The Steinbach Chamber of Commerce presented in front of Steinbach City Council at yesterday's Strategic Priorities Committee meeting. 

Chamber President Tracy Gromniski, informs they currently have 491 members, with 324 members in the 1-20 employee range. 

“So that shows that even the smaller businesses are really looking to network and have us advocate for them and be included in the business community. 

They have been seeing an acceleration in growth this year, which Gromniski attributes to the collective desire of local businesses to get together, network, and support each other. 

“I wonder if it's a post-COVID symptom of, we weren't able to and now there isn't the fear. 2023 we were just coming out of it, and so people still had some hesitancy, and now we're seeing a massive upswing.” 

They see a lot of people coming out to the various events they hold such as their mixers. She says they seem to fill a need for interaction. 

“A lot of the same faces, but a lot of new faces. For the longest time, we were seeing kind of the same crowd coming to the events, whereas now, the crowd is bigger and there's a significant amount of new faces every single time, which is super exciting.” 

Chamber Executive Director Tessa Masi adds that they have different crowds for different events. 

For example, their Leadership Breakfasts see a completely different crowd than their Lunch and Learns. 

“And I think something that is unique to 2024, end of 2023, is there's a momentum that's built now. Instead of us saying 'We want to add more members, let's be more proactive in seeking them out,’ they're coming to us weekly.” 

Masi says the numbers are climbing, and businesses are excited about becoming members of the Chamber thanks to the opportunities they are providing in and for the community. 

She notes the first thing she tells new members when they sign up is that they need to come to a mixer.  

“Because that's where you're going to meet new people, and then we'll intentionally seek them out and help them meet someone new.” 

Masi adds that while people come to events to see familiar faces, they also attend to promote their business. 

“To be able to put their business on other people's radar that they haven't had the chance before, we're providing them that platform. And however many people they want to reach out within those two hours, that's what they're walking away with.”