CARSTAIRS - The new president of the Carstairs and Community Chamber of Commerce says he hopes 2022 will see the local business community benefit and thrive following two years of the pandemic.
Jessie Cooper was elected president at the chamber’s January annual general meeting. He is the sales manager at the local Ford dealership.
The chamber currently has 23 members and officials are hoping to attract more of the 100-plus businesses in the community to join up too, he said.
“I think they all want the same thing,” he said. “They all want to grow. That’s why they have their businesses. We want to provide a platform for people, to help build their businesses.
“People don’t have to be active in the chamber all the time, but see how we can help and how you can help the chamber.”
The 2021 Crazy Christmas event highlighted the desire of the entire community to open up and start to enjoy life together after two years of COVID, he said.
“You could see the weight lifted off people’s shoulders,” he said. “People were talking and laughing and visiting all the pop-up shops that were there.
“We’ve been locked up for two-and-a-half, three years so we need to get out and we need to be rubbing shoulders with each other. That’s what we want to see continue happening.”
During a recent chamber executive meeting it was decided that the organization will try “put a little more fun” into its activities in 2022, he said.
“We are looking at doing things with a bit more of a fun style. There are a lot of younger business owners in town, whether it’s brick-and-mortar or home-based,” he said.
“With the growth in town being a lot younger and Carstairs being a commuting centre, we need to start appealing to those families and helping the businesses reach out and do that.”
Plans along those lines include hosting an upcoming chili cook-off in the town, and then partnering up with the Didsbury chamber for a regional chili cook-off.
Another idea being considered is a summer street party.
“We are looking at having some local bands, and some street hockey for the kids, and promoting the local businesses in that way,” he said.
The chamber plans to continue to have a close working relationship with the Town of Carstairs in 2022, he said.
Anyone interested in joining the chamber or just learning about some of the benefits of membership should check out the organization’s Facebook page and/or its website, he said.