Dave Sidhu, the general manager of Punjabi/English newspaper The Patrika.

Abbotsford business group forms to help those struggling with COVID-19 issues

Abbotsford Business Community Coalition (ABCC) launched to support local businesses

The Abbotsford business community has rallied together – apart – to find new ways to support struggling small enterprises in the city.

More than a dozen business organization, media companies and local institutions have joined forces to launch what is being called the Abbotsford Business Community Coalition (ABCC).

Members have been meeting to try to co-ordinate how they can help businesses that are struggling.

“We all need to do our part to stop the spread,” said Jennifer McEwan, Executive Director of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association. “Social distancing is a critical aspect of the COVID-19 response, but one of the side effects is a major blow to our local small business community.”

ABCC members have been working on four main ways they hope to support those struggling small enterprises.

According to Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce executive director Katerina Anastasiadis, plans are in the works to: create a one-stop shop for information and resources; build and promote a community-wide shop-local marketing campaign; establish an emergency fund to help small businesses pay their bills; and spotlight best-practices for businesses and good news stories in the community.

The members of the ABCC include: the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, A&Co, Abbotsford Downtown Business Association, Abbotsford Tech District, Abbotsford News, City of Abbotsford Economic Development Department, Community Futures, Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association, Patrika Newspaper, STAR 98.3 FM and Country 107.1 FM, Tourism Abbotsford, University of the Fraser Valley and the Abbotsford International Airport.

“Local businesses add up to a major share of the jobs in our community, but their impact goes beyond dollars and cents,” said Dave Sidhu, President of the Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association. “Businesses and their people are what gives our neighbourhoods their character – we are all invested in their survival and success in one way or another.”

The president of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, Melinda Friesen, wanted to remind the public the pandemic will pass.

“It’s import that we support each other during this difficult time, but one of the most important things we can do is to look forward and believe that a brighter day will come.”

For more information or to offer help, email katerina@abbotsfordchamber.com or office@downtownabbotsford.com

RELATED: B.C.’s latest COVID-19 modelling shows restrictions flattening curve

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