Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce receives re-accreditation

News Release


December 7, 2024


Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce receives re-accreditation


TRURO- The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce is among 25 Chambers from across Canada to be recognized for achieving or maintaining accreditation –the highest national standard of Chamber excellence.

The local Chamber received its re-accreditation on Dec. 4 from the Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada (CACC).

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our chamber, the work we do to strengthen our business community through advocacy and the programs we offer our membership,” said Executive Director Sherry Martell.

To achieve accreditation, Chambers must pass a detailed review by CACC and demonstrate excellence in leadership, governance and operations. Accreditation sets a strong foundation for success based on best practices, and encourages increased member engagement by signaling dedication to high quality programming and reliable service. It also showcases communities across Canada as great places to do business, backed by the support of exceptional Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade.

“Accreditation is the acknowledgment that a Chamber has been successfully evaluated against a rigorous set of national standards and has demonstrated excellence in Chamber management,” said Chuck Davidson, President, Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada.

The accreditation program was developed in 2004 by a team of Chamber executives, in conjunction with provincial and territorial chambers and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The CACC is composed of Chamber representatives from across the country, and reviews applications for accreditation annually. There are currently 71 accredited Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade across Canada.

“We are proud to recognize these Chambers as examples of leading organizations making a difference in communities across the country,” Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of more than 500 members and is the second largest Chamber in the province of Nova Scotia.




Media contact:

Sherry Martell

Executive Director

Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce


[email protected]


We are hiring!

We Are Hiring!


Are you an outgoing person with social media experience that likes to plan special occasions?


The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce is seeking a part-time events and special projects support person to fill a temporary six-month position beginning in January 2024.


The selected candidate will support the implementation of the Chamber’s events and special projects program.


Some required tasks include computer literacy, social media skills, use of several online data and marketing platforms such as Constant Contact, WordPress, Meta Business Suite, Canva, and Membee.


Other important qualities include the ability to prioritize tasks, communicate effectively in person, by phone and email, good organizational skills and creative character.


Email resume and cover letter to [email protected] explaining why you would be the perfect fit to work with a membership-based business organization.


The position will remain posted until a new team member has been welcomed.


The Province wants input from Nova Scotians on improving the workers’ compensation system and preventing harassment in the workplace

The Province wants input from Nova Scotians on improving the workers’ compensation system and preventing harassment in the workplace.

Nova Scotians can share their input on both the workers’ compensation system and harassment in the workplace at in-person and virtual sessions and through an online survey and written submissions.


In-person sessions take place:

November 28th, 6:45-8 pm Truro NS at the Douglas Street Recreation Center.

Virtual sessions will be held November 17, 20 and 27, as well as December 1, 6 and 8. The surveys will open on November 14.

People can register at the consultation websites:

workers’ compensation engagement:

preventing workplace harassment engagement:

“We know there is work to do to improve workers’ compensation. The system needs to be updated with today’s workplaces in mind to be the best it can be for Nova Scotians,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “We also want all workers to feel safe at work – not just physically but psychologically, too.”

The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia provides workplace injury insurance to Nova Scotia employers and employees. The compensation system was last reviewed in 2002, and the Province recognizes that Nova Scotia lags behind other jurisdictions in areas such as workers’ access to coverage, employer assessment rates and benefits.

The Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration is overseeing the review of the system, alongside an eight-member review committee that includes employer and employee representatives. Douglas Reid, chair of the review committee, has significant experience in management, regulatory compliance, financial services and corporate governance, and was a partner with KPMG Canada for nearly 30 years

The Department is also consulting the public on harassment in the workplace. Information gathered will be used to help create rules so employers can prevent harassment and support healthier and safer workplaces.

Chamber hosting festive fireside holiday dinner

You are invited to a Festive Fireside Cranberry Christmas

Hosted by the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce and Warmth By Design in partnership with the Kilted Chef. Also featuring the talented comedian Mark Walker.

Cocktail hour at 6 p.m., Cash bar by Raging Crow

Dinner served at 7 p.m. - only 60 seats are available.

A perfect small business Christmas party.

Click here to book your seats

Chamber receives national support to protect vital trade corridor

Media Release

October 14, 2023

Chamber receives national support to protect vital trade corridor

TRURO- Local advocacy efforts by the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce seeking government action to secure a vital trade corridor have been endorsed by members Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

On Oct. 14, Chamber executive director Sherry Martell presented advocacy recommendations to protect the trade route along the Chignecto Isthmus to the national Chamber network at its policy debates and AGM in Calgary. These recommendations were accepted by the majority of 375 chamber representatives in attendance.

