YOU ARE INVITED!!!
The Magrath Chamber invites you to attend a noon hour webinar at the Magrath Town Hall on Thu April 28th. The webinar entitled "Unleashing local capital" is a one hour webinar explaining how communities can raise capital to finance local business development through the sale of RRSP and TFSA eligible shares, by establishing Opportunity Development Co-operative.
This webinar provides information on how Albertan communities have used the co-operative structure to pool capital to finance local business development, allow for community ownership within local economic development, and to build strong communities.
Participants will learn about the recent progress in local investing using the co-operative structure, how they can start a co-operative in their own community, as well as key regulatory and policy issues pertaining to raising capital using RRSPs and TFSAs. The webinar also discusses how local investing can be used for business succession planning, community owned renewable energy and more.
Learn more at .. acca.coop
Jim Hillyer, MP
Temporary Foreign Worker
Regulation Reforms Information Meeting
Thu 3 Jul 2014 10-12 noon at Lethbridge Public Library Theatre Gallery in Lethbridge, AB
MP Jim Hillyer will host an information meeting to update business owner/operators on recent changes to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Information topics will include:
Employers, who have specific questions or clarifications queries, please submit them to email@example.com prior to the meeting date, as every effort will be made to have all responses available by July 3.
Please register in advance for the meeting by calling 403-320-0070.
The Magrath Chamber has a stated position of supporting local business and commerce. Your money, wisely invested within your own hometown, provides you with many additional local benefits - in local jobs and wages, convenient local services, and in the ability for local businesses to support local fundraising requests. On the other hand, money spent outside of our local area just goes away. We encourage everyone to consider giving our local business a chance to offer a quote.
Mr Jay Mackenzie of Roosters brought this issue up again in a recent inadvertently widely distributed 'open' letter to current and past town officials, on advice given indirectly from the town to local school personnel re the Provincial Basketball Championship Banquet held here in Magrath. Mr Mackenzie contends the school officials were advised to purchase everything outside of Magrath and that that a number of local businesses who do catering in this community were thereby not given a chance to provide a quote. This highlights the need for better communication from the Magrath Chamber on our message of the spin off benefits of supporting local businesses.
We anticipate a lively discussion on this topic at our upcoming chamber meeting(s). We encourage the debate and have kind feelings toward all the involved individuals, who despite their opposing opinions each have done much to support and improve our town. As Jay concludes: "We are after all a community; I support this community whole-heartedly both financially and with a huge amount of my time and I would hope to have the same support and efforts from our community leaders, past or present."
What do you think?
Editors Note: We had originally simply posted the letter as received and were somewhat surprised at the reaction. We never named names or intended to take sides, we were just simply attempting to report issues that pertain significantly to members of our Chamber (the letter was intended for town/chamber consideration but 'escaped' out into the social media somehow). However, we welcome the discussion on this important topic and will seek further comment from all interested or involved parties .. as to how it was released to social media: I am so, so, so sorry. The Chamber Executive issued an official apology letter (22 Mar) to affected parties.
Some Facebook (Mar 2014) Responders to original letter:
"Is Magrath Chamber supporting this letter or was it posted by a disgruntled business person? All of us in this town buy in lethbridge at one time or another and the person in question was asked what he thought. It does not matter if he was a past councilman. a town worker nor if he is black, green or white. I find it interesting how people are jumping on this business's bandwagon when I have seen all of them shopping in lethbridge. The fact the school people claim they never thought of buying from local people makes me wonder if people from this town are really that ignorant of what we have here in our community or trying to just save their bacon. I think throwing sour grapes out because someone gave advice to buy somewhere else is very petty and makes me question what the Chamber is all about. If I do not buy from someone in town, am I going to get blasted through a website? I think this hurts a business worse when they use the bully approach to make us shop in our community. Better education to get the community to shop local would be a better approach"
"Businesses in Magrath don't have absolutely everything anyone would want or need to buy, so of course, you have to go to Lethbridge for certain items. That's not the point. If everyone supported businesses here and bought local - business owners would be able to afford to expand and offer more to their customers (and create more jobs). Council members past and present know this and should respect it. Public organizations or functions should look in town first, and allow others a chance at least. If this kind of thing happened once or twice, fine. But it happens all the time. It seems unless you are in the right family or have the right connections, its impossible for some businesses to get any kind of support! Who better is there to stand up to this problem more than Magrath Chamber? An organization built to support town businesses? If they aren't allowed to say anything then who is?"
"....pointing fingers at councillors is not the answer..everyone should respect local businesses and try to help support them. I agree public organizations or functions should look at buying locally but they still have their right to purchase wherever they want. The issue I was making was not about support but the way the letter was written to shame a person. I would think it would be more professional to call the person and talk to them one on one to get their side of the story instead of flaming them here on facebook. I think you throwing the "Unless you are in the right family or have right connections" has nothing to do with this. The letter was written by the owner of Roosters who then posted it on the Magrath Chambers facebook page. As you read the letter he even stated he was going to bring it up at the next chamber meeting. That makes it sound to me, that this was not a statement from the Chamber. I looked for the mission statement on the Magrath Chamber website but could not find it but on most other chamber sites it talks about advocating for and promoting local businesses to ensure a positive climate in the community. I am sure the person the letter was flaming will respond and his side of the story will be here for all of us to read. Whether he responds or not, what I said I strongly believe..flaming people publicly is not the best way to encourage them or others to shop local.."
