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The Power of Choosing Local

Often hailed as the backbone of their community, local businesses and the people who buy form them play a vital role in shaping the fabric of the region.

In fact, almost every contributing factor to the economic and social health of a town or city can be traced back to local businesses, says Shauna Feth, President of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.

“They are the taxpayers who fund municipal services. They are employers who provide paycheques for households. They are supporters of local non-profits and organizations, and the suppliers of goods and services that enhance the community,” says Feth.

Local businesses are more likely to support local charities, events and causes, fostering a sense of social responsibility and making their communities more attractive and dynamic places to live in and visit.

City Public Participation Framework

Another welcome bonus for shoppers is that local businesses often provide unique and niche products or services, offering consumers something special that may not be found in larger, standardized chain outlets. "Supporting local businesses is not just an act of commerce; it’s an investment in your community”

Read the full Calgary Herald Article online and find more resources about putting Local First on our website.

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Neat to Know – City of Medicine Hat News

City Council approved updates to the 2024 capital and operating budgets at their regular meeting on November 20, 2023. Here are some of the highlights:

  • There was no change to the approved 5% increase in property tax revenue to cover the costs of municipal inflation that was previously set out in the 2023-2024 budget.
    • 4% is an increase to existing homes and businesses (the current assessment base)
    • 1% is attributed to assessment base growth (new properties or businesses)
  • The update reduces the 2024 Municipal budget gap by $0.8M (from $7.0M to $6.3M when rounded), largely because of investment returns from a larger investment portfolio than previously anticipated.

You can check out the Council mid-term report to see actions City Council has made in the two years since they were sworn into office and how they've advanced their six strategic priorities.

On November 20, 2023, City Council passed a new gas utility bylaw (Bylaw 4798) to provide consumers with a single Market Reference Price based on wholesale market commodity prices (the weighted average cost of the natural gas purchased for that particular month of consumption) plus $0.07/GJ to recover transactional costs and a small rate of return. This new rate will take effect January 1, 2024 and be in effect until a third-party review of the City's energy business (COMCO) is complete. Consumers may still enter Fixed or Variable natural gas contracts up until December 31, 2023, at which time all contracts will expire in favour of the new rate. You may choose to return to your contract that was in effect prior to January 1, 2024 by contacting by email by February 1, 2024 and will be subject to the terms of that contract for the duration of the initial contract.

Read the November 21 edition of Neat to Know and Council Highlights from November 20, 2023

Tourism spending recovers two years ahead of schedule

The goal of the Bootstrap Plan was to have the visitor economy recover and return to pre-pandemic revenues by 2024. Alberta saw $10.7 billion in tourism spending in 2022 – up $600 million from 2019 levels – returning spending to pre-pandemic levels two years ahead of schedule. Read more.


Managing your Money in a Changing World

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, in collaboration with nationwide partners, will address key financial issues, aiding Canadians in money and debt management. Take this check up on your financial health.


Advocacy in Action

2023 Fall Economic Statement – Our Policy Experts’ Insights

On November 21, 2023, the Government of Canada released its 2023 Fall Economic Statement (FES). Policy experts from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have reviewed the FES in detail, and their perspective on its implications for Canadian business can be found here.

“[The] Fall Economic Statement (FES) signals that the government heard the business community on issues such as addressing our housing needs and the importance of ensuring workers can work in any community where and when their skills are needed most. We all agree on the need for measures that will help build our homes, support businesses in finding the right talent, and ease the burden of doing business in Canada.

But more needs to be done, and Canada needs to move quickly. We applaud the intent of the government’s “delivery timeline”


for investment tax credits for major decarbonization projects, but time has already been lost. We need to see carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects moving ahead, and the government still needs to deliver on the plans it first announced in 2021 and in subsequent Budgets and statements. Business urgently needs to be able to work with government to invest jointly in these projects so we can fuel green economic growth, achieve our net-zero ambitions, and catalyze the private sector investment that will help pay for the services and social programs Canadians need.

There were also some concerning developments – including that the speed with which the Government is trying to push through changes to our competition laws does not leave enough time to predict or understand their full effects. If enacted, these changes to the Competition Act would apply to all Canadian businesses and could have significant unintended consequences, including reduced investment and the punishing of pro-competitive business conduct. We’re calling for the government to consult meaningfully with stakeholders on the proposed changes to the Competition Act.

