StettlerLocal.com March 5, 2021
Rairdan Services Inc., has been awarded a grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program, a federal funding program for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and their communities. Rairdan Services, Inc. received the grant funds to further their business support projects through the Central Alberta Business Centre (CABC).
CABC was started in August 2019 and is locally owned and operated by Rairdan Services Inc. Its mission is to provide support, collaboration, and networking opportunities for the local business community. Events such as the Cash Mob, Stettler Pop-Up Market, CABC Job Fair, Wednesday *Work Lunch, and Business Book Club, were successful prior to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, Wendy Rairdan owner of Rairdan Services, Inc, was forced to suspend most of the activities due to loss of income related to COVID.
“CABC, like many local businesses, lost income and had to scale back services and offerings but we loved what the business centre was doing and wanted to see it continue. Our brainstorming led us to develop a program we named ‘Seniors Engaging in Economic Development’ (SEED). We know there are many seniors in our community with amazing experience and business knowledge and we wanted to help connect these individuals with our local businesses in need. When we found the New Horizons grant we knew it was a perfect fit.” - Wendy Rairdan, Owner
The grant funds will be used to facilitate senior volunteers providing support to our businesses through one-on-one support, business visitations, shop local initiatives, job skills development, and a large project to help revitalize Main Street in 2022. CABC will be used as the hub for SEED volunteers.
“Our first step is to recruit as many senior volunteers as possible to help with projects and events. Our local businesses need a variety of supports and community involvement as soon as possible. SEED has volunteer positions for all commitment and experience levels. We are excited to start recruiting! ” - Nick Schmidt
CABC can now continue the following initiatives and is looking for seniors who would like to volunteer:
Wednesday *Work Lunch: A casual monthly luncheon for business conversations. First Wednesday of the month starting again April 7th. Current COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.
Stettler Pop-Up Market: SEED will provide the space, marketing, and support to home-based businesses who need a storefront for the day at CABC. New: No cost for businesses!
Behind the Business: SEED volunteers will help collect information and photos from local businesses for ‘Behind the Business’. Photos and information will be amalgamated to produce a video to promote our local business community.
Cash Mob: A senior volunteer will help choose a local business to “mob” and then be the host for the event. Shoppers are encouraged to discover new products and services and spend at least $20 at each event.
CABC Job Fair: Connect searching employers with potential employees. The Job Fair involves senior volunteers recruiting employers to attend this biannual event. They will also market and discuss the event with the community, spreading awareness of the event.
Business Book Club: Host a monthly conversation with individuals looking to read interesting books in the field of business. The senior volunteer will choose and read the book, and then facilitate a discussion about it. This project is in partnership with Stettler Public Library.
Paint for Prosperity: Paint for Prosperity Project will connect seniors and youth to manage a downtown revitalization project and execute the project in the summer of 2022. Over the next year we will be asking downtown businesses to apply if they would like to have their business facade updated with paint and/or pressure washing, and do minor repairs at a discount cost. Senior volunteers will help recruit youth and work with them through every step of the planning with CABC staff and community partners.
If you are interested in volunteering or wanting more information, contact Nick Schmidt, Office Manager at 403-743-0347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit the CABC website here: Central Alberta Business Centre
Jody Craig, Reporter