Chamber hosting virtual meetings with local businesses to stay connected throughout COVID-19

The chamber of commerce has heard from local businesses, but would like more feedback from retailers and restaurants. Daily Herald file photo.

The Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce is hosting weekly, virtual check-ins with members of the local business community in light of COVID-19.

CEO Elise Hildebrandt said the first Crisis Creates Creativity Virtual Coffee with the Chamber took place on Thursday. The chamber is going to continue these weekly calls throughout the month of April, and then see if they want to continue in the coming months.

Anyone in the area’s business community can participate by registering on the events page at From there, they’ll send you a link to join the Zoom meeting taking place on Thursdays at 2:30 p.m.

“It kind of started with (wanting) to do a mental health check for all of our businesses and see how they all are doing. A lot of us are working from home or a very limited space outside of that,” said Hildebrandt.

Seven people joined in on the first meeting, but she said they have the capacity for 100 and would love to see it grow.

“We just kind of talked about how are we all doing? What have we adapted? What are we changing? How do we feel about it? Where do we think we’re going to go from here?” she said.

“There was one individual from the baking industry, and just how they made the changes of putting up the plexiglass and making sure everything is triple sanitized.”

Someone from the construction industry also spoke about self assessments before entering work sites.

However, she said no one was from the retail or restaurant industries.

“Many people are flying the plane and building it a little bit at the same time,” said Hildebrandt.

She said this applies to learning how to adapt through technology, which is how the chamber will continue to operate until gathering restrictions are lifted.

Hildebrandt said she recently confirmed a virtual chamber lunch with University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff on May 6.

“That might be for the next little bit where the chamber is at,” she said.

“We’re just going to experiment and see how it goes and use technology until such time that we are told that we are allowed to get together.”

On the COVID-19 page of its website, the Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce has listed local companies that have halted or altered services. Many of those businesses have found alternatives such as offering curbside pickup.