How to Get Involved with the Kawartha Chamber in the New Year

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1. Join a Committee

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One way to get involved with the Kawartha Chamber is by joining one of our Committees. We rely on volunteers to provide their expertise. Getting involved with the Chamber through one of our Committees not only helps support your community and Chamber but can also help you enhance your professional development.

The deadline to apply for a spot on one of our Committees is Monday, January 7th, 2019 at 12:00pm.

Available Committees:

  • Finance
  • Human Resources/Governance
  • Marketing
  • Membership & Programs
  • Awards of Excellence & Social Gala (late summer, fall commitment)
  • Nominating
  • Public Policy
  • Resource

Click here to download the Volunteer Expression of Interest Form.

2. Join our Board of Directors

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Chamber Board President, Tonya Kraan, STREXER, and 1st Vice President, Mike Walker, Agilec

Another way to get involved with the Kawartha Chamber is by joining our Board of Directors.

The Chamber’s Nominating Committee is currently seeking nominations from our Chamber members for the 2019/20 Board of Directors. The deadline to apply for the Board of Directors is Monday, January 7th, 2019 at 12:00pm.

A board position is a two-year term and is confirmed annually at our Annual General Meeting held in February. Please note, you must be a Chamber member in order to sit on our Board of Directors. In order to submit your name or the name of a current employee who would represent your member business, your Chamber membership must be in good standing (annual dues and other purchases paid).

Click here to download the application form.

 

20 Gifts to Give Yourself and Your Business in 2019

 

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We made it past the holidays and onto a brand-new year. Most of us have spent the last few weeks looking for the perfect gifts for loved ones, employees, clients, pets, teachers, and a host of others. It’s time you shift that generosity to yourself and your business with these gifts you should be giving.

Gifts to Give Yourself and Your Business in the New Year

Time. Start scheduling those things you’ve been meaning to do like exercise. Treat it like a meeting and schedule something regularly to meet your goals. Don’t cheat yourself out of this time. Your schedule will fall into place around it.

Understanding. Everything you touch won’t always turn to gold. Cut yourself a break when it comes to your failures. Which brings us to….

Learning. Whether it be learning from your failures or taking an online course, self-development is critical to all business professionals these days. Most likely, no one will tell you that you need to learn a particular skill. That’s on you. You need to keep up with what’s important in your industry and stay on top of the new tech and best practices associated with it.

Hydration. Yes, seriously. It’s too easy to become busy and forget but our bodies are ¾ water so it’s an important one. While you’re at it buy yourself a cup you love, and it’ll be easier.

Assistance. Maybe it’s time to hire help. It doesn’t have to come in a full-time role if you’re not sure about it. You can use a virtual assistant or project person to handle things while you gauge the workload. Still, getting someone on board to handle a few of the things that keep you up at night may make you feel better.

Volunteering. Do something for someone else. Volunteer a few hours at a local charity or not-for-profit, mentor a young professional, or create a program at your business that gives employees a few hours to help in the community.

Simplicity. Look for ways to streamline things personally, professionally, and in your business. Your future self will thank you.

No. Yes, “no” is a gift. Stop saying yes to everything simply out of obligation. Say no more so that you can give more attention to the things you really want to say yes to and those that will help you achieve your goals.

Trust. Business owners must trust their employees and while most say they do, they often have created an environment where the subordinates don’t feel empowered to make decisions on their own. Make sure you’re clear about what they can (or can’t) handle on their own. You’ll have far fewer interruptions if you take the time to clear up the process.

Less television. Television is a time suck. Even if you enjoy unwinding every night in front of it, you may not be aware that you are losing hours and hours out of your day or your valuable sleep.

Sleep. 7-8 hours. Anything less impairs cognitive and decision-making abilities.

Chamber membership. It’s not enough to just pay the dues. Use your membership this year to grow your business in a new way. Extend your network, get involved, volunteer, or ask for assistance. There’s likely a whole world of services you’re not using.

Ending a bad habit. You have one. If it’s unhealthy or taking up room in your head, get rid of it.

Inspiration. Start keeping a journal or carry a notebook or use your phone and begin capturing the things that inspire you. Then once a month or so look for ways you can use those in your business.

