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February 25, 2013

Co-op Investment Fund Breaks Ground in Crowsnest Pass

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If the gala opening for the Crowsnest Opportunity Development Co-operative (CODC) is any indication of the appetite for local investing in Alberta, people are ravenous for new options.

Approximately 200 people attended the information sessions held throughout the day and evening Feb 19, which was held in partnership with Alberta Community and Co-operative Association (ACCA). The event was an opportunity to learn about CODC as an investment option to allow community members to invest directly in local businesses using their RRSP contributions. A total of three information sessions were held as part of CODC’s open house Feb. 19.

According to the CODC board, the investment fund can kick-start new businesses using a “strength in numbers” principle, while creating new jobs, attracting future businesses and new people to the area. Investors also benefit, watching the impact and reaping the rewards of their investments, which in turn creates loyal patronage in supporting these projects and businesses with more dollars remaining in the community, adds CODC.

Larry Saloff, a founding CODC member and business analyst for Community Futures Network of Alberta, says the local investment vehicle is timely, as the community is looking for a way to get involved with their community again.

“(Community members) say ‘we need to do something but basically we don’t know how to do it,’” says Larry.

“What this has done is provided a model for getting the community involved and giving the community an opportunity to invest in their community again.”

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