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  • 1 Nov 2018 3:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Passport to Christmas Program encourages local shopping during the holiday season - and 2018 is the first year the Chamber has organized such an initiative.

    How does it work?  For each $10 spent at a participating local business the customer receives a stamp on their passport.  Each passport, when filled, can be dropped off at any participating business in order to be entered to win the grand prize of a $500 West Jet Travel Gift Certificate.

    The program will run from November 15th until December 20th, when the draw for the grand prize will be made.

    It is entirely free this year for any Sylvan Lake business, whether they are a Chamber member or not, to get in on this program simply by lighting up the exterior of their business.  

    For more information or to become a participating business, please contact the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce: 403.887.3048 / info@sylvanlakechamber.com

  • 22 Oct 2018 3:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Government of Canada is committed to advancing gender equality, women's economic empowerment and supporting women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy announced in Budget 2018.

    The full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to Canada's competitiveness. Current female entrepreneurs face unique barriers as they move along the business cycle. As a result, women own fewer than 16% of businesses and are underrepresented in the economy.

    By addressing women's economic empowerment through initiatives such as the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (the Strategy), Canada will have the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP by 2026 and reach its goal of doubling the number of majority women-owned businesses by 2025.

    As part of the Strategy, the Government is making funding available directly to women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. The objective is to provide support to women to grow their businesses and facilitate their pursuit of opportunities in markets abroad. The Fund is a $20 million investment providing up to $100,000 in non-repayable contribution funding for 12 months.

    The Women Entrepreneurship Fund will fund women-owned and women-led businesses to invest in activities that focus on:

    • Supporting pursuit of market opportunities abroad (e.g. international marketing strategy, supply chain integration, promotions, business advisory services, online presence/website development)
    • Supporting Scale-up, Expansion and Growth (e.g. product/service development and improvement, inventory management, value stream mapping, upgrades to plant and equipment, process and technology improvements
    • Additional activities that support the objectives of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund

    The Government of Canada invites eligible businesses to submit their innovative proposals for funding under the Women Entrepreneurship Fund.

    The deadline is this November - for more information about the selection criteria and how to apply visit their website.

    MORE INFO


  • 15 Oct 2018 3:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It was our honor to reveal the 2018 Sylvan Lake Business Award winners at the annual Mermaid Ball on Friday October 12th.   This year the Mermaid Ball was also the platform to announce the FCSS Youth Friendly Business Award which went to Timber Coffee Co. 

    Thank you to the many volunteers and sponsors who helped make the evening possible - and congratulations to the 2018 Award Winners!

    View Winner Video


  • 26 Sep 2018 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2018 Waterfront Winter Village is only possible with your help!

    In 2017 the  Waterfront Winter Village was spearheaded by volunteer members of the Waterfront Commercial District (WCD) Revitalization Committee, a subcommittee of the Sylvan Lake Chamber in partnership with the Town of Sylvan Lake. From December through March the village lit up nightly. Outdoor fire pits blazed, and business and community got involved. 

    This year, plans are well underway to extend the attraction and put new ideas into action that encourage community interaction and attract visitors. But it should be noted that lighting up Sylvan Lake does not begin and end lake-front; we encourage all of Sylvan Lake to light up their businesses and homes to make Sylvan Lake a spot people want to come for seasonal activity and spirit.

    Some of this year’s inclusive plans include:  Starting a Passport to Christmas Program for all businesses in Sylvan Lake with a storefront to participate in, doubling the Christmas Planter Parade, lighting up even more of the pier, new permanent fire pits at the site, new incentives for sponsors.

    In December the attraction may have a Christmas/Holiday Village feel, but this initiative extends through March and is intended to draw people to experience Sylvan Lake as we embrace the winter season.

    Our hope is that you will choose to partner with us now and into the future to help build this legacy for Sylvan Lake. For this reason we have enhanced what we offer our sponsors: In addition to on-site signage (presence determined by level of sponsorship), we offer social media acknowledgement, a banner on the Chamber website and an exclusive “sneak peek” event before the public light event.

