COCHRANE (660 NEWS) – Trying to keep people shopping at local stores can be challenging, but one town west of Calgary has implemented a unique program aimed at doing just that.
It’s been two years since Cochrane introduced ‘Cochrane Dollars‘ into their local economy.
“Cochrane Dollars is a shop local initiative,” said Mike Korman, the Economic Development Manager for Cochrane.
To date, they’ve printed 430,000 Cochrane Dollars and have 45,000 of the notes in circulation.
“We have 108 stores that are accepting the dollars,” Korman added.
“Because it’s a one-for-one ratio, and there’s actual dollars in the bank, the program will go on forever. We hope to see more dollars get out into the economy, and more money be spent.”
The dollars are a local paper currency, the Town’s website says it “inspires local shopping, stimulates the local economy, and supports local businesses and jobs.”
Devin Petitclerce is the co-owner and manager of Rebel Comics in Cochrane, which accepts the local currency as payment.
“I’ve lived here my entire life, pretty much, so supporting the town and the community is very important to me.”
He added that each month he sees at least two to three patrons who use Cochrane Dollars to pay for their purchases, “a couple bucks here and there, five dollars every so often, the biggest purchase (using Cochrane Dollars) was probably 10 or 15 dollars.”
Each note features a local historical figure and includes a short tidbit about the person.
The initiative is part of a partnership between the Town of Cochrane Economic Development, ATB Financial, and the Cochrane Monetary Foundation.