Melfort Trade Alliance addresses COVID-19 issues at AGM

·2 min read

With an unprecedented 2020 in the books, the Melfort Trade Alliance is looking for more ways for local businesses to support local businesses through COVID-19 and what this will mean going into 2021.

During their annual general meeting on Oct. 27 at the Kerry Vickar Centre and over Zoom, some Melfort businesses, Alliance President Tyler Fahlman said business success was a mix due to COVID-19.

“Some businesses had a crazy amount of growth just due to everybody being home and then doing more things in and around their home and yard, but other businesses suffered greatly because they had to close for an extended period of time or modify how they serve their customers.”

Because of this, Fahlman said they will be getting committees together to advocate for businesses into 2021 with communication being a key element for that.

“If there are some grants available for their business that they find or if there's a tender that they can do with the city or business or other towns around us for a product or service that they sell, and just be able to notify them to keep them on top of it.”

With Christmas coming up, businesses also discussed how they can promote shopping local during the holidays.

Due to financial problems in 2019, the Melfort Chamber of Commerce became inactive, moving the Melfort Business Revitalization Corporation to change their name to the Melfort Trade Alliance and seek chamber status themselves.

As work continues on this identity change, one of these steps will be creating their own set of bylaws this fall followed by special meetings to pass the bylaws into existence.

Being one of the few cities in Saskatchewan that do not have a Chamber of Commerce distinction, that identity is important for networking, businesses helping each other, and growing the Melfort business community by attracting more businesses, Fahlman said. Those are areas that have been lacking for the last few years which would be improved by having that chamber distinction, he said.

“We need to have a strong chamber to be able to attract those businesses to our area.”

Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist