Chamber policy Addressing Workplace Mental Health receives national acclaim

For immediate release
October 29, 2021
Chamber policy Addressing Workplace Mental Health receives national acclaim

TRURO – The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce’s lobby for more action by the federal government to address entrepreneur and workforce mental health recently received endorsement by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The local Chamber worked with health care professionals, consultants and mental health stakeholders to put forward a policy, Addressing Workplace Mental Health, at the national Chamber AGM and policy debates, held in a virtual forum, on October 28. The policy’s three key recommendations received 95 per cent of the national vote and will now be submitted to the Liberal government for action.

“This policy speaks to the dire need to support the mental health of our entrepreneurs and their employees,” said Sherry Martell, Chamber Executive Director. “As the voice of business, we are speaking up for the half of our population that is now struggling with mental health related issues, which are deeply impacting our workforce, and for our hard-working, dedicated entrepreneurs that are statistically more likely to experience mental illness and five times more likely to contemplate suicide.”
Martell said COVID-19 has gravely impacted the mental health of Canadians showing an increase from an estimated one in five people experiencing mental health issues to now one in every two people. However, she said, it is a challenge to actively gage the mental health impact of the pandemic without a focused effort on pan-Canadian data collection.
She added that pre-pandemic data on the mental health of Canadians as a whole and those actively participating in the workforce is dated, fragmented and inconsistent province to province and territories.
The policy, was also supported by the Canadian Chamber’s National Workforce Policy Committee, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce and four Nova Scotia Chambers.
The first key recommendation asks the federal government to work with provinces and territories, municipalities, First Nations, business, labour, academia, health care leaders and individual citizens to update a national strategy on mental health, including best practices of current programs in an effort to improve the management of mental health in the workplace. This would include collection of pan-Canadian and international statistics to compare benchmarks, proven examples of prevention, early action to combat stress and early identification of problems focused on increasing worker productivity, along with support for entrepreneurs and employees while highlighting the impact of mental illness on the economy.
It also outlines the need to ensure funding committed to health in federal budgets continues to provide dedicated amounts for provincial/territorial plans to address mental health challenges within their health care systems.

Thirdly, it asks for a review of government benefits and compensation programs for individuals with mental health issues to ensure they are relevant to today’s needs and do not disproportionately place the cost burden on employers.

The policy was one of 69 submitted for debate by the Canadian Chamber network. The Truro & Colchester Chamber is one of more than 450 chambers in the national network actively advocating on issues impacting the business community. For more information about the local chamber, visit

Click here to view the policy



Media contact:
Sherry Martell
Executive Director
Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce
[email protected]

Women in Business Breakfast - Oct. 20


The Chamber will  be hosting a Women in Business Breakfast on Oct. 20 at the Inn on Prince. There will only be 50 seats available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.  This year’s special guest speaker will be Cynthia Kennedy, Axe to Grind foods founder and national champion axe thrower.  h

Fall Celebration - Live for Local Kick off

Small Business Week 2021 will kick off on Oct. 18 with an event marking the Live for Local Rally launch, a regional contest designed to encourage local spending by offering prizes and incentives. The contest will be held from October to the end of December. The kick-off will be a social night featuring a taste of local experience with the Kilted Chef Alain Bossé at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

The cost is $40 per seat or a table of 6 for $200 plus HST


The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce has implemented an Events Vaccination Policy.
Attendees at Chamber events must attest that they have received two doses of a Health Canada - approved vaccine at least 14 days prior to the event (or have a written medical exemption). If one person is purchasing tickets for other individuals in their party, they must attest that each individual has received two doses of a Health Canada - approved vaccine at least 14
days prior to the event (or have a written medical exemption).
By authorizing this purchase you are conforming you meet the requirements of this policy. Public Health will require that vaccine passports be checked prior to entry to the event. Tickets are non refundable after October 13th.

Nominations open for Chamber Small Business Awards

Award Applications


Click here to submit a nomination on the online form

Click here to download a PDF form and email it to [email protected]    SBW award nomination form 2021

Click here to fill out the online application for a Rising Star Start-up Award

Click here to download a PDF of the form and email to [email protected] SBW Rising Star Award

Sept. 29, 2021


Chamber to present 2021 Small Business Week Awards

TRURO – The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to celebrate the many outstanding businesses in this region in October with business-focused activities and award presentations.

Nominations are now open for the prestigious awards, paused in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, and will be presented to recipients at a luncheon on Oct. 21 in Truro.

