April 5, 2021

The Business Beat is your monthly update from Okotoks Economic Development with updates from the Town, the community and beyond! You are receiving this email because you had previously subscribed to receive newsletters from the Town.

Red Tape Reduction – Leading by Example

Over the past two years the Town has been championing the idea of red tape reduction to simplify doing business in Okotoks. We are proud to have made a number of significant changes that are designed to positively affect businesses currently residing in Okotoks, or looking to relocate here, such as: updating the Land Use Bylaw to reduce regulations, introducing and making permanent the temporary patio program, and streamlining business licensing and the new business intake process. In addition, the Town is in the process of rewriting the Land Use Bylaw to further align with making business easier in Okotoks. This change is expected later this year. Learn more about how the Town is making business easier in Okotoks

These changes provide tangible examples of how the Town is making it easier to do business in Okotoks. But perhaps the greatest indicator of the Town's commitment to the local business community can be seen in the recent reorganization of Town administration.

On March 8th, the Town announced a restructuring, which saw the organization reduce its size from six directors and 22 managers to five directors and 17 managers. This change resulted in the reorganization of various functional units. Most significant to local business however is the bringing together of Economic Development and Planning into what is now called, “Community Growth and Investment.”

The combining of the two units will have a significant impact on our local business community, as well as new investment coming to the town. Working more collaboratively ensures that the perspective of each department becomes married for the betterment of business and the community as a whole. It will help align our objectives of supporting businesses as best as possible, while also striking a balance of necessary regulation. We’re excited for the change, and hope that you are too. Doing business in Okotoks just got a little bit easier.

DID YOU KNOW: Both the Okotoks Economic Development and the Planning offices have combined to become the “Community Growth and Investment” office.

Monthly Polling

Have you accessed support from the provincial/federal government to help your business during COVID?

Previous poll results

We asked: “The Town is currently in the process of making the temporary patio program permanent. Do you plan to take advantage of this program in 2021?”

Answers: 25

Yes: 14 (56%)

No: 11 (44%)


Tax incentives will promote economic growth

Council approved an industrial tax incentive to encourage economic growth in the industrial areas of town at the March 22 regular meeting. Eligible properties would receive a maximum tax reduction of 75 percent in the first year, 50 percent in the second year and 25 percent in the third year.

Learn more

Nooks & Crannies Festival seeks artists

The Nooks and Crannies Festival is hosting a call for submissions for their summer 2021 event in downtown Okotoks. Artists have until May 15 to submit their proposed designs. The Town encourages artists to engage with community members and/or community groups (i.e. schools, seniors’ centres, community organizations and/or local businesses).

Learn more

Upcoming Events

Discussing Mental Health for business owners and the community (April 7)

We've all done it. Walked to the storefront and realized we forgot our mask - and then comes the sense of frustration, when it feels like the sky is crashing down on us. Everything feels new and none of it is comfortable. It feels like we’re dropping all of our balls. It's not just you, it's all of us. Grab your beverage of choice, and join us virtually on April 7th with Dr. Jody Carrington for an evening focused on how to juggle..metaphorically... all of the demands on us in 2021.

Register for the event

The Family Business System and the Three Circle Model (April 8)

This session will review the three circle model, developed by Renato Taiguri and John Davis in 1978, which creates the overarching framework that helps clarify, in simple terms, the three interdependent and overlapping groups that comprise the family enterprise system: family, business and ownership.

This event will be delivered remotely/online, and is FREE to attend

Register for the event

MCG Careers-Experience Counts Program (April 12)

MCG Careers' Experience Counts is a program that provides mature workers with the opportunity to update their current skills in a supportive environment, attain and maintain their employment goals through informed decision making, and help build their confidence. Participants engage in career and employment workshops, computer skills training and personal development workshops over a 6 week period, with ongoing, individualized job search support assistance throughout. The workshops will be delivered remotely/online.

Event details

Chamber Annual Golf Tournament (June 17)

The Okotoks & District Chamber of Commerce, along with their partners at the High River and Diamond Valley Chamber of Commerce have teamed up once again to host their annual golf tournament! This year the tournament - Around The World In 27 Holes - will give you an option of participating in a 9 hole or an 18 hole tournament. Featuring: contests, prizes, lunch & dinner, 50/50, 19th hole mixer and plenty of networking.

Several sponsorship opportunities are available for any price range!

Event details

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. Your event could also make it into this newsletter.

Submit an Event

New Business Listings

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


  • Chow Bella Grooming Salon & Spa - Pet grooming salon
  • F45 - Fitness studio
  • Salute - Café and Wine Bar
  • Code Ninjas - Computer coding for kids


  • Apaulacary Essencials - Sales aromatherapy, oils, body care, jewelry
  • Curated Candle Company - Making & selling candles and reed diffusers
  • Dallas Robbins Power Skating - Skating lessons for hockey & ringette players
  • Defining Simplicity - Professional organizer going to people’s homes
  • Fancy Face Photo Editing - Graphic Designer & Photo Artist
    Just Makes Cents - Bookkeeping business
  • Olive & Belle Closet - Online-based clothing retailer
  • Peterson Enterprise - Property Maintenance
  • TLhill Services - Bookkeeping & tax preparation
  • Sheena Reichert Counselling - Professional Counselling Services
  • Words Matter Inc. - Pediatric speech & language services

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

Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Starting in mid-April, the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit will provide payments of up to $10,000 to eligible small and medium businesses most affected by the pandemic and ongoing public health restrictions.
Businesses can use these funds as they see fit to help offset the costs of re-opening, and implementing public health measures including:

  • physical barriers
  • purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
  • paying rent and employee wages
  • replacing inventory
  • expanding online business or e-commerce opportunities.

Learn more and apply

Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG) to fund training

Eligible employers can get government funding to help employees and unemployed Albertans access training opportunities.

Eligible employers are required to contribute a minimum of one-third of the total training costs for existing employees. Government contributes two-thirds of the cost to a maximum of $10,000 per trainee per fiscal year. If hiring and training an unemployed Albertan, up to 100% of training costs could be covered, up to $15,000 per trainee.

The CAJG is available for direct training costs only, including:

  • tuition fees or instructional fees charged by the training provider
  • examination fees
  • textbooks or software
  • eligible travel cost for participant and trainers
  • other required materials directly relevant to the training course.

Learn more and apply

HeadStrong Program – Managing Stress while Managing your Business

Finding the right support to help maintain your mental health is possible, and we are here to help. HeadStrong offers psychological support and counseling where needed, at no cost. COVID-19 has amplified many of the regular challenges people have, and so by focusing on life and work stresses and more severe issues, psychological support and counseling helps to improve our sense of well‐being, alleviate feelings of distress, and resolve crisis.

HeadStrong Program

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

COVID-19 Business Resources

Kindness Currency

Say hello to Kindness Currency recipient Marvin Ogayon! Marvin was nominated for supporting the Okotoks Foodbank by making a personal donation every time he sells a car at work. Thank you for your ongoing support for your community and helping to make #OkotoksStrongerTogether! Read about Marvin and nominate someone you know for Kindness Currency.

Learn more about Kindness Currency

Town Information

Council meetings
COVID-19 updates
Business Events

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