Chamber asking members for input

Duane Hicks

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce is asking its members what the top issues impacting their businesses are with a new policy issues survey.
“Something we do regularly throughout the year, each year, is send out something to our membership asking for any issues or concerns that they have,” Chamber manager Dawn Booth noted yesterday.
“This is the first time we’ve ever done it as a survey in a quite a few years,” she added.
“We thought we might get a better response if we actually had formulated questions they have to answer instead of just sending something out that said, ‘If you have concerns, send them to us,’” she explained.
“We really don’t ever get a good response from that. So this is one way to hopefully encourage them to sit down and fill it out and send it back to us, and we can put some stuff together.”
The simple, nine-question survey is available to any current Chamber member either in digital or hard copy.
Chamber members who did not receive an e-mail or faxed copy of the survey can stop by the Chamber office at 474 Scott St. to pick one up or call Booth at 274-5773.
The survey, which explains that policy advocacy is a core priority of the local Chamber, asks members for input on issues they believe have significant implications for business in general, as well as to list their top three priorities for the Fort Frances area (both provincially and federally).
“We want to know the policy issues that are important to our members; what issues are affecting them that we can assist with,” stressed Booth.
“We want to know what their priorities are so that we can effectively represent their interests.
“With us ourselves being members of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce [NOACC], the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, we are often asked to provide information and input on issues affecting the local area, including drafting resolutions that are then brought forward to different levels of government,” Both noted.
“This survey allows us to confirm whether or not the issues we’re currently working on are, in fact, priorities for our members.”
The results of the survey will be reviewed and assessed by the local Chamber’s government relations committee in order to help formulate the Chamber’s position on public policy and advocacy activities.
Booth said the Chamber is requesting those with urgent concerns to fill out and return the surveys by next Friday (March 27).
The NOACC spring meeting is coming up in early May in Thunder Bay, and the deadline to submit resolutions for that is April 9.
“So we’re hoping that if there are any pressing issues that our members have, that will give us enough time to draft resolutions to forward to NOACC, if need be,” Booth remarked.
The policy issues survey is not the only chance members have to provide input, added Booth, noting the Chamber regularly encourages and accepts input from members at anytime throughout the year.
She also said another policy issues survey will be conducted in the fall.