Edmonton Chamber Of Commerce News


Launched in 2000 was the Edmonton Chamber Of Commerce News website for a number of years.
The website had several redesigns over the years. Content is from the site's archived pages.
The current website for the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce News is found at: https://www.edmontonchamber.com/news/ where you can stay informed with insightful news updates.

Edmonton Chamber Of Commerce

#600 - 9990 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 1P7
M - F: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (MST)
Office: 780.426.4620
Fax: >780.424.7946
info@edmontonchamber.com

 

The mission of the Edmonton Chamber is to create the best environment for business. We work to achieve this mission through three primary brand pillars: Advocate. Educate. Connect.

Advocate

We influence positive change that benefits your business by advocating to all levels of government.

Educate

We encourage and support positive growth for your business by offering valuable educational experiences taught by industry experts.

Connect

We provide businesses with access to the broadest network of local business communities in the Edmonton region.

Support our mission by joining one of Canada's most influential business organizations.

Our History

Our diverse and talented network of notable professionals allows the Edmonton Chamber to be one of the most influential business organizations in the country.

 

On February 27, 1889, 33 visionary pioneers signed the certificate of formation, officially launching the first Edmonton Board of Trade. Edmonton wasn't yet a city and the economic base for our prairie community was not so distinctly rooted in energy, but in agriculture. These innovative pioneers banded together with a common goal – they believed that Edmonton’s prosperity for the future lay in communication with and transportation to the outside world. From that day forward, the Edmonton Board of Trade, renamed the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce in 1928, committed to providing practical growth opportunities, quality services and strong member support to the community at large.

The Edmonton Chamber accomplished its first major goal of developing a rail line to our growing city by 1891. Two years later, after the lobbying for the rail link began, the first train pulled into South Edmonton. With this crucial rail line development, Edmonton was officially linked to the outside world by modern transportation.

In 1901, twelve years after its inception, the influence and support of the Edmonton Chamber was increasingly visible. The organization was involved in the development of Edmonton water and sewage facilities, fire alarm systems and the addition of a public school to support future generations of local entrepreneurs. Four years later, in 1905, Alberta was proclaimed a province and the Edmonton Chamber excitedly travelled to Ottawa to make Edmonton our province's capital. With city status, the Edmonton Chamber broadened its horizons and refined its services to keep pace with the growth of the new bustling metropolis.

By 1914, the Edmonton Chamber was actively involved in many aspects of our young, thriving city. The outbreak of the First World War interrupted economic progress in Edmonton as it did throughout the world. The Edmonton Chamber had been instrumental in building a city its members could be proud to call home. Though it was not apparent to citizens of Edmonton at the time, the war marked the end of an economic era. Edmonton's boom days, when streets were lined with people buying land, fortunes were made and the city's wooden mansions were built, were over. For the Edmonton Chamber, this was a period of immense opportunity, which motivated its resourceful members to continue to work hard. 

The arrival of the 1930s brought the Great Depression. Edmonton suffered along with every other community in North America. At the height of the depression, membership in the Edmonton Chamber dwindled to a record low of 119 members. Despite very low resources, the Edmonton Chamber promoted recovery by advocating public works projects, such as the construction of highways.

After the discovery of oil in Leduc in 1947, the Edmonton Chamber switched into high gear with a focus on economic growth and a clear vision for the rapidly developing Edmonton urban centre. The discovery marked the beginning of Edmonton's development as a refining and petrochemical centre and the base of the oilfield supply industry. As an important piece in the international energy puzzle, Edmonton’s new-found affluence spurred unprecedented growth in local business, private home development and the government alike.

By 1963, as a mature, sophisticated organization, the Edmonton Chamber continued to broaden its scope as it imagined new ways to serve its members. The Edmonton Chamber embraced diverse challenges, from air services, to tax policies, to federal, provincial and municipal debt.

In 1978, the Edmonton Chamber moved to the sixth floor of the 25-storey Sun Life Place. For its first time, it had headquarters with ample space to host a variety of events, including executive meetings, press conferences, seminars and networking gatherings. To support its communications and reach in this exciting period of growth, the Edmonton Chamber launched its own in-house newspaper, Commerce News.

The Edmonton Chamber underwent sweeping changes in the 1980s. The downturn brought on by the fall in world oil prices and intensified by the national Energy Program took its toll on member businesses. The resourceful Edmonton Chamber survived and, in 1986, set its sights on one of its most ambitious projects - an in-depth study on the privatization of government services. The reports in the study were a reflection of the Edmonton Chamber's long held belief in free enterprise, which influenced the future of the Edmonton market.

