It was challenging for Corner Coworking, 225 Railway St., in the early days of the pandemic. It has since bounced back with steady growth in the number of people seeking a workplace alternative to their home office and in need of co-warehousing space.
Recently celebrating its third anniversary, founder and owner Mark Eaton says they have continued to incorporate some innovative approaches.
"We're not lucky enough to have been one of the businesses that have thrived in the pandemic, but we've certainly found some ways to fill in the gaps and make up for what was lost."
Eaton says Corner Coworking was fortunate to have a couple of years under its belt before the pandemic hit.
"It brought new challenges, but it also brought brand new members and brand new opportunities."
"We've seen a whole new variety of businesses joining us in the last 12 months. That's one of the most rewarding new things, to work with new people, new businesses, and some brand new startups. Actually, we have one member launching his business this weekend."
In the face of the pandemic, it launched student memberships. When university resumed in the fall, some students opted to use the services of Corner Coworking to get away from a household environment.
"We've had a couple of join us and are still with us and taking advantage of what we've built, whether it's networking with businesses or other students or whether it's wanting a dedicated, quiet professional space they can drop into seven days a week."
It also introduced virtual memberships for businesses looking to establish a professional presence in Cochrane. The Corner provides helps them make connections in the community.
"We have several members from out-of-province who are launching businesses here in Cochrane, but they're starting virtually."
Startup Cochrane was created this year to establish a community for new business ideas and budding entrepreneurs.
"I want to be part of a community that allows startups to launch here, to not have to go to Calgary or Edmonton or elsewhere, to build a support network, and even the opportunity to pitch for funding."
He says some startups have launched and others are in the planning stages.
Having members move out to stand on their own is part of their success story.
"It sounds odd to say, but we love our members growing out of the corner and going out their own. That means we've played a small part in their growth, and we've helped them launch.
On Mar. 1, Corner Coworking became the UPS access point for Cochrane to ensure local access was available for the worldwide shipping company. Previous to that, Dry Cleaning by Dave had filled that role after the local UPS Store closed several years ago.