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St. Paul and Elk Point Chambers of Commerce benefit from shop local fund

Tap into federal dollars to support shop local initiatives
St. PAUL/ELK POINT - Two local chambers of commerce are among 20 in the province to share in an initial $1.2 million in federal funding to support and promote shop local initiatives.

The St. Paul and District Chamber of Commerce will receive $29,998 to expand the organization’s efforts to encourage patronage of community businesses, while the Elk Point Chamber of Commerce has been awarded $7,920 to also undertake a shop local initiative.

“In 2020, when the pandemic began, we asked the community to continue to shop and support our local businesses and they responded,” said St. Paul chamber president Brent Sandmeyer.

“We are excited that with this grant we can continue our efforts to promote the fantastic local businesses that we have in our area and give something back to the consumers that have supported these local businesses.”

St. Paul chamber executive director Diane Ellis said the funding will be channeled to its ‘Celebrate Hometown Business’ initiative which launches this week to promote St. Paul and area businesses and also rewards consumers for shopping local with a series of contest entry opportunities.

Ellis said the federal funding seeds the opportunity to carry shop local initiatives through the summer months and into the fall and Christmas seasons and will include a ‘Celebrate Hometown Business’ golf tournament in September and a Nightlight Christmas Parade among hometown promotion initiatives.

In Elk Point, the chamber will build upon that organization’s ongoing efforts to focus consumer attention on local businesses and the resulting benefit it brings to the entire community.

This is "funding that will expand the chamber’s ongoing efforts to encourage patronage of community businesses,” said president Terri Hampson. “We are truly thankful to the Federal Government for this funding, and the Alberta Chamber of Commerce, which we are member of, that has facilitated this grant.”

The funding will support three initiatives the Elk Point chamber is hoping to implement this summer which include a second season of ‘The Brian & Joe Show’, to create and promote many #ShopLocal Elk Point programs both print and video, and a much-needed upgrade and installation of the new #SupportLocal sign on Hwy 41. The Chamber is also excited to work alongside St. Paul Chamber and Smoky Lake Chamber for this #ShopLocal campaign.

The federal government announced a $33 million Canada-wide last Monday to encourage people to shop locally in their communities in an effort to support small businesses as the country begins to reopen as pandemic restrictions are rolled back. The funding is being distributed through provincial chambers of commerce with local chambers being given the opportunity to support a range of activities that encourage consumers to shop in their communities.

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, community chambers have truly been a lifeline for businesses,” said Ken Kobly, Alberta Chambers of Commerce president and CEO. “As we transition to reopening and recovery, we still have a long road ahead to rebuild our economy. This federal funding will help chambers do what we do best: support local job creators.”