Facilitators and government officials attend the Economic Resiliency event. Nicholas L. M. Allen photo.
Nicholas L. M. Allen
Feb 7, 2024
Community Futures hosted an event at Elks Hall in Blairmore on January 31, shedding light on the vulnerability of businesses in the face of disasters.
Community Futures hosted an event at Elks Hall in Blairmore on January 31, shedding light on the vulnerability of businesses in the face of disasters. The Community Economic Resiliency event featured presenter Natalie Gibson from Economic Developers Alberta.
Brandy Fehr, Community Economic Development Coordinator with Community Futures Crowsnest Pass, and John Husch, Chair of the Community Futures Board spoke about the purpose of hosting the event along with the primary focus of the organization.
“Community Futures is a federally-funded program to support small and medium-sized enterprises within rural communities. The support includes financial support, business support, and education. The purpose of today is really to help businesses that experience some impact as a result of an emergency or a situation,” said Husch.
As disasters can take various forms, from fires to cybersecurity attacks, Fehr emphasized the importance of proactive community preparedness.
“As we start to see disasters hit communities across the map, we feel it’s important just to be proactive about it and work as a community to be prepared if an emergency ever does hit,” she noted.
Husch highlighted the grim reality, saying, “Most businesses don’t see the impact of a disaster until after it’s over. So, what we’re trying to do is help them be proactive so that when there is a disaster, the mitigation is quicker.”
The event aimed to bring key stakeholders together, including municipal leaders and Chamber of Commerce representatives, to minimize the impacts of disasters. Fehr expressed the importance of having a plan and collaboration among community leaders to avoid severe implications.
When asked about the event’s progress, Fehr noted, “I think the event’s going really well. If we could change anything, I would say that we would have more businesses at the table, just getting more educated on how they themselves can prepare.”
Husch added that part of the process there was building awareness for small businesses. The Community Economic Resiliency event served as a platform to educate businesses on disaster preparedness to safeguard the economic well-being of the region.