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Fort Macleod Chamber offers small business benefits program

Leo Durand

Leo Durand

Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce wants to protect the most important assets of small business: the owner, his or her family, and employees.
That’s the mandate of the national Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan.
“It was built by small business, for small business,” program administrator Leo Durand said.
Durand was in Fort Macleod on Thursday to promote the group benefits program to Chamber members at their January meeting at Vanee Livestock.
The oldest group benefit program and the largest of its kind in Canada has 35,000 participants from 11,000 member chambers and boards of trade.
“We take care of you, so you can take care of business,” said Durand, who for 17 years has administered the program in the area through his company, Durand Financial Services.
Businesses must be Chamber of Commerce members in order to participate in the plan.
Durand said the Chamber plan provides small businesses — those with from one to 50 employees including farms and ranches — with big business group features.
The program provides customized benefit plans to suit individual businesses, not just single packages.
“This is a fully customized plan,” Durand said. “You take the pieces you want.”
The benefit plan can be customized to provide desired levels of coverage for prescription drugs, dental work, major medical expenses, life and accidental death insurance, income replacement and critical illness.
The advantage of pooled benefits across the country has provided the Chamber program with a history of price stability.
Through the advantage of pooling, premiums are based on the average claims across all participants in the program nation-wide.
Participants have guaranteed renewable coverage, Durand noted.
The on-line administration option is a secure, free service that allows employees to follow their claims.
The program offers the Best Doctors service, which allows people to seek a second opinion from leading health professionals.
The Business Assistance Service provides members with up to nine hours of free advice from lawyers, accountants and human resources professionals.
A portion of the program premiums are returned to the member chambers. In Fort Macleod’s case that works out to about $5,000.
For information about becoming a Chamber member contact administrative assistant Ashley Nelson at 403-715-2125 or
For information about the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan contact Leo Durand at 403-328-3306 or

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Fort Macleod has recently seen the modernization of two schools ($18-million), the construction of a new seniors' lodge ($9-million) and the development of a new administration building shared by the town and school division ($5-million). Which is your favourite?