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Aguasabon Chamber of Commerce is making a comeback.
The Aguasabon Chamber of Commerce has been in existence, in various forms, for close to 30 years. The ACC has undergone many changes over this period, approaching near extinction up until a few months ago.
Current president Jason Nesbitt invited the Schreiber Media Centre to attend and record one of their meetings with the intention of providing Schreiber and Terrace Bay residents and businesses with some insight into their current status. Jason has worked with the Chamber in various capacities for nearly 20 of those 30 years.
After practically closing for good, former president Sylvie Hall approached Jason with the idea that the Chamber host an all candidates night during the run up to last years municipal elections, as they had done for nearly two decades. It turned out to be a turning point in the history of the ACC as it renewed interest in what could be done if the organization were to re emerge.
Just before COVID many businesses had already been struggling and most were left alone to navigate the murky waters of the changing face of commerce and business in general. In the past the ACC was a collective of like minded business operators, united with the goal of aiding each other and creating an environment where residents were encouraged to shop locally in an effort to keep local businesses viable. This of course is the core of economic development and allows for job creation and service delivery.
One side effect of the COVID pandemic was the rise of online shopping and its negative effect on local commerce. Losing customers to big city shopping malls was tough enough but when anyone, anywhere could order anything and have it delivered anytime, the need for a chamber of commerce seemed to dwindle and indeed was heading into obscurity. Three years later and the retail and commercial sector in both Schreiber and Terrace Bay is much improved. There has been an increase in shops and restaurants since then and locals have started to realize that it is vitally important to support local businesses.
The Aguasabon Chamber of Commerce believes that there is a real tangible benefit for these businesses to work collectively in order to support and compliment one another. Jason also mentioned that with the trend to 'work at home' industries, it is even more important to connect and stay connected with other businesses in the area as it benefits everyone in the end. “Stronger Together” seems to be the mantra of the current chamber and Mr. Nesbitt is highly optimistic that this new and improved chamber of commerce will help businesses prosper in the coming years.
The Schreiber Media Centre recorded the meeting following this interview and has made it available on the SMC Youtube channel.
Schreiber Community Media is a non profit organization established with the aim of providing media production services and training for the residents of Schreiber and surrounding areas. Schreiber is located on the north shore of Lake Superior approximately two hours east of Thunder Bay.
The Schreiber Media Centre is locating in the Schreiber Public Library and includes tools for recording, live streaming and post production of audio and video.