), Joe Billesberger (B&S Construction/Prairie Sky Kitchens), Jim Wilson (Wil-Tech Industries Ltd.), Ed Turnbull (Turnbull Excavating Ltd.), Ron Areshnekoff (Spectra Financial), Jeff Pierson (Days Inn Estevan), Brady Johnson (Encompass Fitness).
"It was a real great to feature the expertise that we have in our community," expressed Jackie Wall, Executive Director of the Estevan Chamber of Commerce. "It's really important, at all times but especially when times are a little leaner, that we support each other."
The panel featured members that have owned and operated a business ranging anywhere from 3 to 30 years. Each person spoke on how they've managed the ups and downs of the past three years, on the new initiatives and ideas they've put in place, and how they plan on navigating the short-term and long-term future of their business.
A question was also posed to the panel from the City of Estevan's new Economic Development Co-ordinator Dwight 'Fitz' Bramble, asking what is the one most important thing that each of them would like to see happen to help their business.
The answers ranged from a stronger focus on the community shopping locally, easing taxation on businesses, exploring new ways of generating power, and creating more consumer confidence.
"If our businesses can feel comfortable to call someone else, whether they are in the same industry or not, and ask them some questions...that knowledge and information is invaluble. And it's right here in our community and our businesses," added Wall.