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Hamilton Chamber of Commerce continue helping businesses to be LRT ready

Hamilton's chamber of commerce wants to ensure businesses are ready for the start of LRT construction in 2019.
Hamilton's chamber of commerce wants to ensure businesses are ready for the start of LRT construction in 2019. CHML

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce continues to prepare its members for light rail transit construction.

The Chamber will host the third seminar of its four-part ‘LRT Ready’ series on Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Homewood Suites on Bay Street.

READ MORE: Hamilton LRT moves forward following council vote

This week’s topic is “developing a successful online customer engagement and retention strategy” and Chamber President Keanin Loomis said the focus is on building digital loyalty among customers.

The seminar will hear from two guest speakers.

One will discuss customer relationship management (CRM) software systems that can help businesses to “build and maintain engagement with new and existing customers” during the construction phase. The second guest speaker will talk about social media best practices.

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Loomis stresses that we’ve already learned from other cities with LRT corridors, such as Kitchener-Waterloo, that “the sky isn’t necessarily falling” and there are things businesses can do to help themselves through the worst impacts of construction.

READ MORE: Hamilton business owners hear lessons learned during LRT construction in KW

He says that starts with “developing a positive attitude and communicating that to your customers,” including helping them with strategies for getting around road closures.

Loomis adds that if you tell them that “it’s dirty in front of your store and it’s difficult to get to, then they’re certainly not going to come so it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: Is Hamilton’s LRT a sure bet ?

The goal of the ‘LRT Ready’ series has been helping businesses develop strategies to get through the worst of the impacts when construction of Hamilton’s light rail transit line from McMaster University to Eastgate Square begins in 2019.