Mamta Lulla

Spruce Grove Chamber of Commerce has events lined up in the new year for early morning risers as well as night owls.

One of the many Business at Breakfast event kicked off Jan. 9. If you missed it, don’t worry, there are many more coming up: Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6 and 13.

President and CEO Brenda Johnson at Spruce Grove Chamber of Commerce said the breakfast series aims to provide business owners with resources and education necessary to succeed in entrepreneurship, economic growth and competitiveness.

Each event is unique like the breakfast on Jan 23 focuses on tapping into the millennial talent pool.

In February, the breakfast events will focus on inclusion at work. This would be done through explaining entrepreneurs on how to connect with employees of different cultures, ages and backgrounds.

For those who can’t make it to breakfast events can try the Chamber on Tap events. The business mixer and informal chat is hosted on the last Wednesday of every month. The next Chamber on Tap event is on Feb. 21 at the Canadian Brewhouse. The event lets members network in a relaxed social setting.

The 2018 New Year/New Connections mixer will allow fellow chamber members reconnect on Jan. 18.

For more details about the events including admission fee visit the Spruce Grove Chamber website.

New year brings renewed hope for everyone but for local businesses 2018 might bring some challenges too like the carbon levy and increased minimum wage come fall.

She pointed to other challenges like competing with online retail giants. That may have been an issue during the Christmas shopping season.

She said although she hasn’t heard sales numbers from local businesses but the chamber noted the traffic flow during the recent holiday shopping season wasn’t as busy as 2016.

“From that I would suspect retail sales are down,” she said.

She said that wouldn’t necessarily mean the economy is bad but it could be that people are shopping online.

Or they could be holding onto their money, she said.

Online retail sales is a huge challenge for local businesses, she said.

“They’re up against some giants right now.”

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