June 11, 2021

The Great Re-opening

The recent announcement from the province about its plan to “Open for Summer” no doubt provided a sense of relief for many in our business community. This has certainly been the topic du jour for Okotoks Economic Development, and more often than not has been the leading conversation point over the past 15 months. Over that time, we have kept a keen eye on the ongoing measures from the province and continue to be marveled at the ability of our business community to adapt to the ever-changing environment.

Okotoks Economic Development continues to be here to support businesses through this re-opening, and to this end, we are proud to offer a number of programs designed to help businesses during and beyond the unique circumstances that COVID-19 has caused our local business community. In addition to these programs, there are a number of other iniatitives underway from other business centres within the Town, all of which are built around the idea of supporting the local business community.

Here are a few of the highlights:

1. Okotoks Temporary Patios Program

You have likely already heard about this program, as it was introduced last year. In response to the tremenduous interest we received (with nine participating businesses and counting!), we tweaked the program to now include businesses outside of retail and food services. This means that almost any customer-facing business that has the space to do so can erect a temporary patio – at no charge!

To further support patios in the community, the Town is working on a digital map that will highlight and promote all patios – temporary and permanent – for visitors and residents alike. If you have a patio and haven’t yet recived an email requesting information for the map, please email ecdevokotoks@okotoks.ca. For more information on the map or to apply for the program, go to: Okotoks.ca/temporarypatios

2. Temporary Patio Package Program (TPPP) - CONCLUDED

In light of the success of the Temporary Patio Program, Okotoks Economic Development provided further support to businesses who wanted a temporary patio, but may not have had the means to do so. The TPPP is a pilot program that offers eligible businesses the opportunity to lease an entire patio package free of charge until fall! Patio packages include tables, chairs, umbrellas and fully flowered planters for a truly “all-in-one” offering. There are only three packages available to businesses this year, but the Town hopes to expand on this program for 2022. Learn more: Okotoks.ca/temporarypatios

3. Mobile Vending Unit Program (or, Food Trucks!) - UPDATED

You may or may not be aware, but our current business bylaw allows food trucks to operate on private property. In addition, trucks can be invited for special events pending they receive an event permit. Starting this spring, food trucks can setup on public property (parking spaces on public roadways, public parking lots etc.) for specified periods of time. The MVU program is still in a pilot stage, so we are looking for feedback. For more information please visit: Okotoks.ca/MobileVending

4. e-Scooter Pilot Project - NEW

The Town is excited to announce that a shared e-scooter pilot program has come to Okotoks! The program commenced June 1 with Bird Canada, who stepped forward to provide 50 e-scooters at no cost to the Town. This is a welcomed transportation addition to our community, and will encourage greater usage of our parks, pathways and business districts. Learn more: Okotoks.ca/e-scooter

5. Walkotoks - NEW

Walkotoks is a multi-departmental initiative that encourages residents and visitors to take a walking tour of our downtown. In partnership with three stewards of the community (local residents with a passion for Okotoks), the Town has helped coordinate the creation of three tailored walking tours. Each tour is written from the perspective of one of our stewards, and provides insights to some of our most unique downtown landmarks, including businesses! Walkotoks brochures will be available digitally and in print at tourist desintations in and around Okotoks. Learn more: DestinationOkotoks.ca


As you emerge from this stronger, more adaptable and aware, please take a moment to commend yourself for all of your hard work over the past year. Don’t forget that Okotoks Economic Development is here to help you out – we value the conversations we have with you, so don’t ever hesitate to provide us with feedback. You can reach us directly at ecdevokotoks@okotoks.ca, on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) or via phone at 404-938-8052.

Polling Topic

Alberta’s Open for Summer plan includes the re-opening of restaurant patios with tables up to six people per table, indoor or outdoor. Click to learn more about Alberta’s #OpenForSummer plan

Is your business prepared to re-open in line with Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan?

Previous poll results

We asked: “Do you believe there is enough public and private parking in downtown Okotoks?”

Answers: 6

Yes: 3 (50%)

No: 3 (50%)


Town of Okotoks invites the business community to complete the 2022 Budget survey

Business responses will assist the Town to develop a practical, transparent and responsible budget that reflects the vision of Okotokians. The information gathered through the survey will be shared with Council to help them build the budget, based on community priorities and values.

The survey ends on June 20 with the results published in a What We Heard Report in early July on the Town website..

Take the survey

Town of Okotoks prepares facilities for Stage 2 re-opening of facilities in line with Open for Summer strategy

The Town of Okotoks is preparing for a phased re-opening of its indoor recreation facilities, art gallery and museum as part of Stage 2 of the province's Open for Summer strategy.

Starting June 10, the Okotoks Recreation Centre, Okotoks Art Gallery and Okotoks Museum and Archives will re-open to the public in a staged approach, subject to meeting the requirements of Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan.

Read more

Property Taxes due June 30, 2021

2021 Town Tax Notices were mailed the week of May 25, 2021 and all assessed property owners are deemed to have received their Tax Notice.

