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Shelly Nichol: Helping Businesses Succeed

There are a lot of local women in business in our community. Nichol knows that women-owned businesses can face a lot of unique challenges. The Chamber can help.

During International Women’s Month, St. Albert Gazette is celebrating women that are making a difference in our local business and community landscapes. Meet Shelly Nichol, Executive Director of the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce.

The St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce provides a diverse range of services and activities to help businesses of all sizes grow and thrive. Shelly Nichol, Executive Director, is pleased to help local businesses succeed.

“I joined the Chamber in 2018 in the role of Director of Administration and Finance. At that time, I was looking for a career change from the construction industry,” says Nichol. “One of the greatest joys in this position is helping, whether that is through connecting people, advocacy work or initiatives the Chamber starts. It is wonderful to see businesses develop and grow. My greatest challenge in this role was the learning curve, that feeling of drinking from a fire hose!” she laughs, “But Chamber executives in Alberta and across the country are incredibly supportive and always willing to share their knowledge.”

There are a lot of local women in business in our community. Nichol knows that women-owned businesses can face a lot of unique challenges. The Chamber can help.

“Women in business should look to the Chamber for support and resources because our Chamber offers a range of services designed to help businesses, including networking opportunities, training programs and advocacy on behalf of the business community,” she says. “These resources can be particularly valuable for women-owned or women-led businesses, which may face distinctive challenges in the marketplace. Our Chamber is women lead, with all our positions currently filled by women, so we really do understand the challenges.”

She had great advice for women in business, or women that are considering entrepreneurship.

“Entrepreneurship means starting and running a business, often with the goal of creating something new and innovative. It is important for women to consider leading their own companies because it can provide them with the opportunity to be their own boss, control their own schedules and make a meaningful impact in their communities. Empowerment means having the ability to make choices and decisions that affect one’s life and having the resources and support necessary to act on those choices. Women can empower themselves by acquiring knowledge and skills, building networks and relationships and seeking out opportunities for growth and advancement.”

Nichol is a firm believer in supporting the community, through her work at the Chamber, and through volunteering and giving back.

“I support T8N100 Women Who Care and I am part of the St. Albert Rotary Club, but there are so many impactful service clubs and charitable organizations here in St. Albert. I suggest joining the one that speaks to you. It will be one of the best decisions you can do for yourself and your community.”

What comes next for Nichol?

“Continuing in my role as Executive Director and increasing my knowledge to help grow our Chamber. The St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce is working on our Women’s Wellness Conference and the Lifestyle Sale & Expo. Some new initiatives upcoming are the Grant Writing Project, with workshops to increase awareness of the grants available and to be more successful in obtaining funds; a Tourism Advisory Committee to grow our visitor economy in St. Albert and District; and a “The Local Gift Card” program, a benefit with your Chamber membership,” she concludes.

Learn more about the Chamber online, and on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik Tok.

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