Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce hopes new online marketplace will boost local economy

An online marketplace designed in Alberta is now operational after careful planning between the chambers of commerce in the province.

Chamber Market is a one-stop-shop for local products that was launched on Monday, created to help businesses grow their online shopping platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, there are over 100 companies selling approximately 1,400 individual products on the e-commerce site.

“We saw huge traffic on the website, both from business owners and from people who wanted to buy things,” said Ken Kobly, CEO of the Alberta Chamber of Commerce.

“So much so that it shut down our servers a bit, it overwhelmed him.”

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Angel Harper, owner of Mocha Cabana Bistro and Mocha Local, is the first business in Lethbridge to use the site.

“I was truly honored when I was the first member of the chamber to put items into the store,” she said, adding that at the moment the restaurant is focused on catering. via the room market.

“We have packed lunches and we’re going to put cold cuts in them as well. “

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Harper said having another avenue to sell the product is always an advantage.

“One thing I learned from COVID: don’t have all of your eggs in one basket.”

According to Cyndi Bester Vos, CEO of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, around 20 other businesses in the Lethbridge area are set to join the site in the near future.

“We were just waiting for all the testing to be done so that when the companies signed up, they could run and see success immediately,” she explained.

“Our goal is to have 100 by the end of March.”

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Bester Vos added that businesses do not need to be a chamber member to register.

“There are a few big stores in the rural area that don’t get the visibility they really need. So we hope to use this market as a way for these companies to really market themselves. “

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The variety of businesses awaiting membership is quite large.

“We have a shoe store, a clothing store, we have a knickknack store, and then we have somebody making their own blankets, making candles,” Bester Vos said.

Part of a $ 4.5 million grant from the federal government was spent on building and operating the chamber market, with another portion going directly to community chambers of commerce.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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