Quiet. It’s hard to hear the inspiration when you don’t take a moment to listen to the silence.

Upgraded tech. If it’s been a while, you’re due.

Organization. Select one area of your home or life and organize it. Areas you might target are pictures, the basement, your storeroom, apps, or your mind.

Reading. This year read something you normally wouldn’t and see if it doesn’t make you think or reconsider previous thoughts. If you read fiction, try non-fiction. If you never read anything more than a magazine or a blog post, try something that’s a larger commitment. If you always read books, try an audiobook.

Consistency. Try setting out a plan and sticking to it or, if that’s what you always do, try something unexpected and unplanned. Shake 2018 up. Finally…

Challenge. It’s nice to live in comfort but no growth occurs there. Do something that terrifies you this year.

Blog post written by Christina R. Green, regular blogger for Frankjkenny.com
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Thanks to our Professional Development Sponsor, Lynn Woodcroft, Sales Representative, Royal LePage Frank Real Estate

How To Score Big For Your Business This Holiday Season

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Every holiday season, there’s a battle that occurs for consumer dollars. The big guy against the little guy, the brick-and-mortar versus the online retailer, everyone is looking for a bigger piece of the pie. It’s time to start thinking about your holiday marketing. Here are some things you can do to help you score big for your business this holiday season

Mobile

If you want to improve sales, mobile is it. The average person looks at their phone 46 times a day, with people in the 18-24 age bracket checking it 74 times, according to TIME magazine. They research, watch videos, make purchases, and get directions to stores. If your site isn’t mobile ready, you’re missing customers and your organic search listing is being penalized, as Google takes mobile into account.

In addition to having a mobile-friendly website, look for ways to reach your buyers on mobile. Consider deals for people looking you up on their phone. That’s a very warm lead. Do all you can to convert it to a prospect. Also, if you get moving quickly you could get your site optimized for local keywords that would help you score better in local search.

Social Media

If your social media presence isn’t as strong as you like, start today. This very minute. Select three platforms and dedicate some significant time to developing a personality on them and posting and interacting with people on a regular basis. The holiday time is a great time to do this because you can push contests and there are tons of ideas for content. Aim to post several times a day and interact with people in between those times. Take advantage of scheduling apps or schedule posts during some downtime in the office.

Reviews

Reviews are the lifeblood of a lot of businesses. Ask for them, read them, and respond to each of your reviews. Remind customers how much they mean to you and make it easy for them to do so. One local business that served ice cream used table tents to remind people of the importance of reviews to their business. That’s the perfect time because they’re likely sitting at the table looking at their phones anyway.

Gift Sets

If you have a product that is conducive to it, create gift sets. There’s something about things put together in a way that is appealing. Gift sets are wildly popular and an easy go-to gift for someone who doesn’t want to put together something on their own.

Gift Cards

Offering gift cards is a great way to sell more at the holidays. Not only do gift cards give the recipient the freedom to buy whatever they like, but most recipients tend to spend more than the card’s balance.  Plus, once you sell a gift card, the recipient must use it at your business, which, in turn, can help introduce new customers to your business.

Contests

Contests are wildly popular on Facebook and Instagram, particularly picture-taking contests like “Share Pictures of Your Shopping Treasures.” It not only gets people excited about your business but also gets them talking about it for others to see. Don’t forget to use a hashtag.

A Final Word on Improving Your Holiday Sales

Sales are impulsive so let logic go. Find ways to meet customers where they are and that usually means online. Competition is fierce but if you use social media and reviews to your benefit, you can show them a different side of you and stand out from the crowd.

Blog post written by Christina R. Green, regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com
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Thanks to our Professional Development Sponsor, Lynn Woodcroft, Sales Representative, Royal LePage Frank Real Estate

Get in the Christmas Spirit in the Kawarthas this Holiday Season!

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To help you get into the spirit of Christmas, we’ve compiled a list of events happening in the Kawarthas this holiday season. From Santa Claus parades to Christmas shopping events to tree lighting ceremonies (and more!), you won’t be disappointed. Check out the events below and get into the spirit of Christmas in the Kawarthas this winter!

