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The small business community in Clearwater should be applauded: Clearwater Chamber president

Small Business Week in B.C. (Oct 16-22)
Celebrate Small Business Week (Michelle Johnson photo) Celebrate Small Business Week (Michelle Johnson photo)

The small business community in Clearwater should be applauded for the way that they’ve kept going, says Jeff Lamond, president, Clearwater & District Chamber of Commerce.

“Kudos to all the small businesses that were able to get through this and hopefully, it gets easier from here a bit,” added Lamond on the occasion of Small Business Week in B.C. (Oct 16-22).

“It’s hard when you don’t have staff to run a small business and the onus comes down on the owners to pick up the slack,” he says about the challenges that came in post-pandemic.

Part of the challenge was brought about by the supply-chain disruption that affected prices of everything.

“The increase in shipping costs along with the increasing cost of goods has just skyrocketed everything and the small businesses really bear the brunt of that,” he said.

In addition a lot of external factors will have an impact too, such as the housing cost, labour shortages and the work on the Trans Mountain pipeline gaining momentum in the area.

“The tourism sector, restaurants they got hit so hard because they were shut down and now we now we’re going forward with a labour shortage, and housing shortage… So a lot of factors came into play to really go against all businesses, but especially small businesses,” he said.

Moving forward, as part of the post-pandemic recovery, Lamond says there are opportunities for diversification and they are ready to entertain any industry that wants to move here.

One of the solutions would be looking in to the vast reserves of vacant spaces in the area which could be helpful while planning development initiatives, he said.

“We are a very spread out community and we have a lot of space in between those communities that can be filled with either residential, or as the community plan dictates, commercial areas.”

At the moment, businesses in Clearwater are in a decent position, but ultimately it is going to come down to whether they can keep the supply chain in Clearwater from collapsing, Lamond says.

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Black Press Media Staff

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