‘Thriving in Business’, on February 12, was one of the last in-person events in Slave Lake, for a while. It was the reveal of the Slave Lake Business Survey and an economic development talk, by Ken Coates.
“The information in the survey is based on how the businesses feel the community supports them,” says Josh Friesen, Community Futures Executive-Director. Once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the survey has information to “pave the way for a new future for the town.”
The pandemic itself is horrible, he adds, but “it gives us opportunities to reflect on better ways to do business.”
Coates spoke about 12 reasons people in rural areas should be more scared, 12 reasons they should be excited, and 12 ways they can compete in the global economy. There’s a global decline in rural areas was one of the negatives. Two of the exciting prospects were the empowerment of Indigenous Canadians and new opportunities for self-sufficiency.
Three suggests for economic development are change the story, suggest practical innovative solutions, and understand what young professionals look for in a community.
The survey and labour solutions event was put on by Community Futures, Slave Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, and the Town of Slave Lake.
There were around 35 people at the event and over 500 people have viewed the video of Coate’s speech online.
It was bad timing, says Kimberley Hughes, Slave Lake and District Chamber of Commerce Executive-Director, but “the right people were there.” She continues, the event sparked some ideas, and the feedback has been positive.
The launch was supposed to be the first event in a series of labour solutions events, but these have been postponed due to COVID-19. Community Futures physical office is closed, but open for business via phone or email.
The Chamber of Commerce is closely monitoring the situation of the trade show and Riverboat Daze, which are in May and July respectively.