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City reports strong business license numbers as the economy re-opens

The City of Lloydminster is sustaining a steady flow of applications for business licenses over 2019 to 2021.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers  says for July 2019 there were 1735 business licenses issued by City Administration. That dropped to 1708 by July 2020. For July this year, 1816 licences were issued for businesses.

Aalbers says overall for 2019 saw 1789 licenses being issued and for 2020, there were 1780 issued.

The Mayor says it speaks to resilience and optimism in the community.

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“There’s been a lot of uptake. We are seeing for new businesses, it’s food, [both] food processing and manufacturing in the City which is terrific. We have had restaurants open and things like that, [as well] contracting, construction and trades. I think if you look around, not just the City is doing construction; there’s people doing construction, both commercial as well as residential.”

Aalbers says he’s not surprised in the growth of ecommerce and home businesses as well, with people transitioning from the oil and gas industry and other industries turning to home based options.

Aalbers addressed the hesitancy on the part of labour which is prompting some shortages.

“That is certainly a concern in the oil and gas industry [that’s]   looking for truck drivers and labourers. That’s certainly starting to show up across the industry and across western Canada. But I think the optimism is there. We are seeing a price of oil that is significantly higher than it was a year ago and all indications are its in that holding pattern.”

From the food industry perspective, Aalbers notes there is optimism with the lifting of pandemic restrictions. He adds restaurants which catered well to the take-out market are re-opening their doors for in-person dining.

Aalbers switched his focus to the challenges facing agriculture given the drought of 2021.

“Certainly it is challenging. I think you are going to find it very interesting once people get into harvest. I’m hoping they get a mild surprise around here, that there is going to be some yield to be harvested.”

Aalbers noted on the livestock side producers will be tightening things up and he urged people with extra feed to put it up for sale or to see how they could help a neighbour out even as they faced their own challenges at home.

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