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Remember your manners: New campaign encourages kindness towards short-staffed businesses in Fernie

The campaign is a new initiative from the Chamber of Commerce
Posters being shared to Fernie businesses amid a worker shortage in the area. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Storefronts around Fernie will have signage appearing in the windows reminding – and encouraging – patrons to be kind to staff.

Amid a seemingly global worker shortage, a new Fernie Chamber of Commerce campaign is trying to push back on bad behaviour.

“From conversations with members, we have unfortunately heard that once again, staff are being mistreated by frustrated customers,” said a chamber release. “This is not ok.”

Posters encouraging customers to be patient, respectful and kind to the staff that have showed up are being distributed to businesses that are bearing the brunt of negativity.

Many businesses locally are short-staffed, with wait times for services often noticably longer, but patrons will just have to get used to it for the time being.

There are currently 74 different job postings on the Work in Fernie website, many of which represent multiple different positions. Meanwhile, the Fernie Alpine Resort has 40 different job descriptions on its own website – again, representing well over 40 positions. The resort was short by hundreds of workers over the winter season.

READ MORE: Day tickets up, season passes (slightly) down: Fernie Alpine Resort on 21-22 season

Meanwhile, in the economic study done on the Elk Valley late last year, almost half of all businesses surveyed said that recruitment had been a major issue for them over the last few years, while almost 30 percent said retention was also a problem.

The chamber said that supporting those businesses toughing it out was important.

“To all the business owners, managers and frontline staff… we see you working your butts off to continue to provide great service while short staffed. Thank you for continuing to show up!

“Each business contributes to Fernie’s vibrant community and creates memories for those living in, and visiting, Fernie.”

The chamber will be leaning into its advocacy on promoting Fernie as an attractive place to work.

Businesses after a copy of the poster can download one off the chamber website, or pick up a copy from 2nd Edition Coworking downtown or the Visitor Information Centre.

READ MORE: Cost of business, supply chains and housing the three biggest drags on business in the Elk Valley: Report
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