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Abbotsford Business Community Coalition Ramps Up #WhatLocalsDo Campaign, Announces Small Business Grants

News Releases | May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020 – Abbotsford, BC – The Abbotsford Business Community Coalition (ABCC) is ramping up its #WhatLocalsDo advertising and social media campaign, and sharing details of its Abbotsford Business Boost program to help independent local businesses with COVID-19 resiliency and recovery.

A new video featuring local comedians Cliff Prang and Sunee Dhaliwal will launch on Friday, May 22nd – a sneak peek trailer is available and the final video will be available here.

“As we return to a new normal, our message is all about encouraging people to think local, act local, shop local, and explore local,“ said Katerina Anastasiadis, Executive Director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. “It’s about supporting each other – that’s what locals do.”

Applications for the ABCC’s Emergency Relief Fund are now open. Created through financial contributions from ABCC members the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, Abbotsford Tech District, as well as community contributors, the fund offers grants of up to $2,500 to support immediate business operation needs as COVID-19 physical distancing measures are lifted.

“We’re already seeing lot of interest in the Emergency Relief Fund and the wraparound programs we’ve put in place,” said Jennifer McEwan, Executive Director of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association. “We think we’ll be able to keep growing the pool of available funds with the generous support of some big organizations that are pillars of the local business community.”

ABCC has also launched a peer-to-peer business mentorship program, connecting merchants with business peers in larger organizations and enabling businesses of different sizes to draw upon each other’s strengths. A Digital Pivot Initiative has also been rolled out as a free resource to merchants looking to expand their digital footprint and make their products and services available online.

ABCC continues to champion Support Local BC, an initiative created to help local, independent businesses with cashflow during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery by selling gift certificates for future use. Abbotsford Tech District, a member of the Coalition, is buying $5000 worth of food and beverage gift certificates, donating them to local charities and community organizations, and encouraging other businesses to step up if they can.

“The road to recovery will be long, and it won’t be easy,” said Dave Sidhu, President of the
Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association. “But working together as a community will
make a huge difference. That’s what locals do.”

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About the Abbotsford Business Community Coalition:

The Abbotsford Business Community Coalition (ABCC) was launched to align and coordinate
efforts to support Abbotsford businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, to lay the groundwork
for economic recovery, and to inspire and mobilize optimism and economic confidence in the
community. Its goal is to bring together the Abbotsford business community in a lasting
partnership that is stronger, more resilient, and more united after COVID-19 has passed.

ABCC’s growing coalition is anchored by a core group of business leaders and organizations
including the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, A&Co, Abbotsford Downtown Business
Association, Abbotsford Tech District, City of Abbotsford, Community Futures South Fraser,
Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association, Tourism Abbotsford, the University of the
Fraser Valley, and YXX – Abbotsford Airport. Our efforts are amplified by our media partners at
the Abbotsford News, Patrika Newspaper, STAR 98.3 FM, and Country 107.1 FM.

Contact:

Katerina Anastasiadis
Executive Director
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce
katerina@abbotsfordchamber.com

Jennifer McEwan
Executive Director
Abbotsford Downtown Business Association
jennifer@downtownabbotsford.com