Gateway Gazette

New Association Will Support Downtown Businesses in Okotoks

Organizers of the Okotoks Downtown Business Association held their first meeting January 13 to share information and invite local businesses to participate in this valuable group.

Approximately 50 business owners attended the evening meeting to learn more about how this new association will support economic success in the downtown core.

“This new association will replace several smaller existing ones and has expanded the boundaries of eligible businesses to provide greater support in the downtown area as part of a greater support network,” said Corinne Finnie, transformation strategist. “We have been working collaboratively with representatives from the stakeholders that support business success in Okotoks called the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. Within the group, there is an appreciation for a coordinated, strategic effort to best support the success of businesses throughout their lifecycle with access to timely and efficient resources.”

“Bringing together businesses and service providers to collectively focus on supporting entrepreneurs and local businesses is a foundational mandate of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem,” said Angela Groeneveld, economic development manager.

There are approximately 300 businesses within the downtown core that are eligible to join the organization. Over the next few months, members will work with Finnie to develop terms of reference, board positions, as well as a mandate and work plan for events and initiatives that will foster success for all downtown businesses.

The Town has committed to provide financial and administrative support during the association’s first year, while it establishes guidelines and future membership fees. The group will also be exploring branding and marketing opportunities for the downtown.

“The Town has contracted Corinne to work with board members in establishing the governing documents and create a work plan to help the association get established,” said Groeneveld. “The goal is that this association will run independently of the Town and become a marketing leader and advocate for the downtown business sector.”

Anyone interested in learning more or who want to become involved can contact Corinne Finnie at finniec@icloud.com .

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