With many businesses forced to either close their doors, or change the way they operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Martensville, City of Warman and Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce came together to create the COVID-19 Regional Task Force. “This task force is aimed at helping businesses as much as possible through this unprecedented, devastating and completely unpredictable time,” City of Martensville Community Economic Development Manager, Dillon Shewchuk, explained.
Through each week, video/conference calls take place that local businesses are invited to attend and participate in. The purpose of these calls is to provide an opportunity for businesses to discuss concerns that they are facing, identify funding resources from various external agencies and learn about accessing those resources, business resumption planning, connections and resources for mental health or business related issues, receive updates from the Cities and more.
“Everyone knows that this pandemic will have extreme impacts on local businesses, so we wanted to create one central place where people can hopefully get the information that they need, to provide a venue for businesses to get information on what is happening in each of their municipalities, talk about what the core issues are and what businesses are facing on a day to day basis. We will try our best to address those areas. It is a daunting job, but hopefully we can even make a little bit of positive difference for businesses and help them transition through this and hopefully they can come out the other side, reasonably unaffected,” Shewchuk said.
The calls have seen much support from the local business community right from the start, with approximately 15-20 people attending each time. Shewchuk added that although it is a great way for businesses to obtain information, it is also an opportunity for them to be heard as well. “We want to hear from them and in doing that, it helps us focus on things that we need to go back and do with our councils and municipalities or if there are broader issues that are provincial in nature, we can work with them on that as well to help businesses come out the other side of this.”
Many of our local businesses are making modifications on their day-to-day operations in order to continue to serve their communities; whether it be offering delivery services, curbside service, added sanitation efforts, etc. “Reach out via social media or through websites to see what your favorite local businesses are doing. This is a time that they certainly need people’s help more than ever and we encourage you to think about those local businesses and support them if possible,” Shewchuk noted.
More information about the COVID-19 Regional Task Force can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Warman Martensville-Region-covid19-Business-Task- Force-103316131312201/. You can also visit https://www. prairieskychamber.ca/ for updates on local businesses operating status.