"I understand the sentiment behind this letter..... however. (And I'm speaking as someone who has been, until recently, in retail for a couple years) Might I suggest a more proactive and less reactive approach in the future.
1. It was well known this event was on the horizon. What prevented the local businesses from presenting their "quotes" or offers ahead of time.
2. I agree that the suggestion, especially from a former councilor, should have been "check local first". However, he is free to suggest whatever he/she wishes. And might I add.... that suggestion may have been made!
3. I imagine there was a budget for the event and local business would need to be competitive...... guess we would need to see the offers before we all made judgement openly on that.
4. I imagine the "school representatives" were largely local parents and volunteers who did an amazing job of the banquet and should not feel badly about their decisions in this matter. If they did not realize that this level of event could be serviced competitively by local business.... now they do.
5. Was this meant to be an open letter?
6. In the future, plan ahead and get your quotes in early."
"To the members of the Magrath Chamber of Commerce in regards to the above letter. I would very much encourage your membership and your Town Council to take seriously the wise words of owner Jay Mackenzie. Shopping local, but more importantly thinking local is so vitally important to the health of a small community. Not only does a place like Roosters Country Market offer employment for your youth, and adults alike, not only does such a place provide unrecognised support to local events, but more importantly a business such a Rooster's Country Market weaves itself into the very fabric of your community. Yes it might be easier and more convenient to stop somewhere in Lethbridge while you happen to be in the big city,...but think of the dollars you are robbing from your own community and the sense of ownership and belonging you are taking away from yourselves and your town. Would a Lethbridge store really carry a particular item just because it knew you and your family liked it? Would a big box store personally deliver items to shut in seniors in your community, would said seniors even live in a community that didn't offer such a personal services? Having local people, who live and breathe your community is a DYING ASSET. The Town of High River post flood is intensely aware of the need to build a vibrant business community, one that employs and supports your town. Without a tax base of business your residential property taxes become much higher and that's something you all moved away from the city to avoid. Once a place like Rooster's Country Market is gone from your community it will never be replaced. I urge you to think long and hard about how you show your support for your local businesses. It cannot be just lip service. THE CHAMBER AND THE COUNCIL SHOULD BE THE BIGGEST SUPPORTERS OF LOCAL ANYTHING !!!!"
"Made me sad to read this Jay, what a poor decision!"
"Town businesses should at least be given a chance to quote on things like that. We have been ignored in the past too."
"Sorry to hear about that Jay, I know from experience local is always better!"
"This reminds me of a fable. A man opens a bag of feathers and the wind (Facebook ) carries them off. Now he needs to recollect them so his friends (Chamber) tries to help recollect them."
"G&K Parker Electric would like our community to know we are truly sorry for the angry attack submitted via the website by a member of our Chamber. Typically anything that goes out should run past the group and be approved before submitted to the community. We were embarrassed by it and so have made many calls to understand what happened. This particular letter was supposed to be reviewed, discussed, and voted on in a private method as to how to proceed. Somehow it was accidentally submitted with no knowledge by the Chamber as a group. As a member of Magrath's Chamber of Commerce we are seeking for ways to help businesses be successful here. As a business owner, we do not expect that jobs from this community will simply come our way because we live here. We find the work ourselves and submit quotes. If it doesn't come our way we seek out other opportunities. This letter was an unprofessional outburst and a huge slip of procedures. Local shoping is an issue, but in no way means that community members are required to contact every business in town before they can make a decision as to who they will use. Having said that, I am well aware of a person in our community who does their best to do just that. Many people were contacted and many questions were asked previous to purchases being made. Of course opinion will vary on the matter but we (Greg & I) do not agree with how this letter was expressed and apologize for the hurt it has caused. We will do our best to encourage the Chamber to correct it and see that nothing remotely close happens again.
A Mr Mike Elgan created a post on The Problem with Facebook on Google+ on 16 Jan 2014 along with a Youtube video to watch that struck a bit of a chord for me. He basically points out that the business models of Facebook vs Google seem to be reversed. Facebook is trying to work more like TV where you pay to have your content/message presented or promoted to your audience (ie your comment IS the advertising to be paid for). Google works the other way where advertising is provided on screen based on your message (ie your comment is the audience being sold to - it is presented and promoted freely and others pay to get their advert on your screen). The result? Many of your facebook messages are dwindling out in the desert with very few ever seeing them, just as I suspected. This was my initial comment on the subject: "so, how do you get your message to your audience (without paying)? start with good content, a valid message or cause, create some noise - repetition brings conviction, post your message with images on your own 'real' website or blog and repost your content with your link on the Twitter, Facebook and Google+ platforms, and then train your close friends and family to 'like' and '+1' them for you I suppose .. so far so good."
