Cochrane’s Economic Recovery Task Force has released the results of a survey focused on local businesses and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The results are helping the task force understand the impacts of COVID-19 and make plans for local economic recovery going forward.
“The task force used the results of the survey to develop Cochrane’s new Open & Safe local shopping campaign,” explains Business Development Manager Mike Korman. “Work is also underway on with partners on more marketing and support efforts.”
Some of the key findings of the survey are:
Many businesses cited both the upfront cost and ability to obtain PPE and sanitation materials as barriers to reopen or operate. Others stated concerns with understanding provincial guidelines for safely reopening.
The survey showed reasons to be positive about the future of business in Cochrane. Over 40% of business owners are very or somewhat positive about the long-term future of the local economy. This is better than the 17% in Alberta who think the economic and job situation in six months will be better than today (21% nationally) according to a July 20 Leger Canada survey.
Cochrane has seen 29 new business licence applications in the last three months, which also indicates continuing economic confidence here.
“The businesses environment is complex, and the pandemic has made it even more difficult for some,” Korman says. “We recognize some small businesses won’t be able to rebound. But with new businesses coming to Cochrane, we have a positive sign of economic recovery.”
“The Town and the task force is committed to doing everything we can help,” he added. “We know the community cares about having a strong and vibrant economy and wants to support local businesses. We can get through this together.”
Cochrane Town Council approved the formation of an Economic Recovery Task Force in May. The Task Force collaborates with local business, community organizations and provincial and federal governments to create opportunities to support the Cochrane economy. In addition to the current Open & Safe campaign, the task force continues to look at ways to collaborate and support local businesses.
The survey ran from May 25 and July 16, 2020 and had 147 responses.