“Thank you to all businesses in Colchester County for your perseverance during these tough times.  We are so fortunate and looking forward to being in person for our Small Business Week. Through these awards, recognizing the outstanding work being done to help grow our local economy,” said Chamber President Matthew Mossman.

“The tradition of these awards dates back many years. We felt it was so important to try and bring back everyone together in 2021, following public health guidelines, so we can celebrate the accomplishments of many in our business community.”

This year a new award is being added to the line up, the Newcomer Small Business Award, sponsored by the Truro-Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity (TCPEP) – Northern Connector Program.

“The Truro Colchester region has, over the last number of years, become a modern, vibrant community,” said David Phillips, Acting CEO/Business Development Officer of TCPEP. “And this is largely the result of new people coming with new ideas and new businesses. It just made sense to us to recognize the incredible contribution of new business leaders in our community.”

Along with the new Newcomer Business of the Year Award, the Chamber is now accepting nominations for the following small business awards: New Small Business of the Year, Small Business Achievement, Small Business Innovation, Excellence in Community Development Award, Agriculture/Agri Small Business Award, Small Business Growth Award, and Export Achievement Award. The awards are sponsored by Community Credit Union, Grant Thornton, RBC, Town of Truro, BDC and MNP LLP, respectively.

Along with these awards, the Chamber will also present its Fourth Annual Rising Star Start-Up Award -Investing in Entrepreneurs, provided in partnership with several of its members. The award includes a combination of $2,500, expertise in key business development areas, and products and services.

The award is designed to offer support to a budding local entrepreneur. Professional mentorship offered as part of the award is key in helping a new business build a strong foundation for success in the future.

A viable start-up located within Truro and Colchester region, a business that is just beginning to develop, will be identified through a submission selection process.

Details and criteria can be found on the Chamber’s website The Chamber will accept nominations for the Small Business Week Awards until Oct. 8th, 2021.

The Awards Luncheon will take place on Oct. 21, at noon at the Inn on Prince. The cost per person is $30 plus HST for members and $40 plus HST for non-members.


The Chamber will also be hosting a Women in Business Breakfast on Oct. 20 at the Inn on Prince. There will only be 50 seats available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.  This year’s special guest speaker will be Cynthia Kennedy, Axe to Grind foods founder and national champion axe thrower.  To book your seat, visit and visit the events calendar.

Small Business Week 2021 will kick off on Oct. 18 with an event marking the Live for Local Rally launch, a regional contest designed to encourage local spending by offering prizes and incentives. The contest will be held from October to the end of December. The kick-off will be a social night featuring a taste of local experience with the Kilted Chef Alain Bossé at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre. For more details about the contest or event, visit our website.

Chamber events are open to members and future members.  Join them in supporting the local business community. For more information about Chamber activities and events, visit or Truro Colchester Chamber Facebook page.

Chamber launches E-commerce 2.0


The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce recognizes the deep struggles many traditional businesses have faced during the recent COVID-19 pandemic operating from traditional bricks and mortar locations.

Not only have they faced great challenges in staying connected with customers, many have been impacted by great financial losses. There is an immediate need to assist our small business community in moving into virtual service platforms to carry out E-Commerce. Consumer habits have shifted and the Chamber is working hard to support businesses to be prepared to serve customers in new ways that will increase profitability, raise confidence and help them rebound.

The Chamber is extending  a project, supported by ACOA, to assist businesses in supplying existing customers and creating new markets by selling online. Our goal is to support small businesses in using E-commerce to their advantage in a way that fits their business model, as well as support businesses currently engaging in E-Commerce to enhance their services or streamline processes.

We will also be offering educational workshops, both in person and online, on a number of E-commerce related topics.

We look forward to working with you to expand E-commerce offerings in the community.


Eligibility Criteria for applicants:

  • Operating for more than 12 months
  • Registered with the Registry of Joint Stocks or comparable federal body
  • Has not already received direct financial support from the Chamber's E-commerce project from June 2020-March 2021 to set up online sales.

Eligible Expenses

  • Training and coaching related to the operation of the selected online platform.
  • Professional services to assist with the set up of an online platform to allow for sales to customers.
  • Enhancements of existing websites, i.e. support to add widgets or plug ins as outlined in the Needs Assessment along with an explanation on how they would enhance online platforms

The program can provide a reimbursement of up to 100 per cent of the eligible costs (pre HST) up to a maximum amount per business. This amount is based on the results of the applicant’s Needs Assessment completed by one of the four Chamber-recommended E-Commerce and marketing professionals as assigned by the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce project manager.

