New group formed to advocate for businesses in Scugog, Uxbridge, Brock


Published May 15, 2024 at 4:17 pm

downtown port perry
Downtown Port Perry

Businesses from Port Perry to Uxbridge to Beaverton will now act with one unified voice after chambers of commerce in Scugog and Uxbridge and the Brock Board of Trade banded together to form the North Durham Chamber of Commerce last month.

Embracing a regional approach to economic development embodies the belief that business is stronger together, said Scugog Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karey Anne Large, who said the move marks a “pivotal moment” for the business community in the region’s three northern townships.

“Today marks an exciting chapter in our journey,” she said, with the Scugog chamber celebrating 110 years of service in 2024. “We’re forging stronger connections, empowering businesses, and creating new opportunities across our vibrant communities. Together, we’ll continue to thrive, innovate, and champion the economic growth of north Durham. We look forward to having businesses join the North Durham Chamber of Commerce. “

By bringing business, professionals, and community leaders together the new organization hopes to create a “powerful force for positive economic change” in north Durham, she added.

The evolution of the local chambers will provide a regional perspective while still encouraging each municipality to continue developing unique events that nurture their local strengths, noted Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton.

“I am delighted to see the launch of the North Durham Chamber of Commerce, which symbolizes our dedication to cooperation and advancement. This unification of our townships strengthens our shared voice, improves services, and fosters an innovative economic environment that enriches both our citizens and businesses.”

Members of the North Durham Chamber of Commerce will receive a range of enhanced services and supports tailored to the unique needs of the business community north of the region’s urban centres along Lake Ontario. Support services will include access to the Chambers Plan, an employee benefits plan for small businesses, as well as numerous resources and initiatives, such as networking events, educational programs, and advocacy campaigns.

“We welcome the news of a new North Durham Chamber of Commerce to better support our northern business communities,” said Scugog Mayor Wilma Wotten.

“This will provide a strong and unified voice in regional and provincial discussions for businesses. As well it will provide an expanded basis of resources, experience and network for a collaborative approach for guidance to support our uniquely northern regional businesses.”

The future will see improved broadband connectivity, infrastructure delivery and an enhanced quality of life in the north and the unified business voice will help attract the “next generation of employers” to create jobs, drive economic prosperity, and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the area, said Brock Mayor John Grant, who said he was “excited” to join the new chamber.

“This new umbrella organization will enable us to preserve our unique identities while strengthening our united voice. It provides a framework for Brock Township businesses to advocate for our specific needs while leveraging our collective strength to push for impactful solutions that benefit everyone. By pooling our resources, we can jointly promote tourism and business initiatives across our region. Together, we are setting the stage for a future that is both cohesive and flourishing.”

North Durham is blessed with natural beauty, and offers as-yet untapped tourism opportunities, from scenic trails and lakes to historic downtowns all surrounded by a vibrant rural landscape. Through collaborative efforts under the North Durham Chamber of Commerce, the organization aims to develop and promote tourism activities that showcase the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

“By leaning into these strengths,” noted Large in a news release, “we can stimulate economic growth while also enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”

The new chamber is extending an open invitation to businesses and professionals to join the organization on the journey.

“Just as it takes many threads to weave a strong rope, together, we can foster a vibrant and resilient North Durham business community, where we leverage our strategic advantages to help business flourish and residents thrive.”

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