By Woodard, Dale on September 1, 2020.
Local businesses feeling the crunch of the COVID-19 pandemic now have a place to reach out for help.
The Lethbridge Region Economic Recovery Task Force opened its One Stop Shop for economic recovery Monday at the University of Lethbridge Dr. Foster James Penny Building located at 324 5 St. S.
The opening of the physical location will allow businesses in the Lethbridge region to meet with volunteer advisers regarding numerous topics surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on their business.
“The whole impetus behind this was to have one location and one access point for business owners to come get help and resources and advice, if they’re looking at recovering, pivoting and moving forward from COVID,” said Stephen Mogdan, partner with Stringam LLP Law Office who is also heading up One Stop Shop.
Topics that volunteer advisers can help with range from financing and funding, legal advice, bankruptcy and insolvency, staffing needs, insurance, business coaching and entrepreneur services, accounting, bookkeeping, taxation and also a way to liaison with government representatives who can offer insights into government-funded aids and programs.
“It’s little bit difficult to forecast what all business owners are going to be going through,” said Mogdan. “But we do hear some common refrains from business owners, things like they have difficulty with staffing and CERB and those types of things have created some issues with staffing and making sure they have people there to help them.
“Certainly businesses will have accounting questions and tax questions. As well, we’ll have bankruptcy and insolvency people available. Unfortunately, we are going to see those types of casualties of COVID and those people need advice and help as well. We’re going to have some business coaching available for people that might be looking at putting that in place as they move forward. We have a wide variety of services and we hope it will definitely help our business community.”
The U of L Dr. Foster James Penny Building location provides a central location in the downtown area, said Mogdan, as well as a building with the space to cater to clients.
“We have two rooms upstairs for the One Stop Shop that is large enough to accommodate all of our people. Another consideration was the University of Lethbridge, which has always been a great supporter of our community. So we wanted to give them an opportunity to see if they would help out and they did wonderfully.”
Businesses can set up a consultation by visiting http://www.chooselethbridge.ca/recovery and filling out an intake and waiver form. They can also email email@example.com or call 587-800-3356 for information and resources regarding plans and options for business recovery.
“It is intended to be a drop-in type of facility,” said Mogdan. “Depending on what exact services or advice a person needs, we may not have anybody available on that day they show up. In that case we will look to organize a time for them to come when we do have that person available. We can also look at connecting them with our resources and partners virtually or by phone.”
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