    The three levels of sponsorship include: Platinum $1000, Gold $500, Silver $250.  If you wish to become a sponsor you can do so here.

    Thank you from all of us at the Sylvan Lake Chamber, Waterfront Commercial District Revitalization Committee and the Winter Village Committee for helping us make some magic happen.


  • 20 Sep 2018 11:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 10, 2018 - Alberta’s minimum wage will increase to $15 on October 1 — the highest rate in Canada. The provincial government argues the increase — the third in as many years — will benefit workers and businesses alike, but not all owners agree.

    “Businesses telling us that they’re going to take steps in order to try and survive the issue of increasing prices, the [issue] of reducing staff, reducing staff hours, reducing benefits — those are all things that businesses told us that they were going to do."

    “This is another increase that’s going to make it much more difficult to survive for a number of them,” - ACC President & CEO Ken Kobly

     View the full article and video

    Read: ACC Policy Brief | Impacts of Significant Minimum Wage Increase


  • 20 Sep 2018 10:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    "EnergyNow is pleased to publish this letter that was recently sent to Justin Trudeau by Deidra Garyk, who works in the Canadian energy industry. 

    If you agree with Deidra please share her letter on your own social media channels. We must keep up our collective voice to make sure the majority of Canadians are heard. The project is vital to getting a competitive price for our CANADIAN oil and generating tax revenue for a federal treasury that benefits all of Canadians."  Read Letter

    Here's what the Alberta Chambers of Commerce have to say: 

    "Alberta businesses are discouraged by the court decision", said Ken Kobly, president and CEO of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.

    LISTEN:  Global News - 770 CHQR: Ken Kobly talks with Peter Watts on wide-ranging implications of Trans Mountain for Canada and Alberta

  • 20 Sep 2018 9:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In 2019 Sylvan Lake has the honor of hosting SHiFT, an intensive 3.5 day course that will help tourism entrepreneurs design new and unexpected visitor experiences.  There are very limited spots available for this course which will be offered to tourism operators in Central Alberta (or anyone WITH a tourism idea) - so act soon to secure a spot.

    Share this with your colleagues or any entrepreneurs in the Central Alberta looking to get into the Tourism business, expand their existing product or that you may recommend for this program. There are limited (24) spaces open for this training program next March.

    On October 1, this invitation will be available to all tourism operators in Alberta so get your registration done early!

    Download Flier

    Register to attend



  • 14 Sep 2018 10:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A MESSAGE FROM THE WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION CANADA

    The Government of Canada launched an engagement plan to help strengthen the western Canadian economy, and lay the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity across the four western provinces.  

    The federal government is initiating a conversation with business, industry, academia, Indigenous Peoples, and different levels of government, to help develop a truly “Made-in-Western-Canada” growth strategy. This strategy not only reflects the unique regional advantages of each province, but also helps to stimulate economic growth.

    Your input will help shape the Western Canada Growth Strategy, a roadmap to build an innovative and inclusive Western Canada — one that stimulates the economy, strengthens the middle class and increases job opportunities for all Canadians, including Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, and new immigrants. 

    • Online discussion forum: Share your thoughts on five key discussion questions.
    • Group discussion: Organize your own group discussion by checking out this toolkit for tips on how to plan a session, shape your conversation, and report back.
    • Email: Send us an email at wd.engages-mobilisation.deo@canada.ca with your ideas or suggestions.
    • Letter: Send a letter to Western Economic Diversification Canada before November 9, 2018.

    Western Economic Diversification Canada

    C/O: Western Canada Growth Strategy Engagement

    Suite 1500, 9700 Jasper Avenue

    Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4H7




  • 4 Sep 2018 12:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    THE 2019 ALBERTA BUSINESS AWARDS OF DISTINCTION

    Exciting news- the nomination and submission pages are now open for entries. Celebrate the contributions and achievements of deserving Alberta businesses. Start nominating businesses today or submit your entry. The deadline for submissions is October 31st!

