Red Deer business community waits for ‘shining star’ in 2019

With the provincial election and the upcoming Canada Winter Games, this year promises change for Red Deer and central Alberta businesses.

The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce and local businesses will be keeping a close eye on the policies that come out during the provincial election, said Rick More, interim CEO at the chamber.

“We will see what the voters want and what their priorities are,” said More.

There’s a lot of doubt and no optimism going into 2019.

“We’re looking for that one big thing — be it the pipeline or anything like that — the optimism comes with policy changes and big events.”

So in the meantime, people are “waiting for that shining star.”

Numerous rallies and truck convoys have been held across Alberta and Saskatchewan in recent weeks to protest against federal actions that critics say will make building pipelines more difficult. Those include Bill C-69 to revamp the National Energy Board and Bill C-48, which would ban oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s northern coast.

More expects the voices to be louder – be it from the environmental or the oilfield groups.

“It’s going to grow in 2019 – people are more expressive nowadays.”

Last year had it’s struggles, from minimum wage increases to carbon taxes and the looming recession.

But it was not all bad news, said More, pointing to Agri-Trade 2018 and the Canadian Finals Rodeo, a first for the city.

“So it was not all doom and gloom,” he said.

The rodeo put “Red Deer on the map again” and businesses had “two very good weeks of consumer spending.”

The chamber saw a nine per cent increase in its members – local businesses – in 2018, bringing the total to 848.

Speaking of the struggles, More said central Alberta has not pulled out of the recession yet.

“Recessions are unfortunately caused by talk of recession really. It’s not that people don’t have money in a lot of cases, but they’re a little more protective of it and spend less,” he said.

More said it was too early to tell whether holiday shopping was successful for the local business community.

“Obviously, the malls were packed, but there’s also the battle with retailers with online shopping.”

The minimum wage increase to $15 an hour in October will hurt the younger generations, the interim CEO said, adding the cost of business is going up, which is slowly driving up prices.

“They have to, to survive… it’s been tough on the service industry for sure.”



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

Alberta landowners urge farmers to cut power to wells with unpaid debts

A group of Alberta landowners is asking farmers and ranchers to fight… Continue reading

‘A little love can go a long way,’ says a Red Deer opioid user who supports overdose prevention

The OPS means higher survival rates and less needle debris, he adds

Firefighters tackle blaze in Royal Canadian Legion building

Firefighters got call of light smoke about 4:25 p.m.

Innovative geothermal technology being showcased at central Alberta site

Demonstration project near Rocky Mountain House draws heat from deep underground

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

Alberta landowners urge farmers to cut power to wells with unpaid debts

A group of Alberta landowners is asking farmers and ranchers to fight… Continue reading

Cannabis firm Aphria signs deal for $100M investment from institutional investor

LEAMINGTON, Ont. — Aphria Inc. says it has signed a deal with… Continue reading

Alaska pot shops to be among 1st in US to allow consumption

JUNEAU, Alaska — Marijuana shops in Alaska will be among the first… Continue reading

Comedian Russell Peters on cancel culture and his Amazon Prime Video special, ‘Deported’

TORONTO — Canadian comedy star Russell Peters says he feels so-called cancel… Continue reading

David Marsden: Drug addicts deserve our care

The provincial government, rather than seizing an opportunity, is flirting with putting… Continue reading

Wheels in Motion: Canada’s Mitchell a quick study in track cycling

MILTON, Ont. — Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell returns this weekend to where it… Continue reading

Most Read