The Estevan Chamber of Commerce had a good year in 2013, president Ken Rowan told those who attended the chamber's monthly meeting December 11.
Rowan was the guest speaker at the meeting. He reflected on the chamber's lobbying efforts from the past 12 months, the events that the chamber hosted, and their efforts to promote the community. He also looked ahead to 2014.
Members asked the chamber to inquire about the final construction costs at Spectra Place, so that they know the expenses.
"As a result, the City of Estevan has provided a more detailed account of expenses to us, and have stated their intent to provide a more transparent and accountable process," Rowan said.
The chamber has also sent a letter to the federal government, asking that recent amendments to the Temporary Foreign Workers program be repealed. A letter on the issue will be sent to Souris-Moose Mountain MP Ed Komarnicki.
The organization hosted several special events throughout the year that celebrated the business community, attracted visitors and fostered community involvement; and they were involved in such marquee events at the Estevan Showcase Business Expo and the Beach Bash at the Woodlawn Regional Park's Boundary Dam site.
A business expansion and retention survey was completed. Questions that arose from the survey were sent to the City.
"The business community expects the City to conduct more exhaustive, long-term plans, and to provide far greater communication about its plans and intentions," said Rowan.
The chamber also released an economic development plan with three strategic goals: increase investment through attraction and promotion; improve labour recruitment and retention; and enhance business growth, development and retention.
And there was the chamber's involvement with a trip to China, which saw 20 local community and business leaders travel to the Asian country in October.
The Estevan Hotel Association and the chamber have established a strong foundation, he said. The association's members charge a tourism levy for guests; that money is used to fund tourism-related community events.
"The Estevan Hotel Association meets regularly meets regularly to establish our direction and review funding requests," Rowan said.
The chamber has announced plans to host the inaugural Estevan Energy Expo in June of 2014. Not only do they plan to attract exhibitors and speakers from the oil and gas sector, but they hope to have representatives from the power generation and coal industries.
Rowan also expects that the chamber will be involved with a number of community events next year.
And it will hopefully move forward with the signage audit. Findings for the audit were released earlier this year.
The next chamber meeting will be Wednesday, January 8. Saskatchewan Energy Training Institute executive director Dion McGrath will be the guest speaker.