Businesses meet to form new association

At a found-table meeting hosted by the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, participants elected to form an association.

Grand Forks will soon go back to having a business association. At a round-table meeting of business owners and other interested groups on April 20 at the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, participants elected to go about forming an association, which would run under the auspices of the chamber.

Kathy Wright, executive director of the chamber, said there were 15 people at the meeting. “It went very well,” she said. “They are forming a committee from it. They are doing a business association.”

Wright said the group involved in the association will meet again soon and discuss the guidelines including whether it will just be restricted to downtown businesses or be open to all Grand Forks businesses.

“There was a discussion of both,” she said. “So I don’t know at this point.”

Wright was pleased to see a number of newer business owners at the meeting and a number of representatives from a wide range of businesses from quilting to groceries to realtors and more.

“It was quite well attended,” she said. “We had a pretty good range and several new business owners. There was a mix of older and younger merchants. Which is a good mix.”

Wright said they discussed several issues that the business owners felt was important such as how they can have a better voice and how they can grow their businesses.

“They want to have a stronger voice to bring issues to the city,” she said. “To have a more collaborative voice. To also have input on things like Family Day and other events and having the whole business community celebrate. So more awareness. There was some really good discussion.”

Also brought up was the issue of parking on Market Avenue and whether owners and employees should have limited parking hours.

“I think it’s a really good committee that’s being formed,” said Wright. “It’ll be a subcommittee of the chamber. I’m regional (with the Chamber of Commerce). We wanted a more definite voice for Grand Forks and so did the city. By forming this committee they can bring their issues.”

The chamber and the city will both have a representative on the committee, namely Cathy Korolek and Councillor Chris Hammett.

Wright said the parking issue will be discussed further at a round-table discussion with the downtown business owners who will have a discussion of how to resolve that issue.