LEAP is hosting webinars to help businesses adapt to the new normal of the COVID-19 crisis. (BLACK PRESS file image)

Lacombe Economic Action Partnership hosting webinars to assist businesses during COVID-19

First webinar focused on navigating federal financial assistance programs

The Lacombe Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) is on to their next project to help businesses in the area through the COVID-19.

LEAP, which features representatives from Burman University School of Business, the City of Lacombe and the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce and Chamber, is now producing webinars based on priorities identified in a community survey conducted earlier this month.

The webinars are designed to address challenges faced by local business and Chamber Executive Director Monica Bartman said they were able to start with a webinar discussing the federal wage subsidy, tax deferral and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

Bartman said these programs have a range of difficulty for businesses.

“CEBA is fairly straight forward from what we have heard. It is done through your own financial institution, so they can help you through the process. The wage subsidy is a little more involved and does require a bit more work ahead of time to ensure you have the information you need,” she said.

This week, the LEAP webinar will be on mental health, which Bartman said the biggest issue with is asking for help.

“This is a really important focus for us and whether you are a business owner or not — there is a lot of stress and anxiety about the current situation,” she said.

The webinar will focus on personal strategies and also will highlight local resources available including through Alberta Health Services.

All of the webinars will be available in perpetuity on www.lacombechamber.ca and Bartman said the first one had about dozen participants.

“We weren’t able to do a lot of advertising ahead of time which is the benefit and challenge in acting quickly to the needs coming up. We didn’t want to wait a long time before providing these resources, so we decided to make the information available as soon as possible,” she said.

LEAP encourages participants to contact the experts featured in the webinars and also for the public to suggest topics of interest.

“Those of us spearheading LEAP are not business owners ourselves, which is why we are trying to get them involved with the process. Any feedback we can get back about people are needing is helpful,” Bartman said.

She added they are working on a future webinars regarding business planning.

“Whether that is a short-term continuity plan or a long-term strategy for if something like this happens again, we are hoping to provide something in the coming weeks in those areas,” she said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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