‘Technology is everything’: Lethbridge businesses can video chat to stay connected during COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Video chat services helping Lethbridge businesses stay afloat' Video chat services helping Lethbridge businesses stay afloat
WATCH ABOVE: While many businesses have opted to close their doors, some that are staying open are finding creative ways to maintain contact with one another and with their clients. Eloise Therien explains how technology is helping Lethbridge business owners. – Apr 2, 2020

The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and a local business coach have teamed up to help businesses and services in Lethbridge through the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Kelli-Rae Tamaki, owner of TMH Business Coaching and Consulting, started to offer no-cost group video calls over Microsoft Zoom after she saw businesses struggling due to the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

“When I have all my business owners really scared and really upset, that weighs on my heart.”

She says there is no limit to how many people can join the seminars and she plans to offer them for the foreseeable future. The Chamber and Tamaki are collaborating with a new initiative called The Exchange, which is currently also free for businesses to join. 

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“The challenges that we’re all facing are forcing us to come up with really cool business ideas and really cool new revenue streams,” she said.

READ MORE: New task force helping southern Alberta businesses through COVID-19

Those who have taken part say it’s been a good experience.

“It’s a tremendous way to interact with other business owners in Lethbridge and people with different organizations,” said Jeremy Duchan, owner of Gentleman Three Menswear in downtown Lethbridge.

“We’re all dealing with this.”

BLOOMdiggity, a local florist who offers arrangements and workshops, says it has been doing its best to keep up with sales online.

Larson adds they decided to upgrade their website before the pandemic, which has been very beneficial. 

“We’re having to make them very thorough… more user-friendly for people.”

The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, along with Economic Development Lethbridge and Downtown Lethbridge BRZ, are hoping to unify the local business community through the hashtag #InThisTogetherYQL, saying in a release:

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“[It’s] a way to provide connection, information, and support across social media and to share stories (both positive and negative).”

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