The mission? Support local businesses to build a better community for all in Lacombe.
The wrench in the works? A global pandemic.
The Lacombe Chamber of Commerce and the Echo Lacombe Association have worked for years to make Lacombe a better place for residents and businesses, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit they kicked into high gear. A joint venture between the two organizations, the Lacombe Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) launched in April, connecting businesses and fostering collaboration to grow stronger through challenging times.
First they connected with local business leaders through video conference calls, surveys and other tools to find out how business was going and where help was needed. Then they offered short-term support through a webinar series with local speakers and launched openlacombe.ca, a website where shoppers can get the latest hours and availability for local businesses all in one place.
This spirit of collaboration won’t be going anywhere, as the groups continue to work together. They are eager for more feedback from businesses and community members on the best ways to recover and thrive for years to come.
“We’ve been a supporter of the Echo Energy program for many years,” says Tyler Nowochin of Home Hardware. “The financial assistance we were given was pivotal in our recent lighting upgrade to the exterior of our building. The overall enhancements of our façade were huge, and I believe it directly assisted with the beauty of our downtown.”
4 ways to help Lacombe
- Put your money where your heart is: Get in the Loop is a phone app serving communities across Canada; businesses get promotion, and customers get deals, coupons and punch-cards! The first promotion is Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is — anyone who uses the app Sep. 25 – Sep. 30 will have the chance to win prizes! Download the app now, and stay tuned for other promotions like the Passport to Christmas! “This new partnership with Get in the Loop will allow the Chamber to digitize and modernize its popular Passport to Christmas program while providing local entrepreneurs with the opportunity to promote their business beyond the holiday season,” says Echo Lacombe President Jared Reich.
- Social Media Training: It’s a win-win! A local business offers social media training to companies across western Canada. Other Lacombe businesses would benefit from social media training. The Echo Lacombe Association sponsored the training costs, building business on business! Learn more at joesocialmedia.com.
- Storefront enhancement grants: Any retail or commercial downtown business can apply for a grant from Echo Lacombe to improve signage and exterior facades. This year there’s a Patio Winterization Program to help businesses purchase heaters, lights, Plexiglas barriers, tents and other equipment to build COVID-safe solutions for the long Alberta winter!
- Community grants: The world’s largest fishing lure, the beautiful outdoor Echo Energy stage located in the Lest We Forget Memorial Park, equipment for the Cross-country Ski Club, LCHS EcoVision projects in beekeeping, greenhouse gardening and more… all of these great projects were partly funded by Echo Lacombe grants. Have an idea that will enhance the community or fill a service gap? Apply for a community grant!
“Our partnership with the ECHO Lacombe Association has provided some very rich opportunities,” says Monica Bartman, Executive Director of the Lacombe Chamber of Commerce. “Our capacity is limited, but we were able to work with them to launch the LEAP initiative when things began to shut down, offering support and resources to the struggling business community. These are things we would not have been able to undertake alone.”