Shopping and supporting our local businesses is the theme behind a brand new campaign called Cochrane Loves Local. 

The town of Cochrane is one of the first communities in Canada to use federal funds to launch this new buy local campaign. 

Cochrane received just under $60,000 in funding from Ottawa to help promote local shops. 

As part of the campaign we'll see local residents sharing stories about our local businesses on video and in testimonials that will then be shared on social media. 

The Cochrane and District Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Cochrane Tourism Association to apply for funding.

The federal government announced last month that $33 million would be given to provincial chambers to help launch shop local initiatives. 

Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards says this campaign is launching at an important time. 

"It's critically important. When you think about a community like Cochrane, it's our local business owners that are a large part of keeping our community going. Not only are they providing great services or food or products but it's also the same people who support all of the local causes."

"When you think about the last year and a half and what a lot of our businesses have had to go through. There's been a lot of adapting and there's been a lot of change and there's been shut downs and many have struggled to get through it. They've found ways to be innovative and get through it but in some cases it's required taking on debt or having to lay some people off that they surely wish they didn't have to do. There's a lot of work to do to sort of recover for those businesses. We all tried to support them through the pandemic and now that we've come out on the other side of it, we've got to show our support even more."

Found owner, Julia Lutchman says "Just to see the support that we're getting from the town to bring the community together to support local is so huge and just like what the Mayor was saying in regards to me being a business owner here, I'm paying taxes which alleviates taxes from the residents and then we're able to support other community events that are going on. It's awesome. I love how there's such a synergy between the residents and the business."

Mayor Jeff Genung says "Cochrane Loves Local is about loving local business. It's about supporting local business and giving back to all those businesses that need our help coming out of the pandemic."

"I mean, 18 months of closed, open, curbside pickup, online ordering, shutdown altogether. It's been a long, long, long road and now our local businesses need us to help them overcome the bills and all of those hardships they've endured for those 18 months."

Each chamber is eligible to apply for up to $180 per member. 

Cochrane & District Chamber of Commerce President Ozzie SawickiCochrane & District Chamber of Commerce President Ozzie Sawicki speaking at Cochrane Loves Local launch