Well there is:
Alberta Heath Services (AHS) moving home care offices from Magrath .. to Raymond.
"Alberta Health Services has announced they will be moving the Home Care Offices from Magrath to Raymond. AHS will be holding a public meeting, in Magrath on Tue 3 Dec 2013 @ 6pm at Town Office in the Council Chambers, to provide information and respond to questions from the public. Everyone welcome to attend." source: magrath.ca main page
As a Chamber, are we concerned with jobs moving out of Magrath? They are saying we we see no difference in 'level of care' .. hmm.
see story in Westwind Weekly News Issue 9-47 21 Nov 2013 and
backstory at ref: westwindweekly.com/news/local-news/1440-meeting-to-be-scheduled-between-ahs-and-town.html
24 Oct 2013: Some time before last week the flashing crossing lights at 1st Ave W and 1st St S in Magrath (at corner of Post Office over to Roosters) stopped working.
I have called the Magrath Town Office (403 758-3212) twice so far, last week and again today, and was only told it had 'been reported' and they were told Volker-Stevin was 'waiting for parts' to repair it.
Yes, I realize that Volker-Stevin is technically responsible for the maintenance on these lights. However, I see this as a huge safety issue here in Magrath. School kids cross the busy main street/highway here every day. In any other community, would the lights remain in-operational for week(s) on end? I think not. When I asked for a contact at Volker-Stevin all they had was a phone number from the internet. Perhaps a more official letter from the town addressing this concern or a phone call from CAO or Mayor to a dedicated contact serving our town at Volker-Stevin could get us an ETA on the repair?
Box 152 Magrath, AB T0K 1J0
-- RESPONSE FROM TOWN (same day, wow!) --
Fri 25 Oct 2013
My staff reported the inoperable cross-light issue to Volker Stevin as soon as it occurred. Their Repair Division in Lethbridge told us that they first had to order the part. I notified them again today confirming in writing the urgency of this situation from the Town’s perspective. I expect that it will be taken care of very shortly.
Chief Administrative Officer
-- Follow-up comments --
Sat 26 Oct 2013
Thanks Wade for your letter and prompt response! Volker-Stevin called me at work today to explain their delays as well. Apparently their main repair person for this is out of Lethbridge and tied up there .. but they have another person lined up to look at it by Tue next. I am happy that they are working on it, but it is a strange situation where no one seems to be completely responsible for it. As a 'highway (Hwy 62) road' passing through our town, if we needed a new crossing light, I suppose the Alberta Department of Transportation would pay for and install it? For repairs of existing equipment, as sub-contractor for province, Volker-Stevin? Meanwhile it crosses through Magrath directly down 'main street' Magrath and impacts us most directly here .. and it still is not fixed .. yet.
Not exactly no-mans land, but everyone-else's road ..
-- and finally --
Wed 30 Oct 2013
Volker-Stevin and Town of Magrath (Wade and Brenda) contacted me by phone and email to report they were able to work out a solution. As for myself, had another near-truck experience yesterday .. where a truck almost forget to stop for me. Although initially they reported it working early Wed morning, it had stopped again by the noon hour. Thankfully by 1pm, however, the replacement button installed on the east end was made to work and the temporary signs posted stating: 'Lights are not working, proceed with caution' were able to be removed. Many thanks to all involved for getting these lights working again! //rdd
R Davies of Soft Serve Direct: Like many of you here in Magrath, I try to support both local banks. Since I do my best work at times that the sun is not yet up or out, online banking has been my method of choice for paying bills, moving money around, and monitoring balances. One long-standing annoyance for me has been that there seemed to be no way to send money BETWEEN the bank accounts I own in these different banking institutions using just online services. That meant I had to write a check to myself and walk it down the street to deposit it in order to transfer money between these accounts .. if I have time and remember to do it. A better solution? the new Interac e-Transfer service is now supported by both 1st Choice and ATB Financial. Basically, it costs $1.50 to send an Interac e-Transfer, but with some accounts (eg ATB Unlimited, Students First or Generation accounts) you get two free Interac e-Transfers each month. Perfect for me! I can now have my paycheck(s) deposited in one bank and then transfer the funds I need to the other bank by simply sending an e-Transfer by email to myself .. or to whoever you want/need to send money to ..
One glitch so far: Although the e-Transfer system is supposed to eventually work with their online 'ATB Online Business' website, it is not yet implemented there. Sue at ATB did some digging for me and discovered a workaround .. using their non-business 'ATB Online' website I can access my personal accounts and use the e-Transfer system, after I have moved my funds between my business and personal accounts in the 'ATB Online Business' website. Just a bit awkward, but still it does work.
Anyone else doing this?
Come hear the 2013 Town of Magrath Candidates at the:
Magrath All Candidates Forum 7pm Wed 9 Oct 2013 at the School Auditorium
Sponsored by the Magrath Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Moderator: Bruce Jackson
Don't forget to VOTE on Mon 21 Oct 2013
Do you have issues (of interest to the Town of Magrath) you think should be discussed?
>> submit them for consideration (as a comment) below:
So .. what's new?