Thank you for picking up this second issue of SPANN. I hope you enjoy reading through the issue. Originally, we had planned to do a reduced run of each issue in our four-issue volume. With the circumstances brought forth with COVID-19, we made a decision to continue with a full print run of 10,000 for this second issue primarily because we are all trying to do what we can to limit and reduce the spread of this coronavirus and to protect vulnerable people through social and physical distancing. Also, as we continue to help build a growing community publication we thought receiving this paper through Canada Post would be another way of connecting each of us.
For me, and probably for many of us, this pandemic has allowed us to refocus on things and people that are important to all of us. As your business improvement area, it has also afforded our team opportunities to focus on how we support businesses in the Stony Plain Road corridor and west Edmonton. As still a fairly new Executive Director, I have valued the conversations that I have had with numerous business owners, and have been moved by the honesty and concern shared with me. I am very honoured by the care and deep concern by businesses about their customers and staff. This situation is unprecedented for them and their clients. The majority of businesses in our area have struggled with large decreases in revenues, and some of them will not survive. Some have already chosen to close permanently. I can share with you that as a business district, our closures will not be as drastic as some BIAs in Alberta. A fairly active and larger number of residents living close by, lower lease rates, free parking, and solid transit access are considerable positives for Stony Plain Road. As well, the innovation and tenacity of our businesses will add to our collective resilience. We are working with businesses and governments to provide clear, vetted, and verified information to our members, and to continually advocate on their behalf.
Moving forward, there will be some things that will change, but certainly every business in our area is committed to offering you safe and secure experiences for their customers and workers. Reaching out to customers in our neighbourhoods is also paramount, and shopping local and supporting neighbour economies, will become a growing movement. We will be working towards marketing and communicating about the importance of shopping local. When you shop local, the majority of your dollars stay in your community and also supports a richer and more vibrant local economy. We are fortunate that Stony Plain Road has pretty much everything you need within the 30 blocks of our business area. We have a solid diversity of services and retail experiences. I would love to hear from you about what you think would make our area even better, and if you are interested in opening a new business or another location in or around Stony Plain Road.
We are all in this together. Staying local and spending local money creates healthier economies and can contribute to healthier outcomes for all of us who live, work, and play in our area.
Stay Kind. Be Safe.
Todd Janes is the Executive Director with the Stony Plain Road and Area Business Association. He can be reached at 780-477-5169 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.