Many Lethbridge businesses are feeling optimistic about the future, according to a new survey conducted by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.
The survey aimed to grasp an understanding of the financial health and satisfaction of local businesses.
Highlights from the survey indicate 52 per cent of respondents are expecting to see some kind of growth within the next six months.
“Businesses support businesses in Lethbridge, we are very, very fortunate to have that type of community,” said Cyndi Vos, the CEO of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
“I think that’s where that optimism comes from, and we’re also realistic, we know that we have to adapt and change, and we just have to work together,” she said.
Fully Promoted Lethbridge — a local product-promotion businesses — says it was able to adapt to the unprecedented times by being able to finally offer all of their products online and also by “pivoting” towards selling COVID-19 products like personal protective equipment.
“We refocused on doing things our customers could use,” said Kim Peters, the co-owner of Fully Promoted Lethbridge. “So, PPE, protective equipment, hand sanitizers.
“We’ve been doing a lot of masks since then, floor decals, the social distancing signs.”
Peters adds they certainly lost several businesses opportunities due to all of the trade shows which were cancelled this year, however she’s glad they had the Businesses Network International (BNI) organization to fall back on, which allowed to them to connect to clients beyond the local economy.
She said people who work in trades make up a significant portion of their client base, and since those industries have not suffered greatly throughout the pandemic they still had that stable income source to hold on to.
Results from the survey also note that 37 percent of respondents indicate they’ve experienced some form of decline in business performance over the past six months.
In addition, the survey asked businesses how satisfied they feel with each level of government when it comes to the concern and awareness they’ve shown during the pandemic.
Fifty-six per cent indicated they are dissatisfied with the municipal government, with issues relating to broadband infrastructure, downtown safety, and a lower property tax burden requiring the most attention.
“The municipality really is working with us on bringing some of these issues forward, unfortunately it takes time, and we’re hoping to find a way to communicate what the municipality is doing better cause there are things they have going,” Vos explained.
The chamber and the City of Lethbridge have been partnered together for several years to push the federal government for more widespread broadband coverage. Vos adds they are making some progress on that front.
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