1. Christmas in Lakefield

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Get into the Christmas spirit with the chance to win a $1000 shopping spree. This amazing prize is sure to come in handy for some of your Christmas gift shopping. All you have to do is fill out a ballot at a participating business and you could win!

The draw is on December 8th at 5:30pm at the Lakefield Legion. The winner will be receive $50 gift certificates to be redeemed at the following participating merchants:

Lakefield PantrySunblockersTrinkets & Treasures, Stuff, Stuff’d, Canoe & Paddle, The Chocolate RabbitLakefield HeraldLakefield IDA PharmacyHappenstance Books & YarnsM & M Food MarketVillage Pet Food & SupplyLakefield FoodlandAdventure OutfittersVillage PharmacyKawartha Home Hardware, Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, The Cozy Home, Paulmac’s Pet Food, Salon Sorella & Spa!

2. One Stop Christmas Shop

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Doing some Christmas shopping is a great way to get in the Christmas mood this holiday season. One of the stops on your list should be the One Stop Christmas Shop! It’s taking place on Saturday, November 17th from 10am – 2pm at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 77 – Lakefield.

Shop for holiday gifts from local vendors. Non-perishable food donations at admission welcome. All donations support the Lakefield Food Bank.

3. A Very Classy Christmas

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Celebrate the start of the holiday season with Classy Chassis & Cycles on Saturday, November 17th from 11am-2pm at their A Very Classy Christmas event.

Enjoy hot & cold beverages, Christmas treats, get your picture with Santa, and get a jump on your Christmas shopping with some unbelievable discounts. They will also be giving our a free gift to the first 36 ladies & 24 men,

4. Christmas at the Marshland Centre

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Another awesome shopping event to get you into the Christmas spirit is Christmas at the Marshland Centre! It’s taking place on Saturday & Sunday, November 17th & November 18th from 10am-4pm.

The Marshland Centre will be decked out for their 13th Annual Christmas Artisan show and sale and will feature works by local and regional artisans. You’ll find original handcrafted items including pottery, gourd art, jewellery, metal sculptures, textiles, paper art, wood turning, herbal products, jams, jellies, honey and more!

5. Annual Curve Lake Craft Sale

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If the previous two shopping events haven’t satisfied your Christmas shopping bug, you can also join Curve Lake First Nation on Sunday, November 18th for their annual Curve Lake Christmas Craft Sale!

It’s taking place from 10am-4pm at the Curve Lake Community Centre, and there will be Christmas homemade crafts, baked goods, jewelry and more! Admission is $3 per person. Half of funds raised will be going to the Curve Lake First Nation Food Bank.

6. Lakefield Santa Claus Parade

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There are three Santa Claus parades happening in the Kawarthas this year in Lakefield, Warsaw & Apsley. Santa Claus parades are great for getting in the Christmas spirit & catching a glimpse of Santa!

The first of the three parades is the  Lakefield Santa Claus Parade , organized by the Lakefield Lions Club. It’s taking place on Sunday, November 18th from 1pm – 3pm in Lakefield. After the parade, you can stop by the Lakefield Legion to meet Santa and enjoy some treats. Registration will take place at the Lakefield Legion from 12pm to 12:45pm.

7. Santa Claus & his Live Reindeer

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Stop by Village Dental Centre on Friday, November 23rd from 11am-2pm to meet Santa & his reindeer Comet & get a FREE photo.

There will also be cookies, hot chocolate and live music, and Village Dental Centre elves will be raffling off prizes and giving out goodie bags!

8. Buckhorn Holiday Home Tour

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Christmas home tours are a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. You can even get some ideas for decorating your own home for the holidays! There are two home tour events taking place in the Kawarthas this winter – one in Buckhorn and one in Lakefield.

The first holiday home tour is the Buckhorn Community Centre’s 8th Annual Buckhorn Holiday Home Tour on Sunday, November 25th from 11am to 4pm. You can tour five homes in the area that are all dressed up inside for the Christmas season.

Tickets for the event are $20 (limited tickets available!). Call the BCC at 705-657-8833 for more information.

