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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.

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Media contact:

Sherry Martell

Executive Director

Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

902-895-6328

[email protected]

 

News release from Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

ACC Press Release_2021 NS Budget Reaction_March 25-21_FINAL


AGM 131- New president sets sights on membership growth amid global pandemic

March 24, 2021

News release

New president sets sights on membership growth amid global pandemic

More than $225,000 invested into rural economy in 2020

TRURO - Growing membership will be a key focus of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce in the coming year.

During the Chamber’s 131st Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday (March 24), President Elect Matthew Mossman addressed about 50 people joining the online forum, sharing that growth in membership is key to the organization’s future sustainability.

“Like any business, we need to have a plan to sustain…we must look at growing our membership,” said Mossman. “When you introduce yourself to another business person, please let them know you’re with the Chamber. You never know where the conversation may lead.”

This was the first time in history the Annual General Meeting was held online rather than in person, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Mossman said that the pandemic has had an impact on the local business community and the Chamber is ready, willing and able to continue to provide assistance.

“Help for business is still needed today and will be for some time,” said the newly elected President. “We have a wonderful group of people coming onto our board with experience, knowledge and love for our community to help achieve our goals.”

Outgoing President Ron Smith concluded his second, one-year term in the position, amid the pandemic. He acknowledged business faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, but added that hard work and creative, collaborative spirit continues to propel the Truro Colchester region towards new heights.

“Never have I been as proud to be associated with the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, as I have been over the past year,” said the outgoing President. “The Chamber staff, Executive, volunteer Board members and stakeholders have truly stepped up to demonstrate what support for business is all about.”

Smith said the Chamber reacted quickly to support business throughout the pandemic including being a reliable source of information and connecting people with supports they needed.

The chamber currently has more than 450 members and is the second largest Chamber in Nova Scotia.

During 2020, the Chamber co-ordinated projects related to tourism, economic development, mentorship and E-commerce directly investing more than $225,000 into the local community in support of business.

“Through creative program development, funding was awarded to allow the Chamber to financially support local businesses that either had no online presence or needed to improve their online shopping processes,” said Smith.  “A game changer for many, including at least one business more than 100 years old, proving we all adapt to survive, with a little help.”

The newly elected President, Mossman, a sales manager with Truro-based Bell Media, and Past President Smith, Manager of Business Development, at Old Fletcher Farm Property Limited, a division of Masstown Market Limited, will be joined on the Executive Committee by Vice-President Karen Baillie, owner of Elegant Steps; Second Vice-President Carole Fisher, owner of Ditch Doctor Drainage Solutions; Treasurer Cyndi MacLean, senior accountant, MacQuarries Pharmasave; and Solicitor George White, managing partner, Patterson Law.

The elected directors are: Julie Taylor, owner of Skin Decision; Phil Smith, assistant manager Home Hardware Stores Ltd., Eastern Dealer Support Center; Vonda Hazzard, owner NovelTea Bookstore Café; Andrew Lake, project manager, Will-Kare Paving; Fran Grant, realtor with Remax; Glen MacKenzie, operations manager, AEL Millwright Services; Eric Tanton, senior wealth advisor, Scotia Mcleod, The Tanton Group, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.; Christian Thompson, general manager Truro Nissan; Doug MacInnes, regional sales manager, Wilsons Heating and Heidi Sponagle, director of sales Inn on Prince Hotel and Conference Centre.

For more information about Chamber programs and services visit www.trurocolchesterchamber.com.

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Media Contact:

Sherry Martell

Executive Director

Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce

902-895-6328

 

Cutlines: Sherry Martell, Executive Director of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce and President Matthew Mossman participated in the organization’s 131st Annual General Meeting on March 24, held online for the first time in history. Submitted Photo

 

Cutlines: Matthew Mossman, sales manager with Truro-based Bell Media, was elected President of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce at its AGM on Wednesday (March 24). The meeting was held online with about 50 members participating. Submitted Photo


Biodiversity Act has potential to impact landowner's rights

UPDATED MARCH 26, 2021

Letter-Premier-Bill 4-follow up-032621

March 15, 2021

In recent weeks, we have had discussions with members, neighbouring Chambers of Commerce and other organizations expressing concerns about a proposed Biodiversity Act, Bill No. 4, that has received First and Second Reading in the Nova Scotia Legislature.

