The Chamber's Mission Statement:We are The Voice of Business. The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to community prosperity.The Chamber's Vision Statement:The Chamber will be a leader by providing relevant collaboration, engaging the diverse business community and being adaptable to change in our economy.
What We Are
The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary, not-for-profit business organization which works to create and retain jobs within central Elgin County. The Chamber is part of the world-wide Chamber of Commerce/Boards of Trade network. Locally, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce recognizes over 540 businesses as Members and over 1,200 individuals as voting representatives.The Chamber is a specialist in information and communication, maintaining an extensive library of data about our region & Member-businesses.
Through membership in the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce, our Members also benefit directly from our chamber’s membership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, whose advocacy efforts and initiatives advance public policy issues that are critical to all businesses here in our community and in communities across the country.
What We Are Not
The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is not a department of government, a civic club, a social service organization, a charitable institution, a private publicity agency, an affiliate of any political party, or a profit-making enterprise.
The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is financed by the business community alone. Membership fees provide approximately half of the Chamber’s revenue. The balance is earned through projects, programs and activities.
Governance & Planning
The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected annually from the Chamber's membership. Our Board oversees a broad range of programs, projects and services provided by the Chamber and the use of personnel and resources.
The Chamber's Board sets the general direction of Chamber business and affairs through a Strategic Plan which is reviewed regularly and serves as an outline of our plans and focus over a five-year horizon. A summary of the Chamber's current Strategic Plan can be viewed by clicking here.
Activities & Allocation of Funds
Last year, the Chamber hosted and arranged 23 public and private events for the benefit of the community and our Members. In addition, we hosted 86 meetings among our team of over 75 volunteers within the Board of Directors, standing committees, and task forces.
Policy & Advocacy Development
The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce welcomes comments, suggestions and input from all Member-businesses on any community or legislative issue that impacts or concerns them. We are interested in issues and concerns at all levels: local, provincial, national and even international.
Our role and mission as “The Voice of Business” is something we take very seriously. By harnessing the strength of the Chamber’s membership at many levels the purpose of our slogan “Be Seen. Be Heard. Belong" is defined.
Ultimately, the Chamber’s Board of Directors has final authority on determining positions and/or actions the Chamber may take on issues that affect our community, our economy, our Members and/or their employees, and local residents.
Raising an issue and enlisting the support of the Chamber can be done in many ways:
Contact the Chamber office. Any staff member can offer direction or suggestions. We are open every weekday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and welcome contact in-person, by telephone, by email, or via any of our social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter.
Contact a Chamber volunteer. Our Board of Directors and the members of our Government Affairs Committee all have interests in community service and meeting the expectations of the Members who make us exist.
Detailed contact information is found easily here on the Chamber’s website.
What’s Next? What can you do?
Review of any issue or concern can be simple… or not. Something complex that might involve research by our volunteers, staff or professionals in a related field can take time. Any issues brought to the Chamber will be reviewed by the volunteers on our Government Affairs Committee. Success there means they will make a referral and recommendation to the Chamber’s Board of Directors. From there, a course of action will be agreed.
With any issue, the Chamber must act in the interest of our Members and ultimately seek victory in a way that means collective benefit to as many businesses and people as possible. Providing us with as much information as possible really expedites the process. Any research we must do in preparation for action will cover 3 key areas:
- Background or History: What’s the issue and how did it get to this point?
- Description: Details, please. How many people are affected? How much will it cost? Is there a required time for action? Has any person or organization tried to address this issue in the past? If so, what happened?
- Action: What are we to ask be done? By whom? Using what resources? When?
The Mission and Vision of the Chamber will guide our action. Through analysis, research and communication we have a proud history of being an effective agent for change and betterment.