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EDITORIAL: Celebrating Small Business Week

Celebrating the heartbeat of the local community the province is celebrating Small Business Week.

Honouring the heartbeat of local communities the province is celebrating Small Business Week.

Small businesses are our community's entrepreneurial innovators and help increase the quality of life we experience in Cochrane, and this week serves to honour them and the critical role they play in local economies.

These shops are the backbone of the community.

It is an amazing experience being able to walk into a store and be greeted with a warm smile from a friendly face.

Cochrane and District Chamber of Commerce president Kelly Sinclair put it best, “You know what to expect in terms of the quality they are delivering ... Small business is an amazing energy— Our small businesses have so much passion for what they do. It's not an easy thing to start a business so you have to be really connected to your purpose.”

Sinclair said she is proud to be a part of Cochrane's hard-working small business community. She explained there is something special in Cochrane because businesses have been able to cultivate a small-town feeling where many owners are on a first-name basis with customers.

These businesses also contribute to the community by supporting local organizations and events.

However, due to the economic devastation created by COVID-19, our local businesses now face an uncertain future— Each day has become a fight to rise to the adversity they face and endure the COVID-19 pandemic.

We do not know when the pandemic will come to an end— There is no light at the end of the tunnel so it is up to us to create our own light and support each other with courage and kindness.

Local businesses are adapting to our new normal and we in turn can do our part to support them— Without these local businesses, our community would be lost.

Now more than ever it has become essential to promote our local businesses so we can keep them in our communities.

During COVID-19, the only way they will be able to survive is through the support they receive from local community members.

One of the ways we can do so is by participating in Taste of Cochrane.

The festival serves to celebrate the rich culinary scene in Cochrane by encouraging people to visit local restaurants.

At one point there was a debate if the festival should be cancelled due to COVID-19, said organizer and owner of Mehtab East Indian Cuisine Jag  Thind.

However, restaurants rallied together because they felt there was a need to showcase local businesses that have been hit hard by the economic fallout of COVID-19 while providing Cochranites with great food.

“Businesses need help, restaurants especially need big help— I think this is a great way for people to go out and enjoy their favourite meal."