Letter-Premier Rankin-March15-21-Biodiversity

Read the Proposed Biodiversity Act, Bill 4, Here:

Nova Scotia Legislature - Bill 4 - Biodiversity Act (nslegislature.ca)

https://nslegislature.ca/legc/bills/63rd_3rd/1st_read/b004.htm

 

Some have expressed serious concern that the proposed Act poses a threat to private-landowner rights by granting the Minister broad and unprecedented authority over activities that can be carried out on privately owned land.

Resources:

The Concerned Private Landowners Coalition now has a website and twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/CPLC_NS

https://www.facebook.com/CPLCNS

www.stopbill4.com

See fact sheet from the Cumberland Forestry Advisory Committee

Biodiversity Fact Sheet

NS Biodiversity Act Summary (004)

We encourage members to reach out to Sherry Martell, [email protected] to share their thoughts on the proposed Act or to express their concerns in writing to the Premier, the Minister of Lands and Forestry and their local MLAs.

Download a Template Letter to Personalize to Submit your Concerns to government

TEMPLATE LETTER RE. BIODIVERSITY

Template letter -Biodiversity-March 15

Truro -Colchester Government Contacts

Queens-Shelburn MLA Kim Masland speaks about the Bill during the second reading in the legislature on March 13th expressing concerns about the broad authority and unprecedented power that the Bill will give the Minister and the Government

2021-03-12_masland-biodiversity.mp4 - 031221_masland-biodiversity.mp4 - Frame.io

https://app.frame.io/reviews/3c9c90a7-c55a-47e0-ae70-6dfcb8bdc5a1/09189d1a-4d63-4f13-ad69-6ed16df0671c

“The Biodiversity Act as it has been introduced will give the Minister the power to potentially stop and restrict management on land that is privately owned,” Kim Masland, Queens-Shelburn MLA

 

Stories about the ACT in the News:

March 11, 2021, Chronicle Herald

Hybrid legislature in Nova Scotia gets down to work, revised biodiversity bill introduced | Provincial | News | The Chronicle Herald

https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/provincial/hybrid-house-in-nova-scotia-gets-down-to-work-revised-biodiversity-legislation-introduced-562557/

 

Nova Scotia government brings back Biodiversity Act, CBC

March 11, 2021

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/nova-scotia-government-brings-back-biodiversity-act/ar-BB1euKZi

 

CTV, March 11, 2021

Nova Scotia tables revised biodiversity bill, modifications to Crown Lands Act | CTV News

https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/nova-scotia-tables-revised-biodiversity-bill-modifications-to-crown-lands-act-1.5343786

 

 


Chamber spearheads new regional tourism initiative

Published by Saltwire media:

https://www.saltwire.com/communities/colchester-county/new-website-helps-travellers-and-locals-explore-central-nova-scotia-561103/?fbclid=IwAR3ezO0s2yk29gZBXrcEoXKtF0WO27tGvhYO2LpfLXrGSdkR9U2cRd_KtgM

 

New website helps travellers and locals explore central Nova Scotia

Richard MacKenzie

Saltwire Media

TRURO, N.S. — 

Groups coming together to maximize tourism opportunities in the region have a new tool in the toolbox through the website, Explore Central (explorecentral.ns).

“A landing site for anyone looking for information about what to see and do in our area,” explained Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce executive director Sherry Martell.

The chamber spearheaded the project in partnership with the Downtown Truro Partnership, the towns of Truro and Stewiacke, the Municipality of Colchester County and the Millbrook First Nation Heritage and Cultural Centre.

“We’ve included items from all over the Truro-Colchester region as well as those on the periphery,” Martell said. “When you’re talking about tourism, you can’t see boundaries. For instance, Ski Wentworth is in Cumberland County, but it’s important we promote that as a tourism driver here. Jost Vineyards is in Cumberland County, it’s a tourism driver. There are other places, such as Burntcoat Head Park, which is in East Hants. We have to promote those as reasons people may come to Truro and Colchester.”

Martell said it’s important to take advantage of one of Truro’s biggest advantages as a central location to the many attractions the province offers.

