It is with great excitement that I introduce the new, unified brand and community for the Greater Parkland Regional Chamber of Commerce (GPRC).
We began this process back in August 2019, when the TRAC (Tri Region Action Collaboration) Task Force was created. In December, the Stony Plain, Spruce Grove and Wabamun Chamber members accepted the unification and the new GPRC Board was elected...
The last two months have been an exciting time for the Greater Parkland Regional Chamber of Commerce (GPRC) as we look ahead to set the foundation to build a strong and resilient region and inspire strategic investments in the priorities that benefit the Tri-municipal region...
Since this postponement, we have seen many of our members have to close their store fronts. Initially, businesses were directing non-essential employees to work from home, leaving store managers and owners to care for the business. Later, when the provincial government mandated non-essential businesses close their doors, our members implemented creative and innovative ways to serve their customers.
The end of April means that it has been two months that we’ve been during this COVID-19 pandemic. The impact from the new coronavirus COVID-19, has become and continues to be the biggest threat to the global economy and its impact on our Chamber members and their business, on our Parkland regional communities and our way of life have been felt in each household in the Tri-Region.
We have made it through another month of this global pandemic. It has been nearly 3 months that our storefronts have been closed, 11 weeks that our businesses have had to deal with crippling financial losses, 78 days that people have been laid off for. Only now have restrictions begun to lift and our businesses able to welcome customers back into their stores.
When the newly unified Greater Parkland Regional Chamber of Commerce laid out our strategic plan for 2020, like many other businesses, non-profits, and associations, we did not imagine cancelling and postponing all our revenue generation sources such as out in-person events.
The last five months have been extremely challenging and certainly not what we anticipated at the beginning of the year. Many businesses have been greatly impacted by this economic downturn with innumerable uncertainties on the horizon. Despite these setbacks, I am encouraged to see the level of resilience, resourcefulness and commitment by business owners to survive and thrive during these difficult times.
Despite COVID-19, we have had a very successful summer season thus far. Our Visitor Information Centres based in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, collectively engaged with 845 visitors looking for guidance, recommendations and suggestions for things to do in the region.
The month of September symbolizes a refocusing of our energies. It is the first month of the Autumn or Fall Season and a time to reflect and prepare for the Winter Season ahead. It is also a time to gather up the harvest in preparation for upcoming months.
Through all the moments of instability and uncertainty, GPRC adopted an active role engaging with our members to help them through this difficult period. Although, we are not completely out of the woods yet, I think we should take a moment to celebrate our accomplishments and commitment to making our region a safe and healthy place to visit, shop, work and play.
The month of November is traditionally called the transitional month. After Halloween and the Remembrance Day weekend, its preparation time for the Holiday Season at the end of the year. Unfortunately, this Holiday Season may not be as cheerful for many people, including some of our member business owners and operators.
As your Chamber, we are very mindful of the increased challenges before us and this drives us to be even more active in our community to help our members through these difficult times.