Banff Trade Fair seeks local businesses
By: Rob Alexander
| Posted: Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 06:00 am
Shop Local Banff is hosting the inaugural Banff Trade Fair on the last weekend of September and organizer Sondy Szymanis is hoping Banff businesses see value in this endeavour and sign up.
“It is basically to encourage Banff locals, the people who live there, to show their products and services and get the mom-and-pop shops to show them to local Bow Valley residents and promote the shop local mandate, as well,” Szymanis said.
“The bread-and-butter of local shopping in the slow season is really important. Come winter is really when we need the locals to shop locally; if they know what they can purchase, then they think local first.”
But to ensure the Banff Trade Fair does go ahead as planned on Sept. 29-30 in the Banff Curling Rink, Szymanis needs to be 60 per cent full by Sept. 15.
If she does not reach that level, Szymanis said, she’ll refund any registrations that have come in and postpone the event until next year as, due to some roadblocks along the way, she’s trying to put it together on a short timeframe.
“Banff businesses, if they come on board, will be the ones to decide if this goes forward,” she said.
Half of the Banff Curling Rink (26 booths) is reserved for Banff businesses, while the other half is available to businesses in Canmore and the Bow Valley region.
“Everybody thinks Banff is full of just T-shirt shops, but there are so many more services available both in Banff and in Canmore. We’re two sister towns,” she said, adding she hopes the trade fairs in both communities will help locals access all of those services.
“We really aren’t that far apart. It’s 15 minutes. There’s a lot of things you can get in Banff that you can’t get in Canmore and vice versa,” she said.
Szymanis said she has also set aside space for 12 booths in the curling rink’s foyer for Banff-based not-for-profit groups for a $25 fee.
Two local not-for-profit groups can also participate in 50/50 draws, one on each day of the trade fair, as a fundraiser.
All of the booths will be piped and draped, as they were in Canmore, and electricity will be provided.
Szymanis said she’s working with the administrators of a Facebook page also called Banff Shop Local.
“I like to call it I Love Banff Shop Local. I talked to them and we’re working in tandem,” she said. “It’s the same bottom line, we’re all trying to help the locally-owned businesses in Banff, so it’s a great synergy.”
Admission to the Banff Trade Fair will be free for visitors.