Crossfield is open for business, and business is good.
Over the last five years, Crossfield’s population has increased by 17 per cent, but, according to the local Chamber of Commerce, businesses are handling the pressure well.
The main challenge local businesses are experiencing is the search for potential employees to fill job openings within their companies, said Lani McLeod, executive director of Crossfield’s Chamber of Commerce.
In response, the Chamber and the Town of Crossfield have partnered to provide a career fair in early 2024 to address local hiring needs.
“We have so many opportunities for individuals looking for careers in the skilled trades and other services and we're looking forward to showcasing some of the options we have available here,” McLeod said.
“As our community continues to grow, Crossfield has a fantastic industrial base and ever growing commercial sector. We've got all sorts of things from manufacturing to personal services, specialty retail and various eating establishments.”
McLeod said Crossfield is unique as the focus of planning has always been about balancing housing development and the need for industry.
“The fact that Crossfield has the amount of commercial industry (it does) is a real strength,” she said. “We kind of have a place that not only can you build your family, but also build a career here too.”
As the population continues to increase, so do the needs and wants of its citizens; and McLeod doesn’t anticipate a slowdown in new business opportunities for the region.
The Town of Crossfield recently completed its Railway Street revitalization project in 2021, which cost a little more than $10 million. The project included upgraded sewer and water mains along Railway Street, along with the beautification and revitalization of the downtown.
McLeod said the project seems to be paying off with new businesses looking for spaces in the commercial core.
“Both the Chamber and the Town of Crossfield see a need for investment to develop the east side of Railway Street as things just seem to be starting to fill up,” she said.
While the challenge of finding employees could be considered an effect of the current economy, McLeod said other factors like inflated costs and overheads are having an impact as well.
“The Chamber board of directors feels strongly about keeping purchases that may be made in the larger centres nearby,” McLeod said.
The Crossfield "Chamber Bucks" program, developed in 2021, is one strategy to keep dollars within the community.
McLeod said the program, which encourages residents to purchase Chamber Bucks to be redeemed only at businesses within Crossfield, has really taken off.
“We are encouraging locals to pop by our table at the upcoming Christmas market and purchase some Chamber Bucks to gift out to their friends and family this holiday season,” McLeod said.
Chamber Bucks are available in $25 increments and can be purchased by contacting [email protected].