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Local Chamber Of Commerce Makes Transition

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The Dauphin and District Chamber (DDCC) of Commerce has undergone a name change and expanded its services.

As of Oct. 18, the organization will now be known as the Parkland Chamber of Commerce.

Executive director Stephen Chychota said when looking at the region about six years ago, it was realized there were surrounding communities that do not have access to business supports and do not have their own chambers of commerce.

“And us being the Dauphin ‘and district’, thought it would be appropriate for us to emphasize our ‘and district’ responsibilities and support these business communities surrounding Dauphin with a lot more effort and resources,” he added.

Over the past few years, he added, the chamber has been working towards being more inclusive and working with the communities and their businesses to make an appropriate change.

“We want to be a chamber that’s inclusive of others and reflect what we’re trying to do instead of it looking like it’s just purley and Dauphin-centred organization. We want to recognize the importance of the region,” Chychota said.

A message that has been repeated over the past few years, Chychota said, is they want to change the mindset of the region and get people to recognize the importance of looking at the Parkland as opposed to everybody’s individual community.

“Because when we all work together, we’re all benefit from that. We’re stronger together,” he said. “There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity and reason for the region to work together like that. I think us trying to lead that change is appropriate and we’re just going to keep on doing what we’re doing.”

In a press release, it was noted DDCC has seen consistent growth over the last five years, increasing from less than 200 members seven years ago to almost 300 today. About 20 per cent of those members are from outside Dauphin.

“We want to make sure that the programs that we offer, the resources that we are able to deliver and the supports that we can offer these businesses in these other communities that they’re there and continue to develop more that supports them in what their unique needs are,” Chychota said. “It’s always learning and changing and adapting and listening to them so that we can offer what they’re looking for. So using what we have now and applying it to the other business communities.”

Chychota noted there are a lot of businesses that need the support of the chamber.

“And we want to make sure that we’re there for them,” he added.

The local chamber will continue to work with other chambers throughout the region.

“Really, with this brand change, the work itself doesn’t change for us in-house. It’s just a matter of better establishing ourselves appropriately with a new brand like this and continuing to do what we’re doing and, hopefully, more and bigger and better things,” Chychota said, adding they already work closely with other chambers in the Parkland and they want to continue to support them in the programs they all do.
Now that the change has taken place, Chychota is excited about what the future holds.

“We’re celebrating this using the platform of Small Business Week. Oct. 17 to 23 is Small Business Week and we’re really excited to make our announcement during this time and celebrate all the wonderful small businesses that we have in the area and celebrate what the chamber is and does for the business community,” he said. “And we’re excited that a lot of municipalities in the area supported proclamations to celebrate Small Business Week and recognize it as Chamber Days for the Parkland. So we’re excited to celebrate just a while bunch of milestones this season.”

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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