By Medicine Hat News Opinion on November 25, 2020.
Once again COVID 19 puts pressure on the Alberta economy, small business in particular. On Nov. 13, the Alberta government instituted targeted public health measures. Communities with more than 50 active cases per 100,000 people, became subject to enhanced public health measures to control the spread.
Medicine Hat’s numbers have increased to 90+ (147/100,000) in the past week and the province has seen daily increases including a record high on Sunday when 1,584 new cases were confirmed.
According to alberta.ca, those enhanced public safety measures – made stricter in a Tuesday announcement – included (but were not limited to): a 15-person limit on family and social gatherings, mask use encouraged in all indoor workplaces, employers in office settings to reduce employees in the workplace at any given time, restaurants and pubs must stop liquor sales by 10 p.m., a ban on indoor group fitness classes and team sports, a ban on group singing, dancing and performing activities, a 50-person limit on wedding and funeral services – now 10 – and faith-based gatherings are limited to 1/3 capacity. These measures are, of course, in addition to the basic measures, physical distancing, good hygiene, monitoring your symptoms, stay home if you are sick etc. (for further information/clarification please check out alberta.ca).
So, is it all bad news for small independent business? Not in the Hat. The shopHERE powered by Google program, in partnership with Apex (Community Futures Entre-Corp), Invest Medicine Hat and the Medicine Hat and District Chamber of Commerce has future-proofed approximately 130 businesses in Southeast Alberta.
There are many more stores, restaurants and artists in the program that are close to launching. Keep googling your local stores to see what’s new out there and stay tuned for our next announcement in early December when we make it even easier for you to #shoplocalonline.
If you are an independent store in Southeast Alberta and you haven’t signed up for the shopHERE program to have your online store built for you, what are you waiting for? Sign up now at http://www.apexalberta.ca/shophere. It’s QUICK. EASY. FREE.
Sandra Milne is the Regional Innovation Network Coordinator at APEX Alberta