“Securing this trade corridor is an absolute priority and government at all levels, must immediately put an action plan in place to address the urgency of it,” said Martell. “Last year at the completion of a $700,000 study looking at the impact of climate change on this vital trade route, costs of remediation were estimated at about $300M.”

Martell said that amount has already increased to an estimated $400M.

“For every day without action the cost to secure this vital infrastructure increases along with the risk of serious disruption to the nation’s economy,” said the executive director.

More than $50 million in trade traverses the Chignecto Isthmus daily, linking Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to the rest of the nation. There are numerous transportation and energy transmission linkages that, if interrupted, would have enormous economic impacts on people and businesses in and outside Atlantic Canada.

Last year, nearly half of the imports arriving at the Port of Halifax, the closest year-round port to access European markets, were shipped to central Canada, and further west. The port also saw 39 per cent of exports arrive at the Halifax port from central Canada, 21 per cent from the Midwest US, and others from further west.

“It was an honour to present these recommendations for government action on behalf of my Chamber colleagues in Atlantic Canada,” said the executive director. “Now, the work to bring government of all levels together to agree upon a path forward that can be put into action with haste is a priority, not only for our Chamber but at a national level as well.”

The Truro Chamber’s Vice-President Kim Boomer also attended the national policy meetings.

“It is such a great opportunity to be present during policy debates at the national level, to see the wonderful collaborative work being done by Chambers across this country,” said Boomer. “At this one specifically, to see our Executive Director’s incredible work come to fruition, and be accepted, is very exciting for the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, and our other Atlantic Chambers that were part of supporting the policy.”

The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce represents more than 500 business in the region and actively participates in advocacy at all levels of government ensuring the voice of business is heard.


Media Contact:

Sherry Martell

Executive Director

Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce


Chamber recognizes 14 outstanding businesses during Small Business Week

Small Business Week activities reinforce shop local message


TRURO - The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce believes thriving communities and a healthy economy go hand and hand. That sentiment was at the root of the business organization’s annual Small Business Week celebrations, aiming to grow awareness about the importance of supporting local businesses.


"We understand the challenges many businesses are facing right now,” said Executive Director Sherry Martell.  “Labour shortages across many sectors, increased pressures of high interest rates, supply chain demands, a seemingly endless quagmire of "red tape" and a growing need to reboot consumer confidence, among many other challenges, are hampering business’s ability to grow and thrive."


Martell said it is vitally important for consumers to adapt to a "local-first" mentality to support the overall health of their communities.


In Canada, about 98 per cent of businesses are considered “small” by meeting the criteria of employing less than 100 people. Looking at the membership of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, 82 per cent its members employ 25 people or less.


“These small businesses are the backbone of our community,” said the Executive Director.


For every dollar spent at a local, independently owned business, 60 to 70 per cent is returned to the local economy by way of payroll, commercial taxes, sponsorships, donations to local charities, etc. to support economic growth.


“There are other ways to show support for your local business community that have no cost. Like or share their social media posts online to boost their reach, give them a positive Google review, recommend their products or services to friends and family and be kind,” said Martell


During the week-long business celebration, the Chamber hosted a Women in Business Breakfast and a Small Business Awards luncheon where 14 awards were presented to outstanding business leaders. This year a new award, Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion, was presented.


"The Chamber's Small Business Week awards program is an opportunity to celebrate excellence within our local community and allows us to share stories about the successes of our businesses while creating a greater awareness that we hope translates into increased efforts by consumers to support local," said Martell

What a celebration of Small Business this week! The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce was proud to present 14 outstanding local businesses with awards, celebrate our local Women in Business featuring a presentation by Maritime Mosaic and share about our collaboration with other regional Chamber 's at the new Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce.( formerly Amherst & Area Chamber of Commerce)
Congratulations to all our award recipients!
Cripps & Sons Woodworking, Business Growth Award, sponsored by BDC
Appleton Chocolates Company, Small Business of the year, sponsored by CBDC NOBL
The Truro Forest School ,Environmental Stewardship award, sponsored by Town of Stewiacke
Classic Rentals LTD., Business Achievement Award, Sponsored by Grant Thornton
Underground Snaxs New Small Business Award, Sponsored by Community Credit Union Colchester and Cumberland
Truro Buzz, Business Innovation Award, sponsored by RBC
CNF Family Farm, Newcomer Business of the Year Award, sponsored by the Truro and Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity.
Cochrane Family Farm, Agriculture Enterprise of the Year, sponsored by MNP
Alan Syliboy Art Studio, Excellence in Community Economic Development, sponsored by Town of Truro
Water'n'Wine, Employee of the Year, sponsored by Payworks
Seek Wilderness Accommodations, Tourism Business of the Year, sponsored by the Municipality of the County of Colchester
Skin Decision Inc., Diversity and Inclusion Award, sponsored by Futureworx
Northern Lights Aerial Photography , Legacy Award -Rising Star, sponsored by the membership of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce
Maritime Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., Exporter of the Year Award, sponsored by Invest Nova Scotia
Without our sponsors these award programs would not be possible and we thank them for their generous support