In 2000, the Edmonton Chamber jumped into the 21st century with the launch of edmontonchamber.com. Keeping up with its growing membership, on July 8, 2004, World Trade Centre Edmonton, a downtown meeting facility for business, became the proud home of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

2014 marked our 125th year of serving businesses in Edmonton. Looking back, the Edmonton Chamber is proud to have shared its many accomplishments with the distinguished, hard working residents of this city. Looking forward, the Edmonton Chamber is determined to continue its work to create the best environment for business. The Edmonton Chamber has become a part of doing business in Edmonton, offering policy advocacy, education and networking events, growth opportunities and numerous services to its members. The Edmonton Chamber is proud to have been passionately involved in the formation of our great city and looks forward to a future filled with more successes that continue to build the place we call home.

Our Advocacy Agenda

Edmonton’s economy has prospered because of its clear economic advantages: robust natural resource industries, strong regional connections, a competitive business environment, a skilled labour force and an entrepreneurial business sector. Edmonton’s entrepreneurs have generated jobs for workers, revenues for governments, and a vibrant community for all of us.

Edmonton competes for resources, investors, markets, customers, and workers in a rapidly-changing global economy. Our member businesses are proud to compete, because our products and services are among the best in the world. But sometimes, competing is harder than it needs to be, and the playing field isn’t always level.

Artificial trade barriers make our products more expensive or harder to sell. Poor infrastructure makes it unsafe and inefficient to get our goods to customers. Unnecessary government paperwork eats up time we would rather spend with clients and family. High taxes make our products more expensive than our competitors. Cumbersome processes delay projects and make it more attractive to build elsewhere.

As the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, we play a role in making our region more successful by advocating to all levels of government, across industry sectors, and to the community on behalf of our members. Advocacy can make a difference in removing barriers, simplifying processes, and allowing businesses to get back to doing what they do best. Advocacy is the difference between one voice raising a concern, and a chorus calling for change – the difference between speaking and being heard.

We develop policy positions, take them to municipal, provincial, and national decision tables through a policy process, and bring them forward in government consultations, meetings, and media commentary. We look for government decisions that address the issues we raise, for investments to come to the region, for Edmonton businesses to grow, and for innovative new companies to expand our range of industries. A clear strategy for advocacy helps our members succeed, our economy grow, and our city hold its own when competing on the world stage.

Our positions on priority issues are developed through our policy process, and those policy positions drive our advocacy work. The policy process helps identify priority issues and formulate policy recommendations, while the advocacy process takes those recommendations forward to the appropriate municipal, provincial, or federal bodies and other key stakeholders.

The advocacy function starts with our members. They identify issues and concerns in surveys, at meetings, events, online, and through other feedback mechanisms. Issues are taken to committees and working groups that determine whether policy work should be undertaken. If so, policy positions are developed by committees, researched by staff, reviewed by experts and senior business people, and confirmed by the board of directors. Our policy positions reflect the insights of the broader business community, beyond partisan politics and individual commercial interests.

Once policy positions and recommendations are developed, we take them forward to other Chambers, to strategic partners, to governments, to the media, and to the public in an effort to build a greater understanding and heighten awareness.

We also review the policy proposals of other Chambers. Where appropriate, we support their initiatives when they are being considered at Alberta and Canadian Chamber of Commerce decision tables. When an issue changes, or when governments act on the policy matters we raise, we ensure that members know. We report on general advocacy activities, and on matters which directly affect business operations.

The Edmonton Chamber has developed this three-year advocacy plan to outline how we will help expand Edmonton’s economic opportunities. This “living document” will also be updated to reflect other positions on issues that may arise. To foster a resilient and growing Edmonton that can compete in the global economy, we will focus our advocacy efforts on:

•Expanding Business and Investor Confidence
•Expanding Trade and Access to Markets
•Expanding Regional and Northern Partnerships

With the broader business community working together, we can address challenges and get results. Collectively, we analyze costs, understand impacts, and identify better alternatives. Through our advocacy efforts, we knock on the doors of those whose decisions impact our success, and we bring business issues to the attention of all levels of government. We outline what is working well, and where we see areas for improvement. We work with our partners to find a better way to accomplish our shared goals. For maximum benefit, we focus advocacy efforts in areas that pose challenges for the majority of our members, and we look for results to enhance our members’ success.

For more information on our Advocacy Agenda, please feel free to contact us by emailing: policy@edmontonchamber.com.


EdmontonCommerceNews.com