Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) president Dom Mancuso spent some time Sept. 16 speaking to the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce members about its strong advocacy roll for Alberta businesses.
With a federation of 24,000 business members, the ACC is in a strong position to speak for its members’ needs, stated Mancuso at the Kinsmen Community Centre during the lunch meeting.
“The ACC is essentially the chamber’s chamber, “ explained Mancuso.
He stated the ACC has the ability to provide a voice for businesses and its 128 Alberta chamber members. The ACC has been able to exert some political influence as well.
“Typically, there’s so much change going on, we often find it difficult, as chambers, to connect with government officials,” said Mancuso.
However, he says the ACC has met with three different provincial ministries: Municipal Affairs, Job Skills, Training and Labour and Alberta Finance. Some suggestions to these ministries have since been adopted.
“We also saw the changes to the small claims court, which is an issue our federation has been advocating for several years,” stated Mancuso, referring to the recent hike in dollar limit claims.
Most recently, the provincial government has also consulted the ACC on the Municipal Government Act review as well as transportation strategies and labour development.
“Labour, of course, has been a top priority for all our membership,” added Mancuso
He says the ACC has been working diligently with the federal government to reduce restrictions with regard to hiring temporary foreign workers. Labour shortages are causing issues for businesses and Mancuso says it is a challenge facing many of ACC members.
One question came from former mayor Larry Henkelman and owner of Home Furnishings Gallery over how business owners could manage their hours of operation. “Is there anyone in the Chamber of Alberta that can offer some advice on uniform business shopping hours?”
Mancuso replied his mandate is not to decide how businesses operate in Ponoka but he did offer some advice stating that a successful businessperson will analyze their hours and adjust them to meet clients’ needs.
“That’s where your chamber can get involved…you can move that conversation forward because it has to be a conversation,” stated Mancuso.
He feels the Ponoka District and Chamber of Commerce might be a positive conduit to bring about discussions on how Ponoka businesses could operate.
“You’re all business owners, why not?” he concluded.