The grand opening of a new business in Ponoka was also the perfect venue to announce a partnership that will hopefully drive more opportunities and traffic to the downtown.
Cybertech360 held a grand opening for invited guests on July 16 at its location on Chipman (50) Ave., complete with free coffee and food courtesy of area businesses — Good Neighbour Coffee from Gull Lake and Ponoka’s Hot Express food truck.
The company’s focus is on cyber security and IT solutions for a variety of business, which includes monitoring, management and information backup as well as disaster recovery.
That said, the company has come forward, in partnership with the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce, with a trial project to provide free wifi within downtown to both draw traffic to the area as well as help promote local businesses.
“One of the things (I thought of) when I came here was how to bring more technical needs and businesses to town,” said Cybertech owner Darrell Christensen.
“One area that seemed to help and is taking off in larger centres is free public wifi.”
So, after getting the chamber to come onboard, the plan was to create a free wifi zone downtown for the next two months and then determine what its future would be.
“We are still in the planning stage and after these 60 days, we will determine how many have connected, how long they hang around on the system and what they are doing while connected,” added Christensen.
“The hope is that this will become a business attractor, bringing people to the area and into businesses.”
As for the chamber, president Barry Grant feels it could work very well for local businesses and possibly extend far beyond downtown.
“The landing page (for the public wifi) may have advertising and could also be used to generate events throughout the year. It could include things focused around the Stampede or events and activities such as Almost Midnight Madness or even business-sponsored contests,” Grant said.
“Once it’s done, we will be speaking to businesses about the opportunities there might be and the potential benefits for everyone.”
To check it out, head downtown and search for “Ponoka wifi” on your device.