Community Futures Lloydminster and Region is inviting local businesses to join a virtual forum focused on best practices for reopening.

The Government of Saskatchewan has set up rules and guidelines for businesses looking to reopen in a safe way. Community Futures General Manager Corinne McGirr says there’s still been a lot of confusion from business owners about the reopening standards.

“We know some businesses have modified working hours, some have totally closed through this and some have shifted how they run . What we want to do is bring together businesses in a sector specific session to help generate ideas, what resources they’ve been using and what are the challenges they’ve been facing as we get back to reopening.”

The forum is broken up into one hour sessions focused on one industry at a time. Personal care businesses will be the first session from 8 to 9 a.m. followed by retail stores the next hour then food services and restaurants. The last session is open for general businesses and professional services.

“We’re hoping that if we bring all that brainpower together that businesses will be able to share directly with other businesses what they’re doing, what’s working and what didn’t work. We’re all in this together and we’re just trying to get everyone together to share in their expertise and their best practice.”

She says an archived version of the sessions will be available on their website for business owners unable to join the event. There’s also a possibility of further sessions if there’s still some unanswered questions.

“Those recordings will be available and if there’s plenty of interest we’ll do some standalone sessions as well.”

McGirr says Community Futures, the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force, StartUp Lloydminster and the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce have all been working together to help guide businesses during reopening.

As the city moves on to future stages of reopening, McGirr says they will try and provide another forum for businesses opening in those stages.

“As the regulations change moving forward, processes will need to change and we’ll see if we can gather everyone together to talk about it. We’re hoping to provide those supports to all the businesses in our region.”

The forum will take place on May 27 from 8 a.m. to noon and a link to the zoom meeting will be published on Community Futures social media pages.

Community Futures is also offering small business loans as part of the federal government’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. The loans help support rural business who don’t qualify for other federal business support programs such as the Canada Emergency Business Account or Business Credit Availability Program.

Small and medium sized businesses can apply for loans up to $40,000 with terms including:

  • No prepayment penalties
  • No interest accrual or principal payments through December 31, 2022
  • If 75 per cent of the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, the remainder of the loan will be forgiven
  • Blended principal and interest payments beginning January 1, 2023 and loans must be repaid by December 31, 2025