The Chamber is not responsible for covering the cost of registration for online shopping platforms, ongoing costs related to specific platforms or the volume of sales generated. The Chamber is also not responsible for covering the cost of on-going training, maintenance, equipment or software, or any changes requested that differ from the original submitted assessment for consideration if they are a greater cost than the estimate

Project funding and payments are limited to the funds available in the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce E-Commerce project budget.

This funding is not guaranteed. Any applicant commencing a project prior to approval does so at their own risk.

FREE Rapid COVID-19 testing available for business

Sign up Today for FREE Workplace Rapid Screening
The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness to offer FREE rapid COVID-19 testing for business. This simplified program is easy to navigate and report test results. For more information on the program contact the chamber office, 902-895-6328 or email Executive Director Sherry Martell, [email protected]
Businesses that have previously registered for the Rapid Workplace Testing program are encouraged to reach out to the Chamber to learn about the simplified, newly implemented process.
Businesses participating with receive a decal to display at their place of business and letter of recognition from the Province. Creating visible symbols of the prevalence of testing throughout the Nova Scotian community will aid in building consumer confidence.

Patio Lanterns Live Music Funding Program is open

Patio Lanterns Live Music Funding Program

Calling all restaurants and bars to be part of this exciting province wide event. The Patio Lanterns Live Music Funding Program is a program for venues to apply for financial support for booking live music programming and activations throughout the summer and fall of 2021 as part of the Patio Lanterns Festival. Have some fun with this and offer specials drinks, menus, etc.

The Patio Lanterns Festival kicks off July 14 and is ongoing until October 11. Please read on for more information and how you can get involved.

The goal of the event is to have funded performers at existing bars and restaurant patios across the province and The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with  DEANS in helping distribute the funding in our region.

You don’t have to have a patio to participate, indoor performances may be included as well. There will be a maximum of 5 funded acts per venue and venues will receive a promotion kit to help promote the overall festival.

Please note, not all applicants will receive funding.  All live shows will be listed on the patio lanterns website and will be promoted on the site as well.

For eligibility and criteria and to apply click here.

For information on the festival and FAQ click on this link

Application Deadline. All applications must be submitted by

Friday, July 16, 2021 at 5:00 pm ADT.

Successful applicants will be informed as quickly as possible following the submission deadline.


Patio Lanterns Live Music Funding Program | Coastal Nova Scotia

NS government releases reopening plan

Phase 1
Begins June 2, 2021 | Target: 50% of population one dose coverage
We are entering this phase because COVID-19 cases and hospitalization
numbers continue to decrease.
Testing Continues
• Informal gathering limit outdoors is consistent social group of 10, household only
• Initiate passenger testing at Stanfield International Airport.
• Outdoor patios open with 2 metres between tables and a maximum of 10 people
(close social bubble) per table. Masks required except when eating and drinking.
• Travel permitted between communities in Nova Scotia – except HRM and CBRM.
• Public and private schools open following Back to School Plan. Schools in HRM
(and surrounding communities) and Sydney and Riverview families of schools will
remain in at-home learning for now.
• All retail businesses open at 25% with public health measures like distancing
and masks.
• Outdoor patios open with 2 metres between tables and a maximum of 10 people per
table. Masks required except when eating and drinking.
• Outdoor faith services can have 10 people or drive-in services (no indoor services).
• Weddings and funerals can have 5 people indoors or 10 outdoors, plus officiants
(no receptions).
• Professional artists, musicians, dancers and actors can rehearse with 15 people
without distancing or masks indoors. Amateurs can rehearse in groups of 10 people
without distancing or masks outdoors. No in-person performances.
• Sports practices can have groups of 10 people without distancing or masks
outdoors (no games).
• Gyms, fitness, and sport and recreation facilities can have outdoor programs with
groups of 10 people and one-on-one personal training indoors.
• Personal services open by appointment only (no services that require a client’s
mask to be off).
• Open provincial park campgrounds.
• Private campgrounds can operate following sector plan
(distance between campsites)
• Family visits outdoors with fully vaccinated long-term care residents.


Download info graphic HERE

Reopening Safely - Infographic WEB- 1

Shop local message from our President

A message from the President

Support local. We’ve heard this term so often and so much recently. It is so important. But how about we “Really Support Local?”

I am pleased support the efforts of our Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, along with the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce and Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce, collectively coming together in recent days to send a letter voicing dire concern on behalf of business to our Premier, MLAs, Ministers and Deputy Ministers. Advocacy is a big part of what a Chamber does. We are the voice of business to all levels of government. And right now, we are standing on top of a mountain yelling “HELP.”  Saving small business is essential and some flexibility on the restrictions burdening small business has to happen. So, while we at the Chamber continue to say “please help us” to government, here’s where I come back to the words, “Let’s Really Support Local.”

