Community Futures is here to help!

The Community Futures office in Slave Lake can help small businesses.

Pearl Lorentzen
South Peace News

Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake has a new program to help small businesses increase their digital profile.
The program has been running in other parts of Alberta, but just came to the Slave Lake, High Prairie and Wabasca regions March 1.
Divine Kitchen is the Digital Economy Program [DEP] lead for Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake and says it would be good for people to sign up as soon as possible.
“It will be open for a year. It might extend,” she says.
DEP is free. The service is available to self-employed people and small businesses from 0-49 employees, which are registered in Alberta, including home-based or commercial/service businesses.
However, non-profits, charitable trusts, and franchises are not eligible.
DEP has two parts: the digital service squad and ShopHERE. The digital service squad is out of the Slave Lake office. ShopHERE is done remotely.
“ShopHERE will help them step-by-step,” says Kitchen.
“They will help them until they launch their online store.”
The digital service squad helps businesses start or optimize their online presence.
“We can help them improve their existing websites,” says Kitchen.
There is also help with social media and Google My Business.
“One of our activities is to go to the store and take a 360-degree photo,” says Kitchen.
The photo can be used on free Google My Business accounts, social media, or the business’ website.
The services provided are tailored to each business.
The links to register for both branches of DEP are under Upcoming Events on www.community futures.com.
The first step is to sign up with Digital Main St.,” says Kitchen. “They register on the same platform, but there [are] two sign-ups. They can sign up for one or both.”
Digital Main St. also has free courses which businesses can access as soon as they make an account.
Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake’s office is in Slave Lake. It covers High Prairie, Slave Lake, Wabasca and all communities in-between.

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