Lethbridge Mayor Blaine Hyggen remains optimistic about the short and long term health of commercial business in the city but suggests work towards further growth and prosperity remains.
Speaking in front of a crowd of around 200 people at Thursday’s “State of the City” address, Hyggen says they continue to monitor industry needs, but is pleased to hear positive feedback from stakeholders from a wide array of industries. He adds a lot of focus has been given to the revitalization of downtown Lethbridge, but knows work remains.
“They’re showing optimism, especially in these last few months as we go forward… a lot of stuff we hear includes our businesses getting busier, and there is nothing more exciting [than that] in the community,” he says.
“I think as we have that revitalization, more businesses are going to move in, I know we have some vacancies down there right now. If we address some of the social concerns that many of the businesses have spoken to, that will help too.”
Hyggen says as those challenges remain the city finds itself playing a bit of a waiting game when it comes to the full development of ideas. He says an upcoming provincial election could delay some of the decision making processes.
“I think we’ve already heard that, as some thing go on pause in a couple of months until after the [provincial] election and even a couple of months after the election it does take some time to get things rolling again,” he says.
“We are going to see the budget come out, and we are looking forward to what Lethbridge has in that budget, and hope it’s something extremely positive.”
The State of the City event was hosted by Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.