In general, we know what support local means but it has never been more important to ask ourselves, “Can you and I play a bigger role?” We are told to stay home, so I ask, is it easier just to log in on line and give your money to companies not based in our local community and have a product delivered right to our door?  Before hitting the checkout button on the shopping site of an international company, can we take a second and ask another very important question, would this be available right now in Colchester County? Is it stocked or made right here at home and could my hard-earned money go so much further than just the convenience of a package dropped off on my doorstep with a knock? With all the revenues sent far outside our county with no local spin-off benefits

Let’s change our mindset to ask these questions instead, “Could I call a local business today? Could I check out their website and find out about their non-contact options? Could I have a terrific experience doing so and then pass along that community positively to my neighbours and friends through text or Facebook chat?

Friends, we are going to have to be part of the economic solution. We will be a part of the long-term recovery plan, not only for ourselves, but for small business.

“We are all in this together.” You bet we are. Every person making a purchase decision is choosing to invest in their home community, or not when they buy from local businesses or another province or continents away. In five years, 10 years, or 20 or more years, we want the same local businesses thriving with opportunities and even more business owners seeing our area as vibrant and supportive so more come and set up here.  Choose to make an effort to seek what you need locally instead of going 50 minutes down the highway to big centres, or online with national brands who have no ties to our community.

Political support for business and grants will come and go. Some good. Some not enough. That we can’t control. What we can control is us.  Our behaviours, who we support, how we log online to shop and we can REALLY Support Local.  I know I will. I know we all must do everything we can right now to support our businesses.

Thank you,

Matthew Mossman

President, Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

Lack of budget support to help business rebound amid pandemic concerning for local chamber

For immediate release

March 25, 2021

 Lack of budget support to help business rebound amid pandemic concerning for local chamber


TRURO – While no new fees for service or increased taxes were tabled in Nova Scotia’s budget Thursday, the lack of support to assist business rebound is a concern for the local Chamber.


Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce President Matthew Mossman said the budget ‘A Fair and Prosperous Future: Path to Balance,’ missed the mark in addressing support for those best positioned to drive the province’s economy as we continue to navigate a global pandemic.


“We had expected to see increased investment in rural supports such as highspeed internet, more direct support for business, especially in the hardest hit sectors, and greater investments to encourage participation in the workforce by women,” said Mossman “The COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately affected women in the province.”


The president recognizes that the employment gap between pre-COVID-19 and present closed in February, however, women in the workforce were greatly impacted by job losses that have been slow to recover.


“We can learn from this pandemic, identify opportunities and work together to prevent employment gaps of this nature in the future.”


He applauds the new $12.3 million investment in additional Mental Health programming; however, he feels efforts toward physician recruitment should also have been identified as a priority. Mossman said recent numbers provided to the Chamber by Nova Scotia Health Authority officials, indicate there are about 12,000 people in the Truro Colchester region that do not have an assigned family physician.


“That is a startling number of people on waiting lists in a time when access to health care is top of mind for everyone,” said the President.


He also notes variances from the previous budget year which include a reduction in funding for the Department of Agriculture, about $1.46 million, Tourism Nova Scotia’s budget was reduced by $586,000, and the former Department of Business, now the Department of Inclusive Economic Growth, is showing a budget reduction of nearly $23.4 million, despite the transfer of responsibilities from other departments such as Regional Enterprise Network funding previously managed by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Services, and Housing.


Mossman said those sectors are extremely important to our regional economy. The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce will be further reviewing the budget in the coming days to better understand the roles and budgets of the new and realigned departments. The Chamber will also seek clarity on the creation of 142 new positions in Nova Scotia’s government departments in the past 12 months, about 50 COVID-19 related.


“It is extremely concerning that Nova Scotia is predicting a $585 million deficit but we are in a better position than many other provinces across Canada,” said Mossman. “Government must remain vigilant in holding the line on taxes and ensuring fiscal responsibility is always front of mind. We must stay focused on economic recovery and ensure our business community remains strong to drive that forward.”


He said the Chamber looks forward to working with the new Department of Inclusive Economic Growth as the government attempts a return to balance in the next four years amid many potential risks tied to the pandemic.


The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce represents more than 450 members and has been the recognized voice of business in this region for 131 years on economic, political and social matters impacting business.



Media contact:

Sherry Martell

Executive Director

Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce


[email protected]


News release from Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

ACC Press Release_2021 NS Budget Reaction_March 25-21_FINAL