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COUNCIL COLUMN: COVID restrictions and the state of our local economy

I write this Council update with the utmost concern for our small businesses that continue to struggle as a result of Provincial Government restrictions.
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I write this Council update with the utmost concern for our small businesses that continue to struggle as a result of Provincial Government restrictions. I have spoken with many business owners that are tasked with the difficult reality of remaining solvent through these tough times, particularly, but certainly not confined to, the food and beverage, service, and retail sectors.  I strongly support initiatives that are aimed at providing relief and I would like to highlight a few recent initiatives and organizations that are striving to make a difference.    

A huge shout out to:  
 

  • Cochrane and District Chamber of Commerce for agreeing to partner with the Town’s Business Development team to administer the Professional Services Grant Program. This program gives local small businesses tax and accounting help to seek funding initiatives from our Provincial and Federal Governments.  Cochrane’s Chamber of Commerce has been on the front line helping our local businesses through this very difficult time and I am thankful for their efforts.
      
  • Town of Cochrane Administration for initiating the fast-tracked temporary outdoor dining permit for the summer season. This program was initiated immediately after the most recent Provincial rollback restrictions were announced and in a most timely manner. 

 

  • Council colleagues for voting with me to hold the line on municipal property tax increases in the most recent budget season. Also, for unanimously voting to issue a letter to the Provincial Government indicating Cochrane Council’s support for reopening local economies. This letter advocated for personal responsibility, autonomous business decisions and economic balance to be bravely considered alongside difficult provincial health considerations.   
      
  • Cochrane residentsThank you to the many residents who are working so hard to support local small businesses. Your patronage and enthusiasm on social media channels and elsewhere, are a light in the darkness of this past year and is very much appreciated.  

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with additional ideas on how to navigate our local economic challenges and how Cochrane’s municipal government can help our community endure this most difficult and trying time.  

I can be reached at through the Council mailbox at: CAO.council@cochrane.ca