“People can stay here, as a home base per se,” she said. “If they were planning to stay a few days, within an hour or two-hour drive there is a multitude of activities they can take in. And it’s wide ranging."

Martell said there are many opportunities for adventure, for outdoor enthusiasts and family activities.

"We have a wide range of things people can see and do. Particularly during the pandemic time, people want to be outside, they want to be in nature and spend time with their families, enjoying all of that in a very comfortable way.”

She said the pandemic actually played a role in funding the new website.

“In the early months of the pandemic, Tourism Nova Scotia put out a call for applications to tap into a program for regional tourism marketing. It was a one-time program being funded through funds diverted from Destination Canada’s International Travel attraction program," she said.

“They took dollars they would have been using for international campaigns, trying to attract those travelers, and spread it among the provinces, who then reached out to the regional destination marketing organizations or other business organizations, which were supporting tourism, to assist with tourism in a really bad year.”

Martell said with this area having no formalized regional destination marketing organization, the chamber - as a business organization - asked its partners and other stakeholders to come together to apply for some of the funds to assist the local tourism sector.

“Within Truro and Colchester, we know, pre-COVID, there were more than 2,500 jobs directly tied to the tourism sector. And then there were thousands of jobs indirectly related to tourism. Tourism itself is a huge economic driver for this region and our chamber has always been a major player in trying to promote the region to tourists.”

EXPLORE (explorecentralns.ca)

 


Chamber hosting AGM March 24

The 131st Annual General Meeting of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce will be held virtually on Zoom on March 24th, at 12 p.m.

Join us to as we welcome a new slate of officers and to learn about the many initiatives and activities of the Chamber which are benefiting the business community.

To register for the meeting click HERE


Job losses will have significant impact on Truro and Colchester economy

Updated March 11, 2021

Letter for Lenore Zann

Letter for Minister Monsef

 

March 1, 2021

NEWS RELEASE

Job losses will have significant impact on Truro and Colchester economy

TRURO – The loss of more than 200 jobs related to federal contracts in Truro in recent weeks will have a major impact on the local economy says the head of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber President Ron Smith said he is extremely disappointed one of the area’s largest manufacturers was forced to lay off about 150 employees last week after it was unsuccessful in its bid for a federal contract to produce medical isolation gowns. This loss, combined with about 55 additional job losses in this region as the RCMP Communication Centre moved from Truro to Dartmouth, is making the Chamber question the federal government’s position on supporting rural communities.

“It is certainly disappointing when Stanfield’s Ltd. was there, the first at the door to offer help in a crisis when the country needed supplies immediately,” said Smith. “We understand government has procurement policies and selection procedures in place, however, we expect accountability from the federal government to immediately disclose who received contracts in the tender award that Stanfield’s Ltd. was shut out from participation.”

He added that throughout the pandemic the federal government took several opportunities to publicly praise Stanfield’s Ltd., a five-generation family-owned business, for its ability to quickly pivot operations early in the pandemic to provide Personal Protective Equipment to frontline health care workers in Canada and questions why they are holding back the names of the newly awarded contract recipients.

“Stanfield’s Ltd. invested more than $1.5 million in new equipment and were well-positioned with local material suppliers and human resources to continue to provide much-needed quality medical gowns and masks,” said Smith. “We need those jobs in this region to contribute to a strong economy.”

Smith is deeply concerned about the 150 people who have had their world turned upside down by this news. “These are not just employment statistics, these are moms and dads, families rooted in this community being impacted.”

 

“We expect our government to demonstrate leadership to support business proactively in ensuring our region and our province is an attractive place to start or grow a business,” said Smith. “Shutting Stanfield’s Ltd. out of this new contract after they have given so much back to their country during really tough times demonstrates a lack of understanding by the federal government on rural economies and the value those 150 jobs have in a small area such as Truro.”

 

Smith further said that it is unfortunate that the federal procurement decision will force 150 hard-working people, ready to support their country’s frontline workers, to‎ apply for Employment Insurance benefits or CRB (Canada Recovery Benefits) to support their families.