Chamber seeks support from national network to protect vital trade corridor

Media Release

July 27, 2023

Chamber seeks support from national network to protect vital trade corridor

TRURO- The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce is seeking support from the national Chamber network to protect vital trade infrastructure on the Chignecto Isthmus.

In early June, the Truro Chamber submitted recommendations to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for federal government action that will be presented to more than 400 chambers across Canada in October to seek the national organization’s endorsement for support.

“Our Chamber, and its supporters across Atlantic Canada, is firm in its position that securing this trade corridor is an absolute priority and government at all levels must immediately put an action plan in place to address it,” said Chamber President Eric Tanton.

The policy position, and its recommendations, has already received an endorsement by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation Policy Committee.

The Isthmus of Chignecto is the narrow, low-lying neck of land spanning approximately 21 km, that provides the only land connection between Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada and the principal transportation connection to Newfoundland and Labrador. The isthmus is composed primarily of marshlands located at the head of the Bay of Fundy.

There are numerous transportation and energy transmission linkages that, if interrupted, would have enormous economic impacts on people and businesses in and outside Atlantic Canada. The Trans-Canada Highway, the Canadian National Rail Line, the High Voltage interconnect, fiber-optical cables, a wind farm and the Maritimes and Northeast Gas Pipeline span this narrow stretch of land.

The Truro-based Chamber is recommending the federal government consider the vulnerabilities in this vital trade corridor a national priority while committing to reliable timelines for project completion. It further asks that they establish an equitable funding model removing the unfair burden of repair cost from the two provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that reflects the national significance of this corridor on trade and utilities.

The estimated $35 billion per annum value of goods and services through the corridor, inclusive of revenues generated by in-corridor economic activity, is at risk. The origin and destinations of transported goods span well beyond markets in Atlantic Canada, handling goods from across Canada to international markets and the island of Newfoundland.

The key challenge in this area is that flood protection is provided by a system of dykes managed by two provincial government departments and CN Rail. A significant portion of the system relies solely on the existence of a raised rail bed that parallels the Trans-Canada Highway for about 8 km. The balance of the system is provided by very old dykes.

“We recently witnessed the impact intense storms and flooding can have on significant trade corridors with the destruction of a section of CN’s rail line right here in Millbrook First Nation, as well as the damage to main roads including sections of the TransCanada Highway,” said Tanton. “The value of this transportation infrastructure to the national economy is significant and the threat to its operation is real.”

The value of goods transported across the isthmus is estimated at roughly $50M a day and growing.  More than 400,000 containers and 230,000 new cars pass through the isthmus on their way to and from the Port of Halifax every year.

The impact of imports and exports to and from the port of Halifax last year is significant in reaching North American Markets. In 2022, 21 per cent of exported goods originated from Midwest US, 39 per cent from Central Canada and 33 per cent from Atlantic Canada, the remaining export markets include Western Canada and other areas of the US. When looking at imports of containerized cargo last year, nearly half of the cargo arriving at the Port of Halifax was sent to markets in Central Canada, about a quarter of it remained in Atlantic Canada and 19 per cent was sent to the Midwest US, the remainder was shipped to western Canada, and other US markets.

A 2022 study costing more than $700,000, cost shared between the federal government and provincial governments of NS and NB, identified 10 potential options, then shortlisted to three with the highest costed option being $300.8 M. That cost is speculated to have increased in the past year.  The study indicated a 10-year timeline to put solutions in place. Federal government has indicated it would consider covering up to 50 per of the cost.

“It is not a question of if there will be an extreme weather or tidal event that breaches the dyke system, simply a question of when,” said Tanton.


The study assumes that, if the status quo persists, over the next 30 years there will be an extreme weather event which results in the closure of the Chignecto Isthmus for two days’ duration once every five years. on the annual trade value of $35 billion the 12-day interruption has a total value of $1.2 billion.


