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RENEWED FOCUS ON FUTURE STRATEGIES DESPITE CANCELLATION OF SUNSHINE SHOW

RENEWED FOCUS ON FUTURE STRATEGIES DESPITE CANCELLATION OF SUNSHINE SHOW

There will be exciting things to come within the Chamber as we, like many others, adjust our business model moving forward

Following the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors' meeting, the Chamber has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Sunshine Home & Garden Trade Show.

"This was a tough decision for our organization, as we did not anticipate we would have ongoing impacts on our trade shows into 2021. We held off as long as possible while recognizing the need to provide some level of certainty to our suppliers and exhibitors so they could plan and budget accordingly as well," stated Marcus Campbell, Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce President.

Campbell further explained, "we know our trade shows are a significant community-focused event with considerable budget implications for our organization, so the Board considered all of our options before coming to the final and challenging conclusion this past week. With the recent restrictions and little certainty as to ongoing impacts following the four-week shutdown, the timelines would have only provided us with a maximum of 7 weeks to plan for this event. We had invested time and planning in working with exhibitors, service providers and Alberta Health Services on a format that could abide by the guidelines while keeping our community safe. Unfortunately, with the new restrictions, the uncertainty of mass gatherings allowances and the limitations on trade shows, the delay and timelines do not provide us with enough time to continue to plan for a show in early March.

"With a little over two months to plan the show, we felt we needed to make this decision sooner rather than later. We wanted to provide adequate notice to our facility, our show services, to exhibitors and our contractors, as well as to allow our team to shift their time to focus on future strategies," Campbell noted. "There were many delays and challenges with our ability to move forward with a show, from determining guidelines, to reworking the traffic flow and floor plans, to halting plans with the new restrictions. We recognize this has been a challenging time for our team, our exhibitors and our community. Still, we continue to focus on finding ways to support our business community and sustain our operations, despite these challenging times."

With this cancellation, coupled with the Great West Home & Leisure Show's cancellation in the fall of 2020, the local Chamber has continued to mitigate the financial impacts to the organization. As a privately funded membership-based organization, they have focused on reducing costs and applying for subsidies where possible while still being laser-focused on delivering value and supports to the community.

"Our team has been working on a business research project over the last four months to assist us in developing our strategies to support our business community into the future. We know we will adapt and respond to the current situation while mitigating risks, ensuring sustainability, and maintaining service levels and supports. There will be exciting things to come within the Chamber as we, like many others, adjust our business model moving forward," Marcus concluded.

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Marcus Campbell, President

c/o Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce

(403) 527-5214 ext.222

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 115 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 25,000 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.

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