Campaign question 4: Tom Hardy (mayoral candidate)

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The layout of the community and the focus on the success of the Quarry has resulted in a perceived rift between our growing business community and our Historic Downtown businesses. How will you, as a mayor or councillor, foster a business community that is more cohesive?

To start with, I think we need to create fair representation to help businesses feel that they have more equal opportunities as it could be said that the Quarry has more representation than downtown especially just off of Main Street.

Next I think we need to create initiatives that will help the business community as a whole such as an easier to navigate business directory that provides more information. In order to grow our business community and not split what we already have amongst more businesses in the same sectors, I believe we need to branch out and put in the resources to attract a more diverse business community with things such as dark fibre networks to enable more offices and tech sector growth. Arguably one of the biggest rifts has been created by bringing in big box stores that are competing with small businesses.

So as to help increase the consumer base, we should partner with Cochrane Tourism and market Cochrane more as a small town destination getaway, which will help businesses succeed without fighting over a relatively small consumer base.

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Cochrane Eagle