Chamber of Commerce out to lunch again

By Staff

Morinville – The Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce resumed its monthly luncheon meeting Sept. 1, after returning from the summer break. Although the first meeting’s agenda was relatively light, members heard of a number of initiatives and projects on the horizon for the fall.

Regional Tourism Action Plan
The Chamber, working in conjunction with Marcel Arcand of BLAHK Consulting, obtained a $70,000 grant to develop a regional tourism action plan. Chamber President Sheldon Fingler said the steering committee for the project has been formed and that the Chamber is working with Darrell Toma or Toma Bouma to develop a plan that will bring more tourists to the area, and thereby more business to area businesses.

The Chamber is partnering with the Town of Morinville, Sturgeon County, Edmonton Garrison, Alexander First Nation, Centralta Society, Morinville Historical and Cultural Society, various tourism destination regions and tourism operators.

Fingler said the Chamber will be meeting with local businesses and members of the community for further input into the plan.

Buying and selling a business
Succession planning was one of the topics covered by speaker Neil Gerritsen of VR Business Sales. Gerritsen’s company specializes in business sales, mergers and acquisitions.

The business intermediary told chamber members that the average business seller is likely to be in their 40s to 60s and that 30 per cent of all businesses with employees are owned by people 55 and older.

As such, demographics show that 78 per cent of business owners are planning to sell and retire within the next four to six years. Of that number 41 per cent plan to sell within the next two to three years.

With the majority of business owners having a significant portion of their net worth tied up in their business, and 75 per cent not knowing what their business is actually worth, Gerritsen advocates that business owners get an idea of what the value of their business is, even if they are not currently looking to sell.

Gerritsen said valuation, or determining the right price, is not an exact science. Rather, it takes into account a number of factors, including competition, buyer market, customer base, revenue, age of the business, profitability trends and the availability of vendor financing.

Chamber Gala planned
Once again this year, the Chamber will hold its annual Business Awards Gala. This year’s event is scheduled for Oct. 21 at the Parish Hall. But although the festivities are still a couple months away, the Chamber is looking for sponsors for the event now.

Sponsorship details can be had by contacting the Chamber office at 780-939-9462 or

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