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Chamber, city pushing positivity during pandemic affected small business week

The City of Grande Prairie and the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce are hoping that the power of positivity will help take the edge off small business owners during a tough time as part of 2020 Small Business Week. Throughout the week, representatives from the City of Grande Prairie will make a point of visiting small businesses.

“COVID has certainly put a damper on things, but we recognize it’s been a tough year for our city, and our employees and we are just excited to be out there and doing our best to keep people safe as we’re visiting businesses,” says Business Retention and Expansion Coordinator Cindy Paton.

Paton says of the 3,200 plus businesses in the municipality, more than 90 per cent of those are considered small, with fewer han 50 employees. Paton adds the city is known for its very entrepreneurial spirit, and she can’t think of a better time to be able to take to the streets to say thank you to as many of them as possible.

“We think it’s a great time of a year to go out and celebrate, and due to the tough times everyone has faced, it’ll be great to be out there to say thank you.”

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Paton adds a big round of applause must also go out to residents in the region, as they have been pushing more and more to keep locally owned and operated businesses a priority during the pandemic.

“That has been a big focus, supporting local, and the community has been on board and very supportive of those initiatives. It’s been so great to see our businesses be able to pivot, and have found innovative ways to have locals support them.”

The Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, is throwing the biggest event of the week, a virtual chat, which organizers hope will bring some much-needed light into a pretty dark time economically. The talk will be headlined by Linda Edgecombe, an award-winning celebrity humorist speaker, trainer, and consultant, and Michael Denham, President and CEO of BDC.

Marketing Manager for the chamber Tom Pura says the event will hopefully be not only a welcome distraction from the COVID-19 pandemic and its trickle-down effect on the economy, but will help small business owners feel confident about the future after logging off.

“We do need to laugh a little bit because it has been a stressful year for a lot of people, a challenging year for a lot of people, and those challenges continue,” he says.

“But, with Linda, she will not only make you laugh, but she will make you think,” he adds. “She has been published, she is an author, and she is just a tremendous speaker and we are really looking forward to hearing her message.”

To learn more about the event, visit the Chamber website.

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