“This is surely not the most efficient use of tax dollars or its intent when a portion of that contract would have helped keep them employed supporting our rural economy,” said Smith

The Chamber is also concerned about the potential of further job losses in the region as the supplier of some material used at the Stanfield’s Ltd. facility in the production of the medical gowns was also manufactured in Truro.

“We have reached out to management at Intertape Polymer in Truro in an effort to better understand the impact of the loss of the federal contract to that organization, if any, and we will be further educating politicians at all levels of government on the importance of support for rural economies and how their procurement policies should better consider that issue.”

The Chamber is urging Colchester-Cumberland MP Lenore Zann to provide answers to the actions of her government that has affected so many of her constituents.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for businesses in the Truro & Colchester region and across the province. As the recognized voice of business, the Chamber has provided ongoing support to the business community during these difficult times. Smith said the Chamber will continue its efforts to meet business needs as the pandemic stretches through 2021 and beyond.

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About Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce represents more than 450 members and has been the recognized voice of business in this region for 130 years on economic, political and social matters impacting business. Learn more at www.trurocolchesterchamber.com

MEDIA CONTACT

Sherry Martell

Executive Director

Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

902-895-6328

 


TCPEP Winter Update newsletter

In Nova Scotia, Regional Enterprise Networks are a collaborative approach to economic development supporting business growth. The Truro & Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity (TCPEP) is led by a local volunteer Board of Directors - local business people who want to drive business development in Truro Colchester.
To view a copy of the TCPEP Winter Update newsletter, click here.
To learn more about TCPEP visit their website at trurocolchester.ca

New location for Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

January 19, 2021

NEWS RELEASE

New office location for Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

Collaboration space available for business

TRURO – Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the New Year by opening its doors at a new location in downtown Truro in an effort to better serve the business community.

The Chamber, a business advocacy and support organization, has moved its offices to 105 Suite B, Walker Street, Truro, after 14 years at its previous location on Prince Street.

“While the concept of moving the office had been discussed by the board since the fall of 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst to creating a much-needed collaboration space for business as part of the relocation process,” said Chamber President Ron Smith.  “During the pandemic many work locations were closed to the public and employees moved to remote locations. Our office has received numerous calls from business people now working remotely looking for a space where they could meet a client, conduct job interviews in a private environment or carry out training in small groups.”

In addition to staff headquarters, the newly renovated, bright location features a boardroom and private office with high-speed internet access. Smith is pleased to share that the use of the Chamber Collaboration Centre will be available to members at no charge in 2021 thanks to a sponsorship by Wilsons Heating.

“Wilsons Heating has always found it important to support the business community as they have always supported us through our many decades in business,” Doug MacInnis, Regional Sales Manager/ Truro Branch Manager, Wilsons Heating.

“This initiative is an excellent way for us to give back to the community and we are hopeful that business people will use the space that we have provided in partnership with the Chamber to benefit them.”

The room is dedicated in memory of Past President George Wilson (1948-1949) and Truro business man and Chamber director David Wilson.

Staff have completed training on best practices for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing, a COVID-19 safety plan is in place and public health protocols are adhered to.

The Chamber received tremendous support to renovate its new location from the local community and is especially appreciative of support from Grant Thornton, Puroclean Restoration and the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce for their contributions of key furnishings.

Smith said the new office also provides increased workspace for staff to promote physical distancing and heightens the Chamber’s brand identity in the community.

“The Chamber offers many resources and benefits for business and the board felt a greater visual presence would guide people to our organization for assistance in finding the help they need to grow and thrive,” said the President.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for businesses in the Truro & Colchester region and across the province. As the recognized voice of business, the Chamber has provided ongoing support to the business community during these difficult times such as providing consistent safety signage and complimentary masks, working one-on-one with business to navigate government support, offering training and providing support for E-Commerce. Smith said the Chamber will continue its efforts to meet business needs as the pandemic stretches through 2021 and beyond.

For more information on booking the collaboration space, or details about Chamber programs and services, contact the Chamber office by phone, 902-895-6328, email [email protected] or visit their website www.trurocolchesterchamber.com

 

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About Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce represents more than 450 members and has been the recognized voice of business in this region for 130 years on economic, political and social matters impacting business. Learn more at www.trurocolchesterchamber.com

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Sherry Martell

Executive Director

Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

902-895-6328