New task force helping southern Alberta businesses through COVID-19

Economic Development Lethbridge, SouthGrow and the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to help businesses in southern Alberta during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Lethbridge Region Economic Recovery Task Force was unveiled Monday, with the goal of providing services and programs without duplicating services already provided through the government.

The government of Alberta and the government of Canada have released a variety of supports for business owners during the current economic landscape, offering relief through deferred utility payments, tax extensions and other mediums.

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“The standard rule of thumb is that in 30 days without cash flow, one in four businesses will fail,” said Trevor Lewington, CEO of Economic Development Lethbridge and member of the task force.

All City of Lethbridge facilities are closed, and locally owned business have been forced to follow suit in the name of public health and safety.

“It can be a bit overwhelming for people to understand — who to contact and who to reach and where to get the right answers,” Lew said.

Lewington said the task force will provide links and a variety of information in one place to make business referrals easier.

“That’s really a key lesson that was learned in the recovery efforts after the Fort McMurray disaster.”

Businesses can access online resources, including a survey to gauge how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted individual businesses.

Lewington says they will be looking to open a physical storefront once social distancing restrictions cease.

The task force encourages suggestions, ideas and comments be sent through [email protected]

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