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Editorial: Relaunch needs buy in from John Q. Public

Still a long ways from normalcy, but it was a bit of economic sunshine on the long weekend when more than a handful of Okotoks area stores opted to open.

Fortunately, the stores, the pubs and the patios weren’t full as patrons and business owners respected the rules of physical distancing as the Okotoks community entered the first stage of the provincial government’s COVID-19 economic relaunch strategy.

It’s a start and it is important to remember it is just a start.

The relaunch got the official word for the May 14 start from Premier Jason Kenney at about 3:30 p.m. on May 13 — giving businesses less than 24 hours to open their doors. (Don’t be too critical of the timing -- late, but making sure COVID-19 numbers were relatively safe had to be priority no. 1).

Of course, the timing might have been one of the reasons some businesses didn’t opt to open. It takes a while to get staff, the equipment and all the t’s crossed in these COVID-19 days.

And maybe, some businesses didn’t feel this was a safe time to open.

Eventually, more businesses will open. Hey, the more the merrier.

Okotoks area businesses have the guidance of the Downtown Business Association, the Foothills Business Recovery Taskforce and other organizations which are doing important work during the complex time.

However, ultimately, it comes down to John and Jane Q. Okotokian opening their wallets.

That’s not a given. The entire community has been hit by the COVID-19 economic downfall.

The urge to spend that little extra could be much lesser.

Hopefully, that money can be spent within the local economy and not leaking to other communities.

Spending locally will bring more sunshine to Okotoks and Foothills businesses as they open their doors.