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News Release: FOUR LOCAL FIRST INITIATIVES REV UP THE ECONOMY

News Release: FOUR LOCAL FIRST INITIATIVES REV UP THE ECONOMY

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce is encouraging participation in initiatives that encourage residents of the region to spend their dollars locally in order to facilitate the revitalization of the economy. Four campaigns including Local First, ShopHere, The Big Spend and Canada United, all focus on the importance of supporting the business community as they adapt and recover from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Our business community has always been generous supporters of our region,” stated Tracy Noullett, Chamber President. “The last few months have brought unprecedented circumstances which have challenged our business owners. As we slowly start to reopen our economy it is time to return the generosity of our business community by committing to the concept of Local First and supporting our businesses who create jobs, drive innovation, generate wealth and contribute to the social fabric of our community.”

Local First, a campaign created as a result of feedback received from the Business Retention, Expansion and Workforce Development Survey, emphasizes all the ways that residents can put local first and is a collaboration between Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat Construction Association, City Centre Development Agency, Medicine Hat Accommodation Association, Tourism Medicine Hat, Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, Verge Economic Development and Invest Southeast Alberta. Shopping, hiring, contracting and visiting cultural and heritage resources are all activities that are suggested to help keep dollars circulating in our regional economy. Marketing collateral is available through a toolkit for participating businesses with window decals, social media graphics and the development of the hashtag #localfirstyxh.

“Now more than ever, supporting our local business community is about creating relationships, providing us with a more caring, connected and resilient community,” continued Noullett. “These relationships are what provides you with more customized and personalized experience because these are your friends, neighbours, coaches, service providers and colleagues.”

In addition to #LocalFirstYXH, the Chamber partnered up with the City of Medicine Hat, Community Futures Entre-Corp and APEX Alberta in order to help get businesses online through an e-commerce program in collaboration with DMS ShopHere powered by Google, which was launched on July 13th.

“We know that our community wants to support Local First, but sometimes it can be challenging if these businesses don’t have an online presence”, stated APEX Alberta Regional Innovation Coordinator, Sandra Milne. “This partnership allows us to provide the staff support, training, advertising and online store set up assistance that businesses need at no charge in order to kick start their online presence”.

In addition, the local Chamber has been encouraging area residents to participate in #TheBigSpend, taking place this Saturday, July 25th. Participation requires an intentional purchase at a local small business that will then be tracked on the website: thebigspend.com. This initiative will map spending across Canada and track the economic impact we’re making together.  You can find ‘buy local’ ideas, get additional information, report your spend and add your name to the list through the campaign website.

Most recently, the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce joined the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and RBC in order to rally Canadians to “show local some love” and support local businesses as part of a nationwide movement, Canada United.

In addition to the local business support campaign, RBC will also be contributing funds to support business across Canada. Canadians are encouraged to watch the Canada United videos online at GoCanadaUnited.ca, like posts from @GoCanadaUnited on social media and use #CanadaUnited to demonstrate their support. For each of these actions, until August 31, 2020, RBC will contribute 5 cents up to a maximum contribution amount of $2 million to the new Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, while working with government and corporate partners to source additional contributions to the fund during the course of the campaign.

“As part of the movement, RBC has brought together more than 50 of Canada’s leading brands, Business Associations and the national Chamber network to rally Canadians to “show local some love” by buying, dining and shopping local” stated Jessica Boyd, Community Market Manager, RBC Financial Branch - Medicine Hat. “We’re encouraging everyone to join the Canada United movement by buying and dining local. We encourage everyone to celebrate and support local businesses throughout the year, but particularly leading up to and including our Canada United Weekend from August 28 to 30, 2020”, further stated Boyd.

Through the RBC Canada United Small Business Relief fund, small businesses across the country will be able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations to accommodate re-opening guidelines and developing or improving e-commerce capabilities. Small business owners who are interested in the program can visit GoCanadaUnited.ca to learn more about grant application details, including eligibility criteria, and to apply.

“We are excited to welcome the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce to Canada United to help local businesses and Canada’s economy come back strong,” said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking, Royal Bank of Canada. “Canada United was created to kick-start an economic rebound by rallying consumers to give local businesses the support they need to re-open during these uncertain times. By bringing together government, business associations and corporate Canada, we are looking to start a movement to get Canadians to buy local and support businesses across the country. We are genuinely excited by the energy all of our partners are bringing to this effort.”

“Local First is easy and as a community we have shown our support for our local businesses, in the spirit of collaboration and unity, because local businesses are the heart of our communities and our economy and if we all commit to taking one action our collective impact can be immense,” commented Noullett. “From the beginning of the pandemic we have focused on our community, taking actions that look at the greater good and for this reason we are a proud supporter and partner in each of these campaigns. Through our strategic approach, we want to ensure our business community emerges from this period more resilient, adaptable and stronger than ever. Take some time and show local some love by putting Local First and Join the Movement”.


Please direct all media inquiries to:

Tracy Noullett, President

Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce

c/o( 403) 527-5214 ext.225


Jessica Boyd, Community Market Manager

RBC Financial, Medicine Hat

(403) 528-6436


About the Chamber

The Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer-led organization, proudly representing the interests of businesses in our region, and working diligently to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy through our connections, support and influence. For more than 120 years, the Chamber has stood for promoting business, monitoring government and championing managed growth in the local economy. The Chamber represents over 800 businesses in our region and is aligned with both the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), which represents over 24,000 businesses and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce (CCC), which represents over 200,000 businesses. With the largest and most influential business organizations locally, provincially and federally, the Chamber network is the most unified, valued and influential business network in Canada and works together to shape policy and programs that will make a difference to businesses in our region.


About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada's biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.

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