As my term as Chamber President comes to a close, I feel honoured to have served the membership through this very difficult time. It is disappointing that I wasn’t able to see you at events and connect with you in person as in previous years but hope that our regular communication helped you to know that we were continually thinking of you and your wellbeing.
The COVID-19 pandemic definitely turned 2020 on its end and forced all of us to adapt, reorganize and persevere through very challenging times. We can agree that when the pandemic began, we had no idea what to expect or what the implications would be for our businesses. The wave of information from all levels of government and local organizations was overwhelming and intimidating. This is where the Chamber staff rose to the challenge. I would specifically like to call out the dedication of Sherry Boyce-Found and staff who spent hundreds of hours attending online round table meetings, information sessions, and government updates to collect important information. Sherry and the staff dug through this information and organized and delivered it to us in a way that was easy to understand and utilize. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Lakefield ServiceOntario staff for their dedication and hard work during this challenging time. And a heartfelt congratulations to Deb Lowcock, our ServiceOntario Supervisor, who celebrated 30 years with the Chamber in 2020!
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to tell loved ones how special they are to you. Whether it’s your family, your friends or your partner – Valentine’s Day is a time to share how much you care! Share that you care for your community too by choosing local! The Kawartha Chamber has collected some special Valentine’s Day offers from local businesses to help you show a small business some love!
These uncertain times have forced many of us to stop, change direction and start off again on an entirely new path from where we thought we were heading. Vacation plans were cancelled, holidays and weddings were limited to family units or small groups of close contacts, even funerals were limited in number and became virtual affairs. With increased regulations, it is not surprising that education also had to change course. In the last year, parents have become educators, educators have become virtual teachers and school buildings have been temporarily closed. At Lang Pioneer Village Museum, our Christmas and spring school programs have always been a popular choice for educators and homeschoolers looking to break out of their traditional learning environment for a day of educational fun. However, with such instability, we knew that traditional field trips were not on the horizon so we needed to bring Lang’s 19th-century experience into a 21st century-format.
Choose Local! Guest Blog written by Heather Watson, Creative Director of acorn30
The COVID-19 pandemic has made all business owners re-think how they do business. Whether it’s shifting production lines to manufacture PPE and Hand Sanitizer or creating an eCommerce store to sell products online – it’s been shapeshifting for many.
As we’ve been working to find ways to adapt to doing business in a safe manner, one area that still needs to be figured out are Trade Shows. In 2020, numerous trade shows and conferences were postponed or cancelled for the year. Plans had been too far along for many show organizers to be able to shift from in-person to online events; these things take one to two years to plan and it’s difficult to turn on a dime. Show organizers with a bit more run up time were able to shift to online events.
This January the Kawartha Chamber partnered with Selwyn Township to hold a webinar series called Greening Your Business! Environmental Programs Intern, Hillary Bradshaw and Climate Change Coordinator, Anna Currier of Selwyn Township along with our Membership Coordinator, Tracy Beverley, hosted two sessions surrounding topics to support small businesses in undertaking green initiatives.