The City of Airdrie has launched a business support program designed to connect Airdrie businesses with service experts and advisors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Once the pandemic hit, our team conducted a business impact survey, which led us to develop a Business Response and Support Plan,” said Economic Development Officer Tara Levick.
“Within this plan, business supports were made a priority during this crisis and into recovery. This program will provide businesses with help close-to-home, engaging experts to assist, and fostering better community connection.”
In the survey, which was conducted between March 25 and 30, 44 per cent of storefront businesses owners and 32 per cent of home-based business owners said they “can’t manage expenses now/can only meet expenses for one month without assistance.”
Seventy per cent of storefront businesses reported that they planned to lay off employees and 55 per cent of home-based businesses planned to make staff cuts. For storefronts, 1,914 employees had been laid off at that time and an additional 468 were to be laid off. Home-based businesses had laid off 57 employees and an additional 43 lay offs were planned.
The pilot of the Right for Business Support Program will be delivered in three streams specific to each business’ most urgent needs and will run from May 21 to Aug. 21.
Economic Development is collaborating with various community partners to deliver each unique stream:
- Stream A focuses on mentorship and coaching opportunities to support businesses. This stream will connect the business with local mentors to discuss business needs. Businesses in this stream will have access to local learning opportunities and Ask an Airdrie Expert webinars. Economic Development has teamed up with Bow Valley College and Community Futures Centre West to provide this stream.
- Stream B will see a partnership between the City and MNP LPP in Airdrie, which focuses on support and guidance for businesses. Businesses in this stream will work with MNP to build an action plan that will help them more successfully adapt to the new business environment.
- Stream C targets businesses needing one-on-one support from business professionals. Each business will work with a rapid response team to assess and prioritize their needs and develop of a Business Resiliency Plan.
In order to qualify for the program, you must hold a valid City of Airdrie business license and be located within Airdrie city limits. Applications will be assessed on an industry specific basis and preference will be given to those businesses who are operational. This program is a pilot and has limited space.
For more information on this program and the other tools and resources Economic Development can provide to help support the local economy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-948-8844 or visit www.airdrie.ca/rightforbusiness for more details.