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Monday, May 1, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: An Active Chamber of Commerce Keeps Growing the Okotoks Business Expo, Alberta

Enthusiastic Okotokian Businesses

The Okotoks and District Chamber of Commerce is growing dramatically with about 150 companies added in the past eighteen months.

The past weekend we checked in with Andrew Gustafson, the President of the Chamber, to find out what is the cause for this enthusiasm and growth. "It is simple", he says. "We are advocating for our members. We are communicating, educating and networking with business." They have 45 events planned for 2017. There is even a business Boot Camp for up and coming entrepreneurs.

The one event we love to attend is the Okotoks Business Expo. See the highlights below for 2017.

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Business is booming in Okotoks, despite the general doom and gloom in the Alberta economy. It is because there is a community for businesses eager to support each other and see each other succeed. When it doesn't go well in one area, then people are enterprising and flourish in others.

This year saw a food truck section added to the Expo. We caught up with Gus Leduc from Lynnwood Ranch for our favourite brisket. The vehicle exhibition expanded into the curling rink arena. There was barely enough parking on the Friday evening when we attended. We heard that Saturday was crazy busy due to the Festival of Flavours where local food establishments and producers can showcase their delights.


A Business Expo is an ideal opportunity to showcase the services and products that are available within a community. It is a time to connect with potential and existing customers. Also, a time to reach out to fellow businesses owners and explore opportunities together. What stood out for us this year is to see how the entrepreneurs collaborate and support each other. It was packed with local businesses and a few creative entrepreneurs from Calgary that came to test the water.

New businesses, like Two Birds Furniture, are growing. Established businesses, like Integrity Post Structures, were recognised as industry leaders in Alberta by the Alberta Chamber of Commerce during their annual Business Excellence Awards in February. All round, Okotoks is the ideal place outside the city for entrepreneurs.

We thank Andrew and Cheryl from the Okotoks Chamber of Commerce for hosting us again this year. It is always fantastic to catch up with old friends. Good luck with a busy business summer in Okotoks. We will see you for 2017's Lemonade Day!

Hendrik van Wyk
Business Expo Cowboy

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