To ensure an all-season trade route to PEI, in the past 30 years Ottawa has contributed more than $1.257B, through an annual subsidy to Strait Crossing Development Inc., compensating for the construction of the Confederation Bridge, exclusive of ongoing revenue from tolls. The Chamber believes the federal government should consider the Chignecto Isthmus of equal importance to the country’s trade infrastructure.


Media Contact:

Sherry Martell

Executive Director

Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce

902-895-6328, or 902-890-4616 (cell)

[email protected]


Download Release here:

Protecting vital infrastructure- NR-072723-f

2023 Small Business Start-Up Legacy Award

Small Business Week Awards – October 19th, 11 a.m. – Legends Gaming Centre


The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to issue a call for submissions for its 6th annual Rising Star Start-Up Award Investing in Entrepreneurs provided in partnership with several of its members to offer support to a budding entrepreneur.

This award will be presented in October during the Chamber’s Small Business Week Awards Luncheon on Oct. 19 to assist the recipient in taking their venture to the next level.

Its purpose is to identify a viable start-up – a business that is just beginning to develop, located within Truro and Colchester region – and provide it with a one-time $2,500 cash prize as well as in-kind supports, products, and services, from partnering member businesses.


To qualify, the applicant must live and operate their business within the Truro & Colchester Region. This award is open to an individual or partners with a business idea that needs capital and professional support. All entrepreneurs applying must be able to demonstrate the impact of their current business offerings, giving a unique edge on the competition. Further, they must demonstrate how the grant money & support service will have a meaningful impact on business growth and job creation in the local area.

Selection Process:

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce will appoint an internal preliminary adjudication committee to review submissions consisting of the Chamber Board of Directors and members, which determines the eligibility of each nominee. Submissions will be treated with the strictest of confidence. Shortlisted nominees will be invited to present to a judging panel consisting of Chamber members and/or representatives from sponsoring partners.

Applicants/nominees understand and agree that merely by applying for these Awards does not entitle the applicant/nominee to any other form of consideration.

The decision of the Chamber-appointed judging panel on all matters is final and binding on all applicants/nominees and no correspondence will be entertained on the same.

The Chamber reserves the right to withdraw or amend the terms of the Awards at any time and does not take responsibility for any loss or damage that any person/organization / Applicant / Nominee may suffer as a result of the Awards being withdrawn or its terms amended.


2023 Small Business Start-Up Legacy Award


2023 Small Business Awards Nominations Now Open




Small Business Week Awards – October 19, 11 a.m., Legends Gaming Centre

*All Nominees will be contacted to fill out a questionnaire from the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce that will be used by the panel of judges to determine the award recipient.  All responses will be kept strictly confidential.


2023 Small Business Award nominations are currently being accepted in the following categories:

Note: Qualifying businesses must employ less than 100 people.


New Small Business of the Year

Criteria: The New Small Business of the Year award recognizes a Truro or Colchester County business person whose dream of opening their own business has earned them the title of “Start-Up Entrepreneur” over the past year. Their business must have shown innovation, and they must offer a unique product or service to Truro and Colchester County.


Small Business Achievement

Criteria: The Small Business Achievement Award recognizes a local entrepreneur who has been in business for more than 10 years and demonstrates new product or service achievements, business growth and a commitment to their community.


Export Achievement

Criteria: The Exporter of the Year award will recognize a Truro or Colchester County business that has demonstrated excellence in exporting outside Nova Scotia. The business must have achieved noticeable growth as a result of entering the global marketplace and has made a significant contribution to the growth of the local economy.


Small Business Innovation

Criteria: The Small Business Innovation Award will recognize a Truro or Colchester County entrepreneur who has been in business for more than five years, continually modifying to demonstrate innovative leadership through technology, development of new or value-added products and services and improved productivity. Those nominated for this innovation award portray community spirit and generosity towards clients past, present and future by consistently supporting community causes and grow employment in the local area.


Excellence in Community Development award

Criteria: The Excellence in Community Development award will recognize a business or social enterprise that has made significant and notable contributions to its community (cultural, social, environmental and/or economic) and that serves as a catalyst for positive action, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership. 


Agriculture/ Agri Small Business Award

Criteria: Recognizes an individual, group or organization or business where the principles of running a successful agricultural or related operation are applied and result in a thriving and environmentally friendly endeavor. The enterprise must derive more than 50 percent of its annual revenue from agricultural-related activities.


Small Business Growth Award

Recognizes a business that has been in operation for more than two years, demonstrating growth in a measurable way such as expansion, increased customers, new employees, and new products.