9. Festival of Trees at the BCC

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The Buckhorn Community Centre’s Festival of Trees opens on Sunday, November 25th and runs until Thursday, December 6th. Attend the opening on Sunday, November 25th from 11am to 5pm to view & purchase tickets on a number of sponsored decorated trees. There will be also be 10-12 vendors selling items to help you fill your Christmas list. Admission is free.

The trees will be set up until December 6th so you can drop by anytime during the week to purchase tickets for the trees or to get into the Christmas spirit!

10. Warsaw Santa Claus Parade

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The second of three Santa Claus parades taking place in the Kawarthas this winter is the Warsaw Santa Claus Parade! It’s taking place on Saturday, November 24th at 5pm in Warsaw. The theme for this year is “A Pioneer Christmas.” The parade will begin at the Warsaw Public Works garage and will continue through the village.

A Tree Lighting Ceremony will then take place after the parade at 6pm on the lawn next to the Town Hall/Municipal Building. If you stay after the tree lighting, you can visit with Santa, drop off letters, enjoy hot chocolate and other treats, and sing carols!

Tickets will be available after the parade for the chance to win a decorated gingerbread house from Jeremy Riel. Proceeds from the ticket sales will go directly to the Nutrition Programs at Warsaw Public School and St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School.

11. Apsley Santa Claus Parade

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The third Santa Claus Parade taking place in the Kawartha region this year is in Apsley! Join Apsley & District Lions Club for their Santa Claus Parade and Celebrations on Saturday, November 24th at 6pm along Burleigh Street. The festivities will continue on after the parade at the North Kawartha Community Centre.

12. Lakefield Christmas in the Village & Holiday House Tour

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This is the second of two holiday home tours taking place in the Kawarthas this year. Attending this annual charitable event is another great way to celebrate the holiday season.

Get into the Christmas spirit by touring 6 lovely homes in the Lakefield area all decorated for the Christmas season! All ticket holders will also receive special offers & discounts at participating stores in Lakefield. Ticket’s range from day passes ($25/each) to a Friday Special Weekend Pass ($55/each).

If you opt for the Friday Special Weekend Pass, you can enjoy seeing the houses at night in a horse and wagon ride (sleigh if it has snowed) around Lakefield College School’s campus with mulled apple cider and cookies. Friday ticket holders can revisit any time on the Saturday or Sunday, too.

This annual event is in support of 3 local charities. This year’s recipients are Lakefield Youth UnlimitedCommunity Care Lakefield & Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge.

Tickets are available online at Eventbrite as well as in-store at Stuff and BALL Real Estate Inc., Brokerage in Peterborough. Friday night’s festivities starts at 5pm. The Saturday & Sunday home tours start at 11am.

13. Christmas by Candlelight

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Get into the holiday spirit & experience a traditional Pioneer Christmas with Lang Pioneer Village Museum’s Christmas by Candlelight on Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd from 5pm-9pm.

Sing carols, shop in the Christmas market, enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, take in “A Lumber Camp Christmas” production performed by Glen Caradus & Friends, meet Father Christmas & more. On Sunday only, there will be a live nativity at 7pm.

Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students & seniors (60+), $7 for youths (ages 5-14), free for children under 5, & $40 for a family (2 adults and up to 4 youths ages 5-14).

14. Santa Claus at Lockside Trading Co.

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Meet Santa Claus this holiday season at Lockside Trading Co. on Sunday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 9th from 11am-3pm. There will be pictures and wishes!

There is a minimum $10 per child/person donation. All proceeds are going to Jacks Journey and MPSII Research Fund.

Bring your letters to Santa and they will be mailed out to Santa through Canada Posts Santa program that replies back. Photos taken will be emailed.

15. Christmas Craft & Bake Sale

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Community Care is hosting their Christmas Craft & Bake Sale on December 5th from 9:30am until 12pm at 40 Rabbit St. in Lakefield.

Attending this event is the perfect opportunity to buy some baked Christmas goods as well as support Community Care. Call (705) 652-8655 for more details.

