By Cole Parkinson
With the Town of Taber’s first try at hosting a pop up shop behind them, the Town of Vauxhall are exploring opportunities to potentially host their own event.
During the town council’s regular meeting on Dec. 19, councillors got to hear some ideas as to how Vauxhall could host their own pop up shop after Taber held their’s last month during the busy Christmas season.
Town administration had received an invitation to Taber’s version which had led to discussions on if it would be feasible to host their own somewhere in town.
“We would probably have to provide a facility, that was the thought,” said Mindy Dunphy, office manager for the Town of Vauxhall.
While the Town of Taber’s Economic Development team hopes the pop up shop will inspire local business owners to set up shop permanently in the downtown area, the Vauxhall staff realizes this probably isn’t possible in Vauxhall.
The lack of available main street buildings is an issue but they still believe a temporary pop up shop could benefit both the local home business owners and the Vauxhall business community.
“I tried looking at areas where we could try to get really small businesses and we don’t really have any buildings that offer that. But when you think of it more as a temporary idea, where you could either do it as a trade fair idea where it’s for a whole weekend. You can either have them all together or you can have some in the hall. Or you can do something a little smaller where it’s one store with the same idea, open up for one weekend,” said Mayor Margaret Plumtree.
“It would be a way to promote what’s already here in town to get people to know what businesses actually exist.”
Even though the pop up shop may be a new type of event for Vauxhall, the town does see its fair share of farmers markets which are fairly similar.
Council likened the two together and thought it may be a bigger opportunity for small business owners in the area who are running them from their houses.
“It simply sounds like a farmers market on a bigger scale because we’ve got a lot of those little independent home business people who are very active in the farmers market. So it’s already happening,” said Richard Phillips, deputy mayor for the Town of Vauxhall.
Mayor Plumtree also was in favour of giving those who don’t have a storefront the opportunity to set up in town to drum up some more business.
“We don’t want to steal from that but that’s where we thought maybe with something smaller and it’s an actual pop up shop. We don’t know how far to go or how it will be received but maybe this would be a way to get these people out,” said Plumtree.
Areas for the popup shop to take place in ranged from the Vauxhall arena lobby and the public library as both have the capacity and the accessibility needed for this type of event.
If the pop up shop sees success, Plumtree hopes they could eventually pass off the event to another organization so they don’t have to organize it every year.
“If it’s something that we decide to do and it’s a success, I was wondering if we could reach out to maybe the Legion and see if they would want to take over instead of us managing it. She work out the kinks but I haven’t even talked to them about it,” said Plumtree.