Estevan Chamber of Commerce president Dennis Bode led about two dozen members through a brief business agenda last Wednesday afternoon during the C of C's monthly luncheon meeting at Allie's Dining. It was the last luncheon session before the traditional summer hiatus, meaning that the next one will be in September. That does not mean that the chamber is taking a break from business though. In fact, the summer activities schedule is busier than ever.
Bode reminded the membership of this summer's Pure Energy Motorsports Weekend coming up in late August and welcomed Jim “Frosty” Forrest of the Estevan Drag Racing Association to the meeting. Forrest noted that the dragsters have been a part of the Estevan racing scene for the past 10 years and they are now planning to build their own drag racing track next to the Estevan Motor Speedway and the local motocross course southeast of the city. This will allow the club more flexibility in planning regular drag racing meets in the future. But right now the club enjoys the hospitality at the Estevan Municipal Airport strip north of the city where they hold regular race dates, including the first one slated for the season this coming Sunday.
Bode also noted that some local merchants expressed concerns over the increase in exemptions now being offered to travellers to the United States who can now claim up to $200 worth of tax and duty exempt goods after a 24 hour stay in the U.S. as opposed to the former claim of $50.
Bode said Estevan may join a group from the Niagara area of Ontario in expressing their concerns over this latest government regulation along with the ongoing disparity in pricing of wholesale and retail goods in the two countries.
Bode then mentioned the Workwest Career Caravan that will soon be heading to Toronto to recruit Eastern Canadians for Western Canadian job opportunities. He noted that recent job postings indicated there were still about 1,300 job openings in the Estevan area. He also added that in the recent issue of Alberta Venture magazine, Estevan was cited as the best place in Saskatchewan to do business.
The Caravan will consist of various Western Canadian businesses and agencies and anyone interested in being represented at the Toronto-area show is to contact C of C community development manager Michel Cyrenne.
C of C administrator Beckie Howie noted that 68 per cent of the upcoming Estevan Showcase exhibit spaces have already been booked for the end of September and more spaces in the Ikon Centre are being arranged so that the event can expand this year if required. There will also be an added feature of antique appraisals offered during this year's event.
Bode noted that the local bass fishing tournament and reservoir waters are being showcased on a regional television show in July.