Inaugural Cochrane and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Kelly Carson has only been on the job for a few days and is already enthusiastically pursuing ways of promoting local shopping and helping local businesses thrive.

"It's an exciting time of year, certainly with our launch of Shop Local Cochrane Challenge right off the bat," says Carson. "I'm excited to get going. This is a new role created by the chamber so there are lots of things that are going to be covered off a little more than they were in the past, since there's a full-time employee, and I look forward to it."

The Shop Cochrane Challenge he refers to is currently offering five prizes of $200 in Cochrane dollars for those who commit to spending at least $100 locally this holiday season. You can find a link at the bottom of this article.

Carson brings to the chamber an extensive background in retail and the agricultural sector.

"I've spent some time in the agriculture business but certainly have a retail background. I've been down this path of having to compete in this world and how we do it, and what the expectation is from groups like the chamber to help people and businesses thrive."

With 330 members, he says the chamber offers an impressive amount of expertise to help companies bring their ideas to life and products to market.

He believes there's strength in working together to promote local businesses, whether they have a storefront or not.

"We have expertise amongst the board and myself that can help them with the social media aspect to accounting to all types of people that can help them get going and help them thrive."

He says Cochrane's continued growth is impressive and points out just a few of the most recent ventures.

"Things are happening in Cochrane and we need to get that message out that those things are happening and that the people are not driving by our doors to go in to shop at a store we have here."

"That's going to be a priority, but I think the number one priority that was expressed to me is to get to our businesses who are currently members and the ones that want to be members and discuss how we can help them and drive people to their businesses."

Carson says over time they will also be upgrading the chamber website and make it more interactive for both chamber members and those visiting the community.
Kelly and his wife Tracy have been proud Cochranites for 15 years and moved here from Redwood Meadows.
To connect with Carson phone 403-932-0320 or e-mail

To find out more about the Shop Cochrane Challenge, click here