With 2022 gone and 2023 underway, Morden Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Scott Hoeppner took time to reflect on the past year.     

"From the Chamber's perspective, it has been an interesting year, and that's for a couple of reasons. One is because we were coming out of COVID, so it was a year to transition back into normal operations and then get our feet back underneath us. That was good it. It was nice to be back to some semblance of normalcy again, and just get everyone back up and running, and get some of our events running again." 

He added one more significant event.  

"The other big change for us would be, we have a new Executive Director in Clare Agnew. Getting Clare was something we were very excited for, but again, it's been a year of transition then because we are getting Clare used to the new job, and she's learning about us, and we're learning about her. But she's been fantastic and we're so excited to have her." 

Exective Director Clare AgnewExective Director Clare Agnew

Hoeppner took time to share plans for the upcoming year. 

"Well, 2023 is going to be an exciting year for us. We are having our first Strat (Strategic) Plan Meeting in a number of years, and so we will be setting the course early this year for not only the rest of 2023, but hopefully for the next number of years to come. So that will be exciting for us. I think we have a very engaged board, and they're very excited for what we can do as a board, and it'll just be trying to set some priorities and see how we can best help our members."    

Hoeppner said advocacy at the provincial and local level benefits members. For example, recently Agnew was able to sit down with Provincial Ministers and share concerns about immigration, wastewater and sewage limitations, housing and labour shortages. 

Other items of note higher interest rates and inflation mixed with supply demands will have people wondering how the coming year will play out. Additionally, he pointed out the limitation of wastewater slows growth in the community, as housing is needed for labourers and limits economic development.

He described Morden's business community. 

"I would say resilient and something to be proud of as a community. This is a group of people who are not in it for their own interests. These are truly in my view, Members businesses who are out here to support the Community and appreciate any and all support that the Community shows them in return." 

Hoeppner said members said the "Wrapping Up a Morden Christmas" event was the busiest day of the year for many businesses, topping Corn and Apple, and reiterated, when the community steps up to shop local it is truly appreciated.