Recent job numbers for the southeast show a positive outlook for the region. The unemployment rate for the southeast is at 4.4% while the provincial rate is 6.6%.
"I've been noticing that there's been some activity within the city," shared Jackie Wall, Executive Director with the Estevan Chamber of Commerce. "There have been some new businesses, some businesses that are expanding or moving into new locations. I also keep an eye on the job market and it seems to be strengthening."
"I think there is still a little bit of trepidation within the community regarding what is happening with SaskPower and the announcement with Units 4 and 5 but overall, I think people know that you have to forge ahead and take a look at new opportunities and develop your business within the climate you're in."
Wall added that no one is giving up on creating successful businesses in the southeast.
"I know that the Estevan Chamber along with the City of Estevan and several members at large have formed an Economic Development Council and we've had an Economic Development Officer in that position for a year here in Septemeber. We've been very proactive in looking at new ways to help the local businesses and to attract new businesses."
"What happens is downturns in the economy can also be looked at as opportunities. I think people really need to remember that. I know that it's difficult, I have been through lots of business up and downs. Previously, I've been a farmer and a rancher so if that doesn't have up and downs, I don't know what does. The oil industry is the same way although we see that it is strengthening and it seems that in some areas it's starting to strengthen and develop."
And while there may be some doom and gloom left lingering, Wall refuses to see the glass half empty.
"I really think this community can accomplish amazing things when we come together. Part of that is the Chamber is putting together a business summit on October 18th. And we really want a lot of representation from across the different industries to come together. We're going to put on a lot of great speakers talking about different things as far as technology or the legalization of marijuana. There's going to be a lot of opportunities for businesses to learn more, to come together, to look at new opportunities."
She added that there should be some announcements coming soon about new initiatives.
"We've been doing what we can, we've also been meeting with SaskPower and taking a look at the socio-economic impact that will be happening and looking at ways to minimize that. And then, of course, we'll be working with the provincial and the federal governments as this moves forward."