Business Beat

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The Edmonton and Area Land Trust, a not-for-profit dedicated to conserving the natural heritage of the region, is the 2016 winner of the Benefit Brew contest held by Phillips Brewing Co.

One of 10 finalists from Alberta and British Columbia, the EALT will have a specialty Oatmeal Brown Ale brewed in its name.

All proceeds from sales, an anticipated $10,000, will go directly to EALT to support the conservation of local nature.

The beer will be brewed in January and available to purchase in stores across the province in February.

If you were impressed with The Tart Bakeshop’s flavour-themed hot chocolate and salted caramel snowflake cupcakes during the Snowflake Festival this weekend, then be sure to check out the store’s official grand opening next Saturday.

The bakeshop, which specializes in cupcakes, cookies, cakes and anything sweet, operates out of the Midtown Apothecary on St. Thomas Street, in downtown St. Albert and is only open on Saturdays. However, special orders are accepted during the week.

Promising new cupcake varieties every weekend, the shop is asking for suggestions on Facebook.

The bakeshop will unveil four new flavours, as well as their grand opening feature cupcake during the event on Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A monthly report released by Statistics Canada last week shows that retail sales in Alberta are down 1.1 per cent in September, with decreases across most store types.

Alberta recorded the second highest decrease in the country after Quebec, which saw 1.3 per cent less in sales.

The hardest hit were the clothing, shoes and accessories stores, with a 7.6 per cent decrease, beer wine and liquor stores, with a 12.6 per cent decrease, furniture stores with a 7.6-per-cent decrease, and gasoline, with a 7.6-per-cent decrease in sales.

Sales in the province have dropped 4.9 per cent over last year.

The numbers show that Albertans are spending less on clothing (-1.7 per cent), electronics (-7.9 per cent), motor vehicles and parts (-7.2 per cent), and groceries (-3.2 per cent) and more on used cars, which saw a 36.6 per cent spike in sales over this time last year.

The biggest contributor to the decline was gasoline. Due to lower prices at the pump, sales dropped by 17.4 per cent – to $81.4 million from $98.6 million.

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St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.