Pontiac Chamber of Commerce annual meeting

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Peter L.Smith

CHICHESTER – The Pontiac Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting, June 4, at Northfork Country Kitchen. Presentations were made  by Jean-Claude Rivest, PCC President, Ginger Finan, PCC Business Coordinator, Mathieu Ravignat, Pontiac MP, and Brian Huglis, President and General Manager of Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch in Pembroke.

Peter L.Smith

CHICHESTER – The Pontiac Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting, June 4, at Northfork Country Kitchen. Presentations were made  by Jean-Claude Rivest, PCC President, Ginger Finan, PCC Business Coordinator, Mathieu Ravignat, Pontiac MP, and Brian Huglis, President and General Manager of Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch in Pembroke.
Rivest highlighted some of the Chamber’s accomplishments over the past year including regular communication with members through their newsletter, newspaper articles, and radio interviews; promotion of the on-line Pontiac Business Directory; the Pontiac Coupon Booklet;  the second annual Pontiac Business Achievement Awards; the second Shop the Pontiac Christmas campaign; various     business networking events; and expansion of the Chamber’s mentoring program.
Rivest noted meeting with the CLD, MRC Pontiac, Society of Collective Aid and Development, local employment     centres, and MNA Andre Fortin throughout the year in order to further the growth of Pontiac businesses. “This year will       provide us with new opportunities to      communicate with higher levels of the Provincial Government responsible for funding industries,” he noted.
Ravignat spoke about issues affecting Pontiac businesses such as lack of high speed internet service, infrastructure       projects such as the construction of the new intra-provincial bridge, the closing of       railway lines, problems in the forestry industry, and opening of markets to free trade. “It should be cheaper and easier to trade within provinces instead of outside the country. The Pontiac has a great brand, quality products, and beauty,” stressed Ravignat.
Hugli stressed the importance of        partnerships and gave advice for running a business. “Prices need to reflect the true costs of your products. If production costs keep increasing and you try to absorb the costs without a price increase, the business will not succeed in the long-run. Small    businesses are highly regulated; if a certain pest is found on our blueberries, officials could close us down until the problem is solved. A similar situation could exist on blueberries imported from other countries and not be noticed because of a lack of proper inspection. The product could be cheaper but not better,” he stressed.
New members of the board are: Mireille Alary – President, Jean-Claude Rivest – Vice-President, Larry Coleman –Treasurer, Lynda Wegner – Secretary, Directors – Jerry Barber, Suzie Carrier, Colleen Fleming, Elwyn Lang, Denis LeBrun, Ron MacKillop, Tom Orr, Keri-Ann Richard, Brian Wallace and Richard Wegner.