Stettler Board of Trade continues to help businesses navigate challenging times

‘Christmas in July’ is another current means of encouraging folks to ‘shop local’

The Stettler Regional Board of Trade continues to help businesses navigate challenging times with a range of webinars, programs and services geared to helping companies in the ‘re-launching phase’.

“We have quite a few partners that we work with such as the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) – a lot of those organizations tend to have the educational components,” said Stacey Benjamin, executive director.

“So we are definitely encouraging business owners to take part in some of these webinars,” she explained, adding that these sessions provide much in the way of useful tools to help grow one’s business particularly through the challenge of a pandemic.

One such webinar coming up this month is ‘How To Support Employees’ Mental Health And Well-Being During COVID-19 And Beyond’. According to the Board of Trade, in a recent survey by Sun Life, over half (56 per cent) of Canadians surveyed said COVID-19 is negatively affecting their mental health.

“Join Carmen Bellows, registered psychologist and director, Mental Health Solutions at Sun Life Financial to learn how to develop and maintain a positive mental health environment in your organization.”

This takes place on July 20th at 2 p.m.

Another webinar on July 25th at 1 p.m. focuses on the bolstered use of digital tools and technology, and how those who tap into these resources typically enjoy higher profits and better productivity.

“There are also a bunch of programs that will be rolling out through the year so definitely watch for the Support Local programs and participate in those,” she said.

Locally, Benjamin said the push continues to be on encouraging folks to ‘support local’.

To that end, they recently launched ‘Christmas in July’. “It’s part of the ‘Think Local, Shop Stettler’ campaign,” she said. “With every purchase made at a business, the business owner can provide a postcard to the customer, and then these can be utilized at another business as well,” she explained.

”It’s up to the business to decide on what kind of discounts or deals that they are giving, but there is the opportunity to share the love by offering that. Consumers can then complete the postcards and submit them to be entered to win $150 in ‘Heart of Alberta’ dollars.

“It’s going to run for the month of July, and it’s another opportunity for us to really encourage shopping local,” she said.

For more about Christmas in July, check out www.shopstettler.ca or contact Donna Morris at 403-742-3181.

The draw will be made on Aug. 4th.

These days, Benjamin said the Board of Trade is always looking for feedback from businesses so that their services can be more closely tailored to the needs of the community.

“We understand that as a business owner you are dealing with a lot of pressures at the moment. We have been reaching out to businesses by phone but in an effort to reach more of our local business owners we have built a survey online to assess our local economic climate and to be cognizant of your time.”

Check out the link on the Board of Trade’s web site.

“We are conducting the survey right now to get an idea of where businesses are sitting, and any challenges they might foresee happening, or that they are currently facing, and how we can then best help them.”

Looking back over the months of the pandemic, the challenges have been immense but businesses’s innovative approaches and resiliency continue to shine through.

“It’s been really difficult, and I think the fear of the unknown was the biggest problem because there was no consistency; there were no dates – nobody really knew how long they were going to be closed for or if there were ways around it. So I’m really proud of how our businesses took the initiative by figuring out other ways of (doing business), such as taking the time to open up an online store for example and making it easier for local people to purchase online, or creating partnerships with other businesses so that it was like a ‘one stop shop’.

“And it’s still kind of continuing as well with a lot of businesses still offering curbside pick-up, and looking at how they want shopping to continue,” she said. “I’m hearing from business owners that the consumers locally are supporting the businesses which is great to hear because they definitely do need our help.

“That support is always important of course, but now it’s crucial,” she said. “I think that even through the challenging times you can still see the good that is happening in the community. That is definitely what you are always striving for. And you are always looking ahead to see how you can help and assist the business owners and help the community and just make it that much better.”

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