Workplace Excellence Award

 This award recognizes a small business employee that goes above and beyond in their job duties. The employee delivers excellent customer service, engages in professional development and places a high level of importance on corporate culture, teamwork and ensuring a happy and healthy work environment.


Small Business of the Year Award

Honors an outstanding business with 1 – 20 full-time employees that demonstrates commitment to performance excellence in their business or industry and embodies the spirit of the business community. Must be an independently-owned business for at least 3 years. Recognizes outstanding achievement in some or all of the following: Research & Development, Company Growth, Customer Service, Products & Services, Market Development, Sales & Marketing, and Community Service. The nominee must be a registered business operating in Colchester County.


Newcomer Business Award

This award recognizes the contribution to the local economy by a business that has opened in Truro or Colchester County by an individual who has moved to the community in recent years and is not an original resident of this region.


Tourism business of the year

This award recognizes an individual, group, organization or business operating in Central Nova Scotia where the principles of running successful tourism or related operation are applied and result in a thriving attractive business for visitors. The enterprise must derive more than 50 percent of its annual revenue from tourism-related activities.


Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award

This award recognizes a business that keeps environmental stewardship at the forefront of its operations. They keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them, and then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Their focus on environmental stewardship may reduce waste, drive greater resource productivity, address emerging resource security/scarcity issues in the future, while implementing a plan to extract the maximum value and use from raw materials, products and waste, fostering energy savings and reducing Green House Gas emissions.

Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion

This award celebrates a business or non-profit organization operating within Truro-Colchester area, working to advance a more accessible, equitable, diverse and inclusive business community. This award recognizes the transformative efforts and dedication of a local business that embeds the importance of promotion and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, economic reconciliation and accessibility in work environments for staff, stakeholders and clients. This business or organization exemplifies leadership in fostering excellence in achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.


Nomination forms are also available from the chamber office at 105B Walker Street, Truro and online at 


Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 15, 2023


When will the awards be presented?

The award luncheon will be held at Legends Gaming Centre on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 beginning at Eleven



Chamber sets new course with updated strategic plan


Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit, non-government, volunteer-governed organization representing the business community of Truro and Colchester County.  The organization was established in 1890, as the Truro Board of Trade with 37 charter members. The Chamber is a membership-based organization, where dues from members provide sustainable revenue. Fundraising events, special projects and commission from member insurance programs top up the revenue sources.

Membership has continually grown over the years, reporting a 94% retention rate among members in recent years.  The Chamber hit a milestone in 2022, exceeding 500 members. Year-end reports noted 517 members, a 22% increase from the previous year.  Interestingly enough, 75% of the membership base employs 10 people or less, a true representation of a small-business community.  The Truro & Colchester Chamber is the second largest Chamber in the province, second only to Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce has been the principal voice of the business community in this region for 133 years on matters of economic, political and social importance. The Chamber is also a member of the Atlantic and Canadian Chambers, collaborating with both of these organizations in policy debates and seeking better conditions for businesses.  The current strategic planning cycle concluded in 2023 and the Chamber has now embarked on another strategic planning exercise.  A steering committee consisting of Matthew Mossman, Eric Tanton, Christian Thompson, and Sherry Martell worked with Consultant Yvonne Thyssen-Post of Thyagrissen Consulting Limited in creating this strategic plan.

The organization operates through a volunteer Board of Directors, elected by the membership, and is responsible for developing policy and strategic direction.  The composition of the Board of Directors at the time of the compiling the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan is as follows:

  • President: Eric Tanton, Scotia Wealth Management
  • Past-President: Matthew Mossman, Bell Media
  • 1st Vice-President: Kim Boomer, LIBCAN
  • Treasurer: Cyndi MacLean, MacQuarries
  • Solicitor: Jennifer Hamilton Upham, Patterson Law
  • Directors:
    • Carole Fisher, Ditch Doctor
    • Vonda Hazzard, NovelTea Coffeehouse, Bakery, Bookstore & Gifts
    • Kenisha McMaster, Kenisha’s Cleaning Company
    • Doug MacInnes, Wilson’s Heating
    • Heidi Sponagle, Inn on Prince Hotel & Conference Centre
    • Jeremy Nichols, Commercial Safety College
    • Glen MacKenzie, AEL Millwirght Services
    • Christian Thompson, Truro Nissan

Chamber staff carry-out the day-to-day operations of the organization.  Current staff listing is as follows:

  • Sherry Martell, Executive Director
  • Lisa Matthews, Office & Membership Coordinator
  • Chelsea Weatherbee, Events & Special Project Coordinator

CLICK here to read the Strategic plan

Chamber - SP-FINAL