    Check out our new categories


     

     


  • 13 Jun 2018 4:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The Top 10 Worst Things to Say to Angry Customers

    10:  "Want the Good News or the Bad?" 

    When customers hear bad news they tend to catastrophize. They become so focused on the obstacles that they don’t see the bigger picture. So when you have both good news and bad to deliver, begin with the good. That way they begin with the proper perspective.

    9. “Bear with us.”

    To customers, that phrase comes across as an order. It also implies that your service is something to be tolerated. When problems occur, it’s better to express appreciation than give orders. Instead, say:  ‘We appreciate your patience.’

    8. “We can’t…”

    Customers don’t want to hear what you can’t do. You need to move quickly to, ‘Here’s what we can do…

    7. “It won’t be here until…

    Similar to phrase #8, the wording here is negative. Instead, word your message positively with, ‘It will be here as soon as…

    6. “Yes, but…

    The word ‘but’ negates whatever precedes it. Responding to a customer with, ‘Yes, but…’ means you’ve started an argument. Instead, replace but with and as in, ‘Yes, and…”

    5. “Looks like shipping messed-up.

    Blaming other employees, departments, or suppliers looks like deflecting responsibility. You represent your company so take ownership on behalf of your entire team with words like, ‘Looks like we messed up.’Better yet state, ‘Your problem just became my problem. I’m going to pursue this until it’s resolved and you tell me you’re satisfied.’

    4. “Why didn’t…?

    Asking a customer why something was or wasn’t done is inviting them to start blaming. You’ll get answers like, ‘I guess so-and-so must have messed-up.’ It makes things worse. Next time you’re gathering information, ask who, what, where, when, and how questions. Don’t ask why.

    3. “Our policy is…”

    When foul-ups occur customers don’t want to hear your standard procedures. After all, mistakes should be a rare occurrence right? Instead, explain why the policy is there. If the policy doesn’t make sense, then obviously it should be changed. When training your team, make sure everyone understands which procedures are meant to be guidelines; not policies.

    2. “What do you want us to do?”

    The customer’s response to this question may be physically uncomfortable, ‘I’ll tell you what you can do with this product!’ Instead ask, ‘What will work best for you?’ Another option is to state, ‘We want to do the right thing. What do you think would be fair?’ Then, on top of fixing the problem add a slight extra that helps compensate customers for the hassle. That way you convert an upset customer into an advocate.

    1. “You jerk!” (or other colorful names when a customer swears at you).

    I believe employees are paid to take the heat; not the abuse. When dealing with a customer who is swearing at you over the phone, state, ‘Mr. X, I want to help you. But I can’t help you when you’re using that language. So, let’s resolve this without using that language.’ If they continue swearing, then say, ‘Mr. X, as I said, I want to help you but I can’t help you when you’re using that language. So, I’m going to hang up now. Please call back when you’re ready to talk about this without using that language. Good bye.’ Then, immediately brief your supervisor so they’ll be forewarned when the caller phones asking to speak with the manager.

    Bottom line – It’s human nature for employees to want to avoid dealing with angry customers. But in the real world of delays and occasional mistakes, avoiding confrontation is impossible. Now and then, things will go wrong. In too many organizations the default becomes, ‘You’ll need to speak with my manager.’ Of course, this worsens customer aggravation because it forces them to repeat themselves. And it makes employees feel like doormats. You’ll have happier customers and a more engaged workforce by equipping your team with simple communication tools to use when things go wrong.

    Jeff Mowatt is a customer service strategist, Hall of Fame speaker, and bestselling author. For more tips, training tools or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team visit www.JeffMowatt.com


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Our mission is to encourage and promote a positive, balanced, vital economy and preserve the unique qualities that make Sylvan Lake a great place to live, work and do business.

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403.887.3048
Sylvan Lake, Alberta

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