• Airdrie chamber contest promotes local businesses

    The Airdrie Chamber of Commerce is running a campaign throughout the month of May to encourage Airdronians to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Staring May 3, the chamber is asking residents, while still following all public health orders, to get out and support local shops, services and products. Participants are asked to post a picture of their shopping experience on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to win $100 worth of weekly prizes.

    Executive director of the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce, Marilyne Aalhus, said supporting local could look different for everyone. She said it might include getting your nails and hair done at an Airdrie-based beauty boutique or having lunch on the patio of a local restaurant.

    “We just want people to recognize that supporting local is an important part of our everyday life, but also to recognize businesses that may be still somewhat unknown,” Aalhus said. “We have some amazing smaller businesses throughout this city that some [residents] have never actually gone in and enjoyed.”

    According to Aalhus, each week, a winner will be drawn to receive $100 worth of “fun prizes” from some of the “beautiful little locations” around town, which could include a Montanas gift card or a Funky Petals arrangement. At the end of the month, she said there will also be a grand prize drawn of $500 worth of goods and gift cards in support of local businesses.

    “We’ve seen some really cool posts from Coun. [Tina] Petrow, even City staff or chamber members where they’re trying to really champion the shop local movement and they’ve obviously been taking fun photos on location,” Aalhus said.

    She added the idea for the contest emerged as a way to stand behind chamber members who were struggling during the pandemic.

    But according to Aalhus, the board and staff of Airdrie chamber will be making no distinction as to which local businesses residents can support throughout the contest. As well, the campaign aims to encourage patronage of all local businesses during a time when many have had to close their doors for good.

    “It’s sad that COVID is what kick-started this [notion] more than ever before,” said Aalhus. “It’s something we’ve always championed, but it’s taking a [longer] time to help people recognize that businesses need us more than ever before.”

    She added the contest will also be open to online purchases from Airdrie-based businesses to accommodate those who do not feel comfortable with venturing out into the community, and she encourages residents to take a screenshot of their online purchases as their contest entries. 

    “It’s one of our major pillars at the chamber, to support the local movement, so we will always continue with that,” she added. “It just happens that COVID has made us take a larger focus on it but we will continue [to do so] for years to come.”

    Residents looking to participate in the contest can do so by tagging @airdriechamber in their photo entries on social media.

    Carmen Cundy, AirdrieToday.com