Full details

Upcoming Events

MCG Careers (June & July Upcoming Events)

NO Cost Workshops - Virtual via Zoom
Thursday, June 10, 10:00—12:30 LinkedIn
Wednesday, June 16, 1:00—3:30 Conducting an Effective Job Search
Friday, June 18, 9:30—12:00 Interview Skills
Wednesday, July 7, 9:30—12:00 Keep Calm and Job Search On
Tuesday, July 20, 9:30—12:00 LinkedIn

NO Cost Career Café’s - Virtual via Zoom
Thursday, June 3, 3:00—4:30 Help for the Job Seeker—Writing Your Way Through This
Thursday, June 10, 3:00—4:30 Job Offer and Wages—Do you Negotiate or Not?
Thursday, June 17, 3:00—4:30 Thinking of Starting your Own Business?
Thursday, June 24, 3:00—4:30 Panic to Power
Friday, July 2, 3:00—4:30 Setting a New Career Direction: Forge a Fresh Future
Thursday, July 8, 3:00—4:30 Nutrition, Health and Wellness
Thursday, July 15, 3:00—4:30 I Found the Perfect Job Posting! Now What?
Thursday, July 22, 3:00—4:30 Job Offer and Wages—Do you Negotiate or Not?
Thursday, July 29, 3:00—4:30 Starting a Small Business

Visit website

Road to Resiliency - A Virtual Panel
(May 11, 12pm)

After a challenging year, small business owners continue to show their resiliency. Join us for this free virtual panel celebrating entrepreneurship and help us kick-off Business Link's 25th year of building business success in Alberta.

This virtual panel will discuss the resiliency of Alberta businesses, what it takes to pivot in a pandemic and overcoming pandemic fatigue along with resources to support your small business journey.

Plus! You'll receive over $75 worth of products from businesses listed on our Support Local AB directory! You’ll receive some tasty treats from Confetti Sweets, Tastia, Baking Barn and more locally curated items.

One randomly selected box will include a professional development opportunity worth more than $500. Don't miss out on this limited opportunity.

Register today to attend this FREE online event hosted by Business Link


Register for the event

Hanging out on Elma - Art on the Line Event (July 3, 10am)

We are inviting local Elma Street businesses and residents to “host” one or more artists outdoors on their property.

This event is meant to encourage support for arts and artists within 100km radius of Okotoks.

Learm more about the event

Participate in the 2021 Reverse Parade (June 19, 11am)

We're calling all businesses to participate in the Reverse Parade taking place on June 19. Decorate your storefronts or vehicles and have your business added to the map.

Want to find out more?

Sign your business up!

Museum re-opens with two exhibits honouring Indigenous history

A special presentation is also planned for Monday, June 21 during National Indigenous People’s Day.

Details and museum hours


Are you organizing an event or webinar that you want to share with the public?

If your business is in Okotoks, we can help you spread the word. Submit your event through our website and we will make it visible to our website visitors.

Submit an Event

Southridge Drive and Veterans Way project are scheduled to start in July

This is the final phase of the pedestrian improvement project on Veterans Way between Elizabeth Street and Riverside Drive / South Railway Street. This project includes the construction of wider sidewalks, enhanced pedestrian crossings, and top lift paving. This project will create a strong north and south pedestrian connection to the downtown and river valley.

Signage will be in place to direct residents and customers to businesses in the area. Our Construction web page and social media will be updated as the work proceeds.

Real-time construction map details

New Business Listings

The Town of Okotoks is thrilled to welcome the following new businesses to Town:


  • Groundup Eco-Ventures LTD - upcycle waste streams from breweries/coffee for flour


  • Crystal Electric - electrical services
  • Double J Plumbing & Heating LTD. - plumbing, gasfitting, heating & septic services
  • Hope Blooms Co. - online floral subscription

You can find more information on these new businesses as well as many others at our online business directory.

Online business directory

Business support programs

Apply to receive the Alberta Small Medium Enterprise Relauch Grant

This grant offers financial assistance to Alberta organizations (businesses, cooperatives and non-profits) that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring in-take applications close June 30 2021. Funds can be used for:

  • physical barriers
  • purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
  • rent and employee wages
  • replacing inventory and more

Learn more and apply

Business Patio Summer Contest - in support of local businesses

The Town invites local business to participate in the new Patio Decorating Contest.

Categories will include:

  1. Best Overall Patio
  2. Best Patio with a View
  3. Best Patio Ambience
  4. Most Family Friendly Patio

Businesses can enter by decorating their patio and sending a picture to the EcDev email along with the name of their business and contact information.

Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, June 30 at 10:00am. All Winners will be announced July 30.

Contest details

Save money on water bills. Xeriscape your yard and apply for a rebate

Xeriscaping involves landscaping a large area with plants that are appropriate to dry climates and providing healthy growing conditions. Xeriscaping creates an environmentally friendly and beautiful landscape that can be maintained with little or no supplementary watering.

The Town offers rebates for businesses that choose xeriscaping. Besides the advantage of having to pay less on water bills, businesses can can receive a 50 percent rebate to a maximum of $200, on a selection of 65 drought-tolerant perennials, shrubs and trees, and receive up to $3,000 towards the cost of xeriscape landscaping projects.

Learn more and apply

Check out the more comprehensive listing of support resources available to Okotoks businesses.

COVID-19 Business Resources

Kindness Currency

Say hello to Kindness Currency recipient Chelsea Taylor!

Grade 11 student Chelsea Taylor is making sure Okotoks is connected! She was nominated for Kindness Currency for making an impact with her project to raise funds to purchase a van for the Okotoks Food Bank to make accessing the food banks’ services easier for the community.

To achieve her goal, Chelsea developed a way to connect others through the shared experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. She documented the experiences of people in Okotoks and the Foothills representing the past unconventional year, knowing these stories would make a difference and could be used to help the community.

Learn more about Kindness Currency

Town Information

Council meetings
COVID-19 updates
Business Events

Connect with Us!

Enjoy the Economic Development Newsletter? Have ideas or suggestions for improvement? Have an event or information you would like to have included?

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