Canada still urgently needs a plan for growth. Next year’s budget must address a number of key measures that weren’t included in the Fall Economic Statement or the 2023 budget, including long overdue measures to modernize the tax and regulatory system, investments in trade-enabling infrastructure that will strengthen supply chains, and initiatives to foster an innovative economy, maintain our leadership in Artificial Intelligence, ensure widespread adoption of cybersecurity, and advance digital health.”

Matthew Holmes, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, Canadian Chamber of Commerce


Facing challenges in hiring skilled workers in Alberta?

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce research on Labour Market Information feeds directly into the work being done with a provincial Talent Development Task Force in identifying skills shortage. If you're struggling to hire skilled talent, this is your chance to have your voice heard. The survey will take 5 minutes to complete and is open until 5:00 P.M. on December 1st. Survey results will be made publicly available on the Alberta Perspectives Insight Community Hub.

Calling on all Albertans to help shape health care

All Albertans are encouraged to participate in an online survey on the refocusing of Alberta’s health care system. Engaging with health care workers and Albertans, and listening to the input of patients, families and caregivers remains a top priority for Alberta’s government throughout this refocusing process.

As a next step, Albertans are encouraged to share their thoughts through an online survey to gather deeper insights into the challenges, obstacles and successes experienced by both health care staff and Albertans within the current health care system. Find out more and share your feedback


Legislative Assembly Committee Invites Albertans to Public Meeting on the Heritage Fund

The Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund invites Albertans to participate in a conversation about Alberta’s main long-term savings fund on Thursday, November 30, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting will be held on the 2nd floor of the Queen Elizabeth II Building at 9820 – 107 Street, Edmonton.

Members of the public are invited to attend in person or watch live on Alberta Assembly TV, at and on the Legislative Assembly’s social media channels.

Following an update on the Fund’s performance by experts from Alberta Treasury Board and Finance and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), a question-and-answer session will allow participants to pose questions to officials and the Committee in person, on Facebook and X (Twitter) using #abheritagefund, by email at and through the designated telephone line 1.888.892.3255 code 764511, which will only be active during the meeting.

Albertans who can’t attend the meeting are encouraged to submit comments/questions in advance of the meeting at The Committee will respond to the questions during the live event. Find out more.

Next Level Events

Medicine Hat Construction Association: Low Carbon Training Program for Construction Professionals

To protect our environment and reduce the impacts of climate change, the Government of Canada has committed to reducing Canada’s total GHG emissions. As the buildings sector is Canada’s third-largest source of emissions, prioritizing decarbonization is critical to meeting this net zero target, and addressing climate change requires awareness, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and skill-building.

This complimentary training will be offered virtually, in three half-day sessions. The training will provide construction professionals with the fundamentals of low-carbon building retrofits or new builds, an essential step in advancing our industry’s contribution to greening our country. More information and registration here.

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Community Futures: Employment Agreements

Did you know that there are ways to manage severance when terminating employees? What is the difference between non-competition and non-solicitation and what are the strategies for protecting your business from departing employees?  These are just a few of the things that a solid employment agreement can assist with. Unfortunately, employment contracts are tricky to draft, and must be treated with great care in an ever changing legal landscape. Join employment lawyer Jennifer Koschinsky in her second talk in a series on employment law, where she will help employers navigate the complexities of employment agreements. Register here:

Intercultural Christmas Gala

Tickets are Available Here! The Gala is an evening of fun, food, entertainment and intercultural experiences. We also have lots of door prizes. For 17 years, this event has been anticipated by both international and local people in Medicine Hat. Come dressed in semi-formal attire to enjoy an evening full of laughter, good food, games, reconnecting with friends and live music entertainment.

Watch some of the captured memories from previous years at the Intercultural Christmas Gala.


Perfecting Your Pitch with Craig Elias

Designed for aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners, this series shares the secrets to getting customers, investors, and mentors.  The series will also cover some of the best ways to access Alberta's business incubators and accelerators.

