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Businessman raises concern over Chamber using U.S. company for new website

A businessman is crying foul over the Prince George and District Chamber of Commerce’s new website.

Perry Cook of Pacific Prairie Consulting Group Ltd. says the chamber’s new website, which was just unveiled, was built by an American company and is hosted on an American server. He says this flies in the face of the Chamber’s Support PG program promoting using local businesses.

“By not hiring a local design firm, the chamber has missed an opportunity to promote the region’s growing tech-sector,” he said. “Yes, the chamber saved some money by building the site using an open-source WordPress template but what message does it convey when it builds the site base on a template purchased from Growthzone – a vendor in Minnesota? Not only is the chamber not supporting local commerce, it’s not supporting Canadian commerce, either.”

He said local companies like Spark Design, Splash Media, Shift Creative, PG Web Designs likely could have built the website.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Corrigall says it did send out a request for proposals looking for local companies and there are several reasons it stayed with the platform it was already using.

“The chamber has been working with Chamber Master and Growth Zone, an organization based in the U.S. that works with chambers of commerce globally to provide integrated marketing systems, database management, communication tools and website development/hosting,” he said. “The Prince George Chamber of Commerce has been using these platforms for years.”

He said the chamber issued an request for proposal last summer requesting submissions with the intent of looking local.

“Unfortunately, to integrate our content management systems noted above into the site made it cost prohibitive,” he said. “All of our service providers and purchasing is kept local. However, Chamber Master and Growth Zone have developed a business model that works specifically with chambers of commerce and boards of trade on CMS and websites. By doing this, we are able to work constructively on the needs of our members and fight on their behalf for a more just environment for business to operate.”

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