Businesses wanted: Lethbridge Economic Recovery launches ‘One Stop Shop’

Click to play video 'No business yet for Lethbridge Economic Recovery ‘One Stop Shop’' No business yet for Lethbridge Economic Recovery ‘One Stop Shop’
The Lethbridge region Economic Recovery Task Force says its new ‘One Stop Shop’ business resource centre is up and running this week, but organizers are still waiting to see local business owners come through the doors. Emily Olsen reports.

The Lethbridge Region Economic Recovery Task Force says its new ‘One Stop Shop’ resource centre is fully operational this week. 

“What we’ve tried to do here is set up an access point where people can go,” coordinator Stephen Mogdan said.

“Where business owners can go for information because we don’t know exactly what each business owner is going to be facing, or what problems they’re going to need help with.”

Read more: Lethbridge business owners cope with anxiety, emotional impacts of COVID-19

Business owners can visit the University of Lethbridge’s Penny Building in the city’s downtown for free consultations with expert volunteers on an array of issues, including finances, legal advice, government representatives, bankruptcy, entrepreneurship and staffing needs.

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“We hope that it will provide some stability, some information, some resources for businesses,” Mogdan said.

“We hope that it will help them to have a bit of a better sense of optimism as they move forward so that they know that there is information out there that can help them.”

Read more: New task force helping southern Alberta businesses through COVID-19

Mogdan says while the enthusiasm for volunteering was impressive, so far, there has been radio silence from interested businesses.

“It’s been a little bit slow on the uptake right now,” Mogdan said.

“I kind of attribute that to [the fact that] we haven’t put the word out fully yet.”

He says once the back-to-school rush has passed, they do expect to see more people come in the doors. However, he added that the time slots — between 10 a.m. and noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays — may not be suitable for everyone.

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“People that can’t get to us during that time… They can phone us as well and they can visit our website,” Mogdan said.

Read more: Lethbridge officials reflect on city’s response to COVID-19 so far

Mogdan also noted that if interest doesn’t pick up, that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

“If the response is not as much as one might think, that to me would be potentially a good sign that people are getting the help that they need,” Mogdan said. “And that they maybe don’t need this service.”

More information on Lethbridge’s economic recovery resources can be found online.