Each week's session will feature fresh content and the opportunity to practice your pitch and get feedback from the facilitator and the other participants. Register here:

Over 50% booths sold, book today! 2024 Home + Leisure Tradeshow

We all know how time flies, and though the Trade Show is still a few months away, its ONLY a few months away!! With over 50% booths sold, there are a few corner booths still available but going fast, along with some bulk space for large exhibitors and food truck space available. With thousands of consumers visiting the shows over the course of three days these trade shows give an incredible opportunity to gain exposure for your business, demonstrate and sell products, and showcase your services. Register now and save your space!

Trade Shows

Enriching Your Business

skyrocketing premiums

There's a reason Chambers Plan is Canada's #1 plan.

Contact JoAnne Letkeman,
Exclusive Chamber Group Advisor,
403-504-2166 ext 1.

Fueling the Business Community


We would like to welcome Thrive Physiotherapy and Wellness Ltd and Glowing Aura Wellness Spa Inc to the Chamber Family!

We continually look forward to helping our members during their business journey and wish each the best in all future endeavors. We are extremely happy to have such amazing members, and are very glad that we can serve a part in that journey! Keep your eye out for more new member posts moving forward!

Still Time to ACT FAST on this Elavon Black Friday Offer

New merchants can enjoy a $200 statement credit when they sign up during the promotion period. How to Participate:

1. Submit a web inquiry through the Elavon Chamber landing page

2. Elavon's dedicated sales representatives will promptly reach out for a consultation within 24- 48 hours

3. Complete the sign-up process by November 30th.

*In order to qualify for the promotion, signed up merchant account must be activated before December 15th, 2023. Check out more information on the promotion here.

Are you following our socials?

Our posts lately have included some new members, downtown updates, upcoming events, opportunities for Chamber and community members, and more! Follow us to stay on top of things and for some fun content to fill your page.
Are you a Chamber member? Remember that if you tag us on your content, we'll share it to our story!

Facebook @Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce

Instagram @medhatchamber

LinkedIn @Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce

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Fill Up On Funding

Canada Summer Jobs 2024: Application period for employers begins November 21

Employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees in Canada can apply for funding to hire young Canadians aged 15 - 30 next summer. The application deadline is January 10, 2024. Learn more here.

Canada Post is decking the halls with even more savings!

Save more on shipping lightweight packages that are less than 250 g like jewelry, small beauty products or light handmade goods. You can save up to an additional 15% off shipping, when using Expedited Parcel™ until December 31, 2023. Learn more.

Desjardins Logo (CNW Group/Desjardins Group)

Desjardins GoodSpark Grants for Small Businesses

Desjardins is offering 150 grants of $20,000 to small Canadian businesses. Grants will be provided to businesses who intend to invest the grant under one of the following four Impact focus areas: Sustainable Development, Health and Well-being, Innovation, and Community Impact. Find all details about the GoodSpark grants here, including eligibility requirements, program rules, FAQs, and the grant application. Deadline to apply is December 3, 2023.

Start Now Incubator Program for Women Entrepreneurs - applications are open!

Applications are now open for the Start Now Incubator Program beginning February 6th! This free virtual business incubator is a 6-week program designed to give aspiring women entrepreneurs the skills they need to evaluate and launch their business ideas. For those already with an existing business, it provides the dedicated space to connect with what’s working in their business and what needs to be refined to take it to the next level. Learn more here.

Call for proposals for Sustainable Development Goals Funding Program

This funding opportunity aims to support the federal government’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda by strengthening partnerships and engagement with Canadians. Learn more


Crossword Puzzle


Crossword Puzzle Answers

Did you figure it out? Here are the answers for the November 20th crossword puzzle.

Remember that if you subscribe to our weekly email, you get access to the crossword puzzle! Anyone who sends us their answers will get their name put into our quarterly draw. The prize? Receive 5 promotional credits with us (for members) or credit towards a membership (for non-members)! Oh and bragging rights that you're a crossword master! 

Other Events

November 28 | The Importance of Paid Advertising in a Digital Space | Register

November 30 | Temporary Foreign Workers and employer rights and responsibilities | Register

December 5 | Employment Standards in AB – Vacation pay and general holiday pay | Register

December 5 | Optimizing for Search Engines - Understanding SEO Basics | Register

December 6 | Elevate your Career with AI | Register

December 6 | Pathways to Permanent Residence I Register

December 7 | EDC Global Economic Outlook: Preparing for business in 2024 | Register

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