On February 2, the Community and Economic Development Committee (CEDC) of the Town and the Mississippi Mills Chamber of Commerce Board had a first-of-its-kind, “meet and greet” session at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Although the smaller Chamber Board was substantially outnumbered by the 13 CEDC participants, there was a frank and open dialogue on synergies the two groups could leverage for a better economic development climate in Mississippi Mills.
Co-chairs Kris Riendeau, President of the Chamber and Arnie Francis, Chair of the CEDC, opened the meeting with some background on their respective organizations. After a round of introductions two break-out groups discussed areas of commonality and points of difference. The whole group re-convened to present solutions to address how the Chamber and the CEDC could work collaboratively to make the best use of their resources to achieve common economic development objectives. Some ideas included establishing cooperative marketing schemes, launching a formal “ambassador program” and establishing a single-source online business directory.
“The importance of the meeting” according to Arnie Francis, “is that it happened and that the Chamber and the CEDC are together looking at a path forward to make our community an even better place for sustainable economic investment.” Kris Riendeau, President of the Chamber commented that "It was inspiring to bring together so many people who dedicate their time and talents to promoting both the community at large and the business community in Mississippi Mills. The Chamber looks forward to further collaboration and dialogue with CEDC."
An immediate result of the meeting was an agreement to improve two-way communications by having a Chamber Board member sit on the CEDC and a CEDC members sit on the Chamber Board. Members of the community who may be interested in more information may contact Kris (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Arnie (Arnie@francisconsulting.ca).