Sign of the times

By Geoff Lee

March 3, 2016 11:27 AM

Message urges hope and resilience

Times are Tough. Lloyd’s Tougher.
Ironjet Promotions Inc. owners Chris and Lara Dobson put that catch phrase on a banner last March and attached it to the side of a building north of the railway tracks on Highway 17.
It was the brainchild of their creative team to counter the doom and gloom as the oil and gas industry began to sink under the weight of falling commodity prices.
“We’ve always been community minded and it’s one of the top values in our list of company values and we just saw it as a way to do something positive and bring a positive message to the community,” said Lara.
That was eight months ago, but the message still resonates hope and resolve with little signs of economic recovery on the horizon.
“Although things are tough right now, we still live in a great community,” said Lara.
The Lloyd’s Tougher banner activated a full blown discussion on Ironjet’s Twitter and Facebook sites last week when CTV in Saskatoon aired footage of the banner in a three-part profile of our city.
“The first day we saw over 500 posts and it’s been growing quickly,” said Chris.
“Lara’s been doing lots of stories and that’s helped to boost it.”
Chris said rather than just having a rant and rave page for people that are complaining the Lloyd’s Tougher Facebook and Twitter accounts are a little more positive.
“It keeps the community strong,” added Chris.
Lara admitted she is struggling to make sure she has a good post everyday because she is still working full-time and trying to run the business.”
Ironjet produces everything from decals, banners, signage and websites to apparel and printed products.
The company is seeing a definite decrease in business from larger oil and gas clients and an uptick in business from laid off workers starting their own businesses.
“We’ve seen lots of small guys starting a business, needing a logo or a business card to say ‘I’m still working’ and need to pass that along to potential clients,” said Lara.
That’s the type of positive message she hopes to see more of on their Facebook campaign to spread some positivity.
“The big key I want to do is highlight local stories about people in this community who are adjusting to the economy and still feeling positive about being part of Lloydminster,” she said.
“I want people to see that good things are happening in the community.”
On the subject of shopping locally, the Dobsons say they have always been local shoppers intrinsically. They like to share the idea with friends that one dollar spent locally can translate into $4.
“That comes in the form of charitable donations that businesses can make when dollars are spent on their business,” said Lara.
“It comes in the form of them passing it on and supporting the business next to them and all those sorts of things.”
She said if we keep our dollars local then everybody is stronger together.
Chris added the community needs to help the people living paycheque to paycheque and the people who have just moved to Lloydminster and spent their last dime to get here when everything’s tanked.
“We need to show them it’s a good place to stay,” he said, noting the Lloyd’s Tougher Facebook is a great place to spread the word.

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