HP Interview 1

Change in Member Dues

Dear Chamber Members,

This past year has certainly been a roller coaster and we know that 2021 is full of unknowns, but through it all we continue to stand beside you ready to provide assistance and advice. With our partners we have strongly lobbied governments on your behalf to provide programs and assistance that would actually help and we have seen them make meaningful changes based on our advice. We will continue to do this moving forward and I encourage you to reach out to us with suggestions and input as this pandemic continues to play out. 

As we move into 2021 and a new membership year, we saw the opportunity to bring about a change in our membership structure in order to provide more value to you. We are officially moving away from charging based on the number of employees you have as this is an out-dated method. Instead our membership fees will be based on the benefits that you receive. Along with this change we have put in place a small increase in fees, the first time in many years. 

Going forward the Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce will now have six different membership levels for businesses which will be called; basic, essentials, connect, growth, influence and champion. Each of these levels offers a different set of benefits and I encourage you to read the membership brochure to see all of the details. During this transition our current members will be moved into the equivalent new membership level based on what you are paying now. This transition is laid out below.

New Membership Level

Old Membership Level

Basic Fewer than 5 employees
Essentials Between 5 and 20
Connect Between 21 and 50
Growth 51 or more

Our new influence and champion level have no equivalent in our past structure. 

Individual and student memberships will transition to the basic level.

You will see renewal invoices emails come to your email Monday morning. Please keep an eye out. You can pay online and also make changes to your membership levels. If you have any issues with this please reach out.

I know this change will bring about many questions and I invite you to first check out our website and then call or email us with your questions. We have also created a membership FAQ page on our website which we will continue to update with answers to questions we receive.



Rick Allwright

Executive Director

Steaming Forward

A Platform for Growth of Yarmouth County
2020 Municipal Election

The upcoming municipal election provides a key opportunity for the voters of Yarmouth County to set the direction of our community. As a local business organization, the Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce is non-political and non-partisan in nature and does not support any specific candidate(s) in the upcoming election. Our role is to educate our membership and citizens of the region on key issues so that they can make informed decisions.

In order to assist voters, the Chamber seeks to highlight key issues by providing a platform called “Steaming Forward: A Platform for the Growth of Yarmouth County”. This platform is part of the Chamber’s ongoing effort to better our community. It is our hope that candidates will adopt this platform and add their own ideas.

The following issues have been identified by our membership as key in this election:

1. Consider Consolidation of Municipal Units

The most significant issue is the prospect of consolidation of the three municipal units. Maintaining three units has resulted in financial and procedural inefficiencies, poor working relationships between the units and the general inability to reach consensus to move decisions forward. This has also resulted in provincial and federal government frustrations and community confusion.

The Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce implores each member of council to prioritize this task in an open and transparent way and to communicate the implications of consolidation with all citizens. As an organization that represents businesses, we also offer our support in relaying communications. It is also our responsibility to challenge council when businesses and citizens are not receiving information or clarification on the impacts of large organizational change.

2. Asset Development

Of obvious note are the numerous community discussions on the importance in the development of new facilities within the region. Both businesses and citizens understand and desire the significant lifestyle enhancements that come with increases in services and facilities within the area. Businesses recognize the potential to attract more talent.

The membership base of the Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce believes that the three municipal units of Yarmouth County need to work together to come up with a complete asset development plan that will prioritize this work and ensure it is executed in a strategic and timely manner. Councils need to communicate, consult and listen to their citizens.

3. Asset Re-investment

Throughout the region we have a number of infrastructure assets that are approaching their “end of life” and will require significant investment in order to breathe new life into this older infrastructure, most important being the wharves, but also the airport, power grid, water/sewer systems and more. Higher levels of government have a role to play but leadership and planning can and should come from the municipal level. In addition to an asset development plan as noted in point two, a complete plan for the entire county to reinvest in our infrastructure is needed.

4. Attracting Residents

One of the key issues that we continue to face in our business communities is a worker shortage. We constantly hear of businesses that are unable to fill job vacancies. Vacancies range from manual, front-line labourers to executive positions in all industries. Yarmouth is a great place to live and do business in. We need to get that message out there.

The Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce believes that this is not just a role for the municipalities but a team of community organizations, including the Chamber. The Chamber also recognizes that housing availability is a major issue that plays a role in this and many parties need to be engaged on. We also believe that addressing some of our social issues will be possible by focusing on this issue.

5. Economic Diversity

Our region is heavily reliant on fishing and one other key sector. When either one of these experiences any sort of disruption, the ripple effect throughout the region is significant. Continuing with the status quo does not position our region well for the future. We do recognize that this will be a team effort that should include several organizations and higher levels of government.


The Chamber has identified these five key issues from the voice of our membership and the community. “Steaming Forward” as named to capture the essence of the present momentum and push it forcefully ahead to encourage plan, action, and change. We must keep Steaming Forward.