16. Storefront Decorating Contest in Lakefield 

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If the chance to win a $1000 shopping spree isn’t enough of a reason to stop by Lakefield this holiday season, the village is also going to look very Christmas-y this holiday season.

The Lakefield Lioness Lions Club are hosting a storefront decorating contest for all businesses in Lakefield. That means most of the storefronts in the village are going to be decked out for the holiday season with Christmas lights & decor!  Adding to the Christmas atmosphere in Lakefield, the Lakefield Lioness Lions are also going to be hanging Christmas lanterns on the lamp posts in the village.

17. Late Night Shopping in Lakefield

Celebrate the holiday season on Friday evening, December 7th from 5pm-8pm in the village of Lakefield with their Late Night Shopping event!

Shop along Queen Street (stores will have all kinds of special things in store for shoppers!), enjoy music, horse and wagon rides, as well as hot chocolate and cookies. There will also be a live nativity scene, warming stations and Santa Claus.

18. Tree Lighting Ceremony

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Each year, Christ Church Community Museum in Lakefield holds a special Tree Lighting Ceremony on the front lawn of their property at 6:30pm on December 7th. The entire community is invited to help celebrate Christmas!

After the tree lighting, there will be carol singing in the church with Jessica Ross and Noah Abrahamse, some baked goods and apple cider.

 19. Business After Hours: Holiday Social

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The Kawartha Chamber’s Business After Hours: Holiday Social is taking place on Wednesday, December 12th at Kawartha Lakes Construction (3359 Lakefield Rd.) from 5-7pm.

Kawartha Lakes Construction will be running their employee DIY Christmas tree contest, where they challenge their team to come up with creative Christmas trees & have guests vote on their favourite! KLC will also be collecting toys for the Lioness Club Toy Drive as well as non-perishable food items for the Lakefield Food Bank this evening.

Celebrate the holidays with us & Kawartha Lakes Construction! There will be refreshments and networking. Register here.

20. Christmas High Tea & Luncheon 

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Join Cuddles for Cancer at the Lakefield Legion on Saturday, December 15th from 11am to 1pm for a Christmas High Tea & Luncheon in support of Cuddles for Cancer! There will be high tea, a presentation, and live & silent auctions.

Tickets are $20/each and are available at the Kawartha Chamber, Cuddles for Cancer Drop-In Centre and Century 21 in Lakefield.

2018 Young Professional, Emily Wilkins

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Emily Wilkins. Photo by Erin Caitlin Photography.

Congratulations to Emily Wilkins!

Emily Wilkins, Adventure Outfitters was the recipient of our Young Professional award (sponsored by Community Futures Peterborough) at our 19th annual Awards of Excellence.

While not the original game plan, Emily is now part owner of a business that has been a local mainstay for over 30 years. Her duties include selecting and displaying stock, managing staff, and all marketing decisions. Essentially the day-to-day management of the business.

As an ideas person, Emily encouraged the redesign of the retail space, opening it up and making sales areas easier to navigate. E-commerce capability has expanded on the website. While others weren’t sure, Emily felt rental customers would pay for the convenience of delivery and she was right – bookings have doubled each year. With some product manufactured on site, she increased visibility of the ‘made here’ aspect and shares this story by offering factory tours. All have contributed to sales increasing about 20% over last year.

It was a challenge coming in to a well-established business and quickly moving to full responsibility; there was much trial and error learning. While staff management was a steep learning curve, Emily has implemented more effective training methods, adjusted scheduling to better support staff, and put more work into the hiring process to find remarkable people who make all the difference. Emily greatly appreciates the support that she has had from more experienced business people.

Learning how to keep everything afloat in the busy summer months has been very rewarding. Emily now prepares as much as possible in the slower season. Some maturity and documented protocols have also helped her to stay calm when the pace gets hectic.

Emily offers this advice for other young professionals, “It is very important to pay attention to your own mental health and stress levels as this can translate to business health. A lot of youth don’t think about this. They access lots of business-related resources to develop those hard skills but may not think about mental health resources and support.”

The judges were very impressed with how Emily has grown. Initially uncomfortable with the decision-making role, she now shows confidence in all areas and the business is better for her involvement.