The Kindersley Chamber of Commerce had their Annual General Meeting last Friday afternoon at the Kindersley Museum.
The event featured a special speaker in Rick Miller, outgoing president of the Kindersley Chamber, as he officially ended his term and brought in the AGM with his to-the-point presentation of "Your Town Is Dying".
Miller had done the speech a few times prior to Friday, actually just the night before in Biggar at the local community hall.
The West Central town is looking at re-establishing the Biggar and Area Chamber of Commerce. Local business owners had the chance to listen in on Millers stance on business supporting business in rural communities.
MLA for Biggar-Sask Valley Randy Weekes was just one in that crowd on hand to take in the talk on real problems facing small town business:
So what is this speech really about? Miller explained.
"(Biggar) was the second time I have given it. It's pretty compelling, and pretty intense," said Miller as we checked in with him between the speaking engagements in Biggar and Kindersley.
It was a natural fit to do the presentation in Kindersley, but Miller talked about how Biggar got involved as they look to once again put together a Chamber of Commerce. He shared that to his knowledge the existing Chamber had been disbanded twice over the years.
That news is in the past, and with Biggar specifically having a targeted revitalization plan for the community, they are a perfect example of the targeted undertaking that small towns are going to have to incorporate if they want to stay competitive (and even alive) into the future.
"We have to look to the future. Small towns are under serious threat. Without small town businesses, there is no town. The consumer and the customer needs to know that."
The talk according to Miller presents a way to look inward at the problem as opposed to outward for what communities need to do in the future.
"(Looking at) what we need to do as towns, and as businesses, to make sure we can hold onto our customers and give them what they need. Propping up the town. Because without business, there is no business."
Friday's talk in Kindersley echoed many of the same sentiments from the night before in Biggar.
A loss of jobs will lead to a loss of people. Jobs that do stay around must have a succession plan if they are to keep going into the future, meaning those jobs can only stay if there are willing entrepreneurs to take up the mantle.