Tom Allen, president of the King Chamber of Commerce (right), gets some help from friend Rob Black collecting electronics waste for recycling during the community event Saturday at the Trisan Centre in Schomberg. Photo by Jeff Doner
|Building on the momentum and efforts of the King Chamber of Commerce,
its new president intends on increasing its reach and network.
According to president Tom Allen, the recent Excellence in Business Awards dinner allowed the Chamber to recognize some new businesses such as John No Frills in Nobleton and
some well established businesses like Robert B Sommerville and Zanders Sod.
“There are many local businesses that do a great job in supporting customers and the broader community and it is wonderful to be able to highlight a few each year,” he said.
Also in 2013, the Chamber increased its engagement with the Township. One of the best examples of this engagement was the consultation on the sign bylaw, particularly as it affects the 1,600 home-based businesses in the Township. Allen explained in the ﬁrst version of the bylaw, an individual could put up a sign for their business, however, the permitted information was quite limited and included the individual’s name rather than the business.
“Businesses put a lot of effort into their branding so we engaged both staff and politicians of the Township and the law now allows a sign to have a business name and business logo,” he observed.
Allen said the Chamber’s key priority for 2014 is to increase the networking opportunities for local businesses. Each year the have several events which bring people together.
“For 2014 we are looking to be more systematic in creating these opportunities every month.”
|The Chamber’s membership has been stable over recent years and the board plans to grow this year by increasing the networking opportunities and continuing with their advocacy on behalf of business.
The Chamber fulﬁlls a couple of key roles in King.
“First, it is a mechanism to bring people together. Our events are intended to bring business people together so they can meet new people and reconnect with existing acquaintances,” he said.
Last year, they started speciﬁc industry focussed events with their “Cultivating Connections” event focussed on the agricultural sector.
This year, the Chamber will continue both general and sector focussed events.
“Second, we can play a role in advocating for local business with the municipal staff and politicians; be the voice of business in King,” Allen pointed out.
Allen is impressed by the new Chamber board, noting he likes the diversity.
“We have people from several industries from hospitality, to construction, to retail, to ﬁnancial services. This breadth gives the board a good understanding of the industries in the Township and the diversity helps in creating linkages across industries,” he said.
This is Allen’s third year on the board. His
ﬁrst was as a regular board member and last year he served as vice-president.