YK Chamber opens up Small Business Week after ‘crazy year’

Attendees at the 2018 Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce business awards gala
Attendees at the 2018 Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce business awards gala. Angela Gzowski/Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce

Small Business Week is free and open to anyone this year, with a series of virtual sessions from October 19 to 23.

The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce said the inability to run a full, in-person event due to Covid-19 had freed up cash to book “really fantastic speakers” and make the video calls free to attend.

“We want to make sure we’re providing content that is relevant to our membership. This has been a crazy year,” said Deneen Everett, the chamber’s executive director, on Thursday.

Everett promised “content you wouldn’t expect, that is maybe a little bit different” in next week’s sessions.



Dr Kimberley Amirault-Ryan, Canada’s sport psychology lead at three Olympic Games, begins Monday’s programming at 10am. She’ll adapt her work with NHL and NBA teams to businesses and people trying to cope with the pandemic.

“People love to hear stories about what the best in the world do,” Amirault-Ryan said by phone ahead of her appearance. “How do the best in the world handle obstacles and plan for adversity and stress to happen?

“There are so many stories where things have gone sideways, but the best example I can give is my first day on the job in New York City with the New York Rangers NHL team, during 9/11.

“I walked to Madison Square Garden on my first day and all of a sudden, 9/11 happens. That’s what real stress is. I feel like it was another PhD to be in that organization and watch how the New York Rangers handled those times, and how they handled people.



“These things are very applicable to what’s going on with Covid.”

Amirault-Ryan said she would share the “little details” on which successful sports franchises build high-performance team environments.

“These are all things you can apply to yourself and your business, managing yourself and the people around you,” she said.

Making life richer

On Thursday at 10am, author and personal finance expert Melissa Leong will explore the connection between money and happiness, sharing “four strategic steps to buy happiness and to manage your money with a positive spin.”

“We are all trying to buy happiness, right?” Leong told Cabin Radio this week.

“We’re swiping our credit cards or playing the lottery because we think that if we get that raise, if we get the dream home, that we are going to be happier. So let’s look at that. If that’s what we truly believe, let’s make sure that our hard-earned money is going to the thing that actually makes me happy.”

Leong said hers was not a “get-rich-quick talk or selling snake oil,” but would offer people tools that “could make you richer – and not just richer monetarily.”

“I think that it might empower you to make your life richer,” she said, “and that can mean many different things.



“It really doesn’t matter where you live, how old you are, how much money you have in the bank. I think I can share some tips that, hopefully, people can make use of in their own lives, regardless of if they have their own business or if they’re working for someone else.”

More collaboration

In all, there are nine sessions throughout Small Business Week.

For every session participants attend, they will be entered into a draw to win one of two round-trip flight vouchers with Canadian North, the chamber’s platinum sponsor.

Register ahead of time by sending the chamber an email indicating which sessions you’d like to attend. There is a limited option to attend sessions at the chamber’s boardroom, which can accommodate up to six people, if you reserve a space in advance. No food or drinks will be served.

Everett highlighted performance expert Chris Bailey’s session on how to be more productive in a world of distractions, which runs from 2pm on Monday.

“Now that many of us are spending a lot more time in Zoom meetings or learning to work from home, I think that’s really relevant,” she said.

She also pointed to two Tuesday sessions, on resource development and the construction industry, as examples of how the chamber is increasing its collaboration with other groups.

“We’re going to end the week with our business resilience awards. It looks a lot different this year, spread across three restaurants, but the week is focused on the educational side,” Everett said.



“I think this year, survival is the great achievement. This year, the content is about motivation, professional development, and getting people thinking about new ways of doing business.”

Small Business Week is supported by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the NWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, and Moose FM.

This article appears through a paid partnership with the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce in support of Cabin Radio. It does not form a part of Cabin Radio’s editorial news coverage.