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Out of the office for small business week

Lisa Sygutek

Oct 11, 2023

I could not do this without the unbelievable support of our business community. They have stuck with this paper in good times and bad, and have pulled us through some pretty dark days.

Small Business week is coming up and boy do I want to celebrate!

I have lived in this community my entire life, and my family has owned this wonderful publication for most of my life. We have weathered a difficult market. At one time we had the Pass Promoter as competition and then after they shut down, we had Black Press open the Crowsnest Pass Free Press. Both publications didn’t make it, but we did.

Since this time last year we had a complete changeover of staff here at the office. We have Nicholas, a graduate in Digital Communications and Media from Lethbridge College, Tina Pedersen, Advertising Lead position, and new to the office is Devin Brady, our Community Reporter. 

Still here is, of course, myself and our feature writer/photographer John Kinnear (I’d be lost without him), columnist Avner Perl, and of course Meechie and Shirley who help on production day.

I could not do this without the unbelievable support of our business community. They have stuck with this paper in good times and bad, and have pulled us through some pretty dark days.

When I look back and think about it, I wonder why we were able to stay while the others folded. I think it has to do with the fact that we provide a quality product and that we are a truly local group. We have all raised our families in this community and who doesn’t want to see their child’s sporting results or photos in the paper. We truly are the diary of the Crowsnest Pass.

The other day, I was in the back office in which I have 20 years of newspapers on the shelves. I can look back at this day in 2003 and see what happened. I tell you, it’s a pretty cool experience.

Coming up this Christmas we are doing our Shop Local campaign for the second year. 

Last year we had 28 businesses participate and we gave out over $2,000 in prizes. The contest required people to get a stamp for each $50 spent locally. We did this so we could see, in real numbers, exactly how much money was spent in the campaign. I was shocked and surprised when we calculated the final number. It was almost $28,000 (we had some late entries) spent shopping in this community.

I have, and will always, shop local first. If you look hard enough, you can get just about anything you need right here in our wonderful town. This is the thing, it’s the local businesses that donate to raffle tables and fundraisers. Amazon doesn’t do that, but your local mom and pop store does. Local businesses pay taxes and employ people. Amazon doesn’t care about the citizens in our community.

This community is growing, and we are seeing new businesses open up all over the place. How wonderful is that!

If you want in on this campaign, contact Tina at We will be starting our campaign on November 22.

This editorial is a big thank you to every person who buys a subscription and reads this newspaper, almost 3,000 of you. It’s a thank you to every business that buys an advertisement in the paper and has kept us going for the past 93 years.

Buddy loved this place and, in the days leading up to his death, he made me promise to keep this paper going. It really was his legacy. So here I am in my 24th year still working every week putting out a paper.

It’s hard work, but man alive I love what I do. I don’t make a lot of money, but what I produce makes me proud and want to get up in the morning.

I have to be out of the office for the next two weeks. We will have the office open when possible, but if it is closed, it’s because I can’t be here. Often Nick needs to be out of the office covering stories and if I can’t be here we have no choice but to close for a period. If you are in need, always email us and we will respond. I will have a computer beside me and I will check them. Take care, stay healthy and I’ll see you all soon! 

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