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Health & Wellness Kit for Business

Health and Wellness programs support employee well-being

Designing and managing an employee wellness program is an important step in improving the health and productivity of employees and potentially improving the overall cost of employer-provided health care.

The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Truro and Area Community Health Board Wellness Funds program, and several local groups to support the business community in establishing health and wellness programs for their staff.

Within this Workplace Health & Wellness kit, we have provided local and global resources to build a workplace wellness program, a sample plan and activities to inspire you to try new things while also offering challenges with incentives to boost participation.

Download the Health & Wellness Kit for Business HERE

Download the  Health & Wellness Activity Kit HERE




Winter festival to include lightshow, night markets in Downtown Truro

Winter festival to include a light show, night markets in Downtown Truro

Downtown Truro will be glowing with community spirit next month when a light show transforms the Civic Square into a winter wonderland.

The light show is a new addition to the Truro Winter Long John Festival, made possible by funding from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and a three-way partnership of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Truro and the Downtown Truro Partnership.

“We’re thrilled about this project that celebrates the winter season in Downtown Truro. There are lots of opportunities to participate and enjoy the festival,” said Rochelle Roberts, Executive Director of Downtown Truro Partnership. “It’s so important to find ways to continue to support our local businesses and stay active this winter while following public health restrictions.”

More than 25,000 lights will be installed in trees in and around the square to create a magical atmosphere to attract visitors to the Town throughout the winter months. The Town is set to launch its Winter Long John Festival on February 3, and the display will remain in place throughout the month into mid-March. In addition, a light show projection will run from Feb. 3 - March 12 in the evenings at the square projected on the historic Colchester East Hants Public Library building creating a stunning backdrop for skaters and visitors alike. The show will run every 15 minutes from 5 p.m. until 9:45 p.m.

“We are thrilled to add to the Winter Long John Festival in a way that promotes getting outside during the winter,” said Mayor Bill Mills, Town of Truro. “We hope it will encourage visitors to enjoy the outdoor activities Truro has to offer this time of year.”

Businesses are encouraged to be involved in the festival by hosting a booth at one of the night markets being held in collaboration with the Truro Farmers’ Market. Market nights will be accompanied by live entertainment. In addition, businesses in Truro and the area will have an opportunity to sponsor hot chocolate for visitors, apply for funding to assist them in hiring live performers at their locations or offer specials to join in on the festival fun.

“The local business community needs as much support as possible right now. It has been an incredibly tough couple of years as the pandemic continues to impact shopping and entertainment trends,” said Sherry Martell, Chamber Executive Director. “We are so pleased to be a part of this beautiful project that will bring joy to our local residents and attract people to the community while we celebrate an iconic Truro product, Stanfield’s Long Johns.”

The project will have a lasting impact on the community with lights and equipment purchased that will be used for other events and promotions in future years.

The partners have received $50,000 in funding from ACOA to host the winter light show in Truro, along with additional local funding and in-kind contributions.

More information about the Truro Winter Long John Festival, the light show, and Winter Night Markets, can be found at



Cumberland, Colchester Counties will benefit from investments to help residents and visitors enjoy the region and its shared spaces safely


Truro Winter Long John Festival Live Entertainment Fund

Live Entertainment Fund

Downtown Truro will be glowing with community spirit this winter when a light show transforms Civic Square into a winter wonderland. The light show is a new addition to the Truro Winter Long John Festival, made possible by funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and a three-way partnership between the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Truro, and the Downtown Truro Partnership.

As part of the celebration, businesses can apply for the Live Entertainment Fund. The funding program is open to venues that provide live music as part of their customer attraction strategy. This may include bars, cafes, restaurants, and other types of business.

To apply for this funding or for more information, click here.

Workplace rapid test screening program PAUSED

Nova Scotia's Workplace testing program is currently paused for new entry and orders.

Nova Scotia is currently in the midst of a significant COVID-19 outbreak. The level of viral spread has necessitated a change in the province’s testing strategy. Part of this change will include the redeployment of rapid antigen tests, in order to augment the health systems testing capacity and to meet high priority needs. Doing this will ensure Nova Scotians who need rapid COVID tests continue to have access to them.

As a result of this change, the Workplace Screening Program will be paused ( Dec. 11, 2021). All orders placed on or after December 13th will not be fulfilled. Organizations that fall under the following high-priority streams will continue to be supported, they include:

  • Long-term care facilities
  • Shelters and transition homes
  • DCS funded homes and day programs
  • First Nations communities
  • African Nova Scotian communities

We apologize for the frustration this announcement will likely cause. Like you, we are committed to this program and have been humbled by the +2000 businesses and organizations, more than 120 in Colchester County, who have enrolled in the screening program in an effort to protect their employees and broader communities. Please know that these decisions have not been made lightly. The Workplace Screening Program team will continue to provide updates as we receive them from Public Health and the Department of Health and Wellness.

For more information please see the province’s COVID-19 website:

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce has been a partner with the Department of Health and Wellness since June of 2021 to act as a depot for businesses to pick up tests ordered by local businesses and to provide information on how to sign up for the program. We do not stock tests onsite or facilitate entry into the program. We act as a safe point of contact for businesses to pick up shipments from the province once they have been ordered through the program.

We know there are many other businesses interested in getting into the program to access rapid tests to protect your staff. We continue to meet with Workplace testing co-ordinators and officials with the Department of Health and Wellness to advocate for the program to resume as soon as possible.

Updates will be shared here, on the chamber website, our social media and our weekly member newsletter.

COVID-19 Government Program Updates

COVID-19 Government Program Updates



The new Atlantic Immigration Program will launch on January 1, 2022. The permanent program builds on the strengths of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and retains the core objective of attracting skilled immigrants to Atlantic Canada to address demographic and economic needs, as well as to continue to increase retention in the region. Key features of the permanent program include:

• All employers designated under the pilot will be required to be re-designated under the permanent program.
• Under the permanent program, all designated employers are required to complete mandatory on-boarding training provided by the federal Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
• Mandatory inter-cultural competency training will also be required for all employers, prior to endorsement, unless the employer is deemed by the province to be exempt from the training.

Should you or any of your member businesses or organizations have questions about the new Atlantic Immigration Program and/or the use of other immigration programs to help meet labour needs, including the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, please reach out to our employer support team at [email protected].

Additional details about the AIP program are available at: Atlantic Immigration Program website.



The Sector Impact Support Program will provide a one-time grant of up to $7,500 to help small business owners in industries such as restaurants, bars, gyms, live performing arts facilities and recreation facilities. Eligible applicants will now be able to choose a grant amount based on either the gross payroll cost or gross revenues of the business in November 2021.

The Program will open in early January 2022: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Sector Impact Support Program - Government of Nova Scotia, Canada



Nova Scotians who have been impacted by the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for up to four paid sick days with the relaunch of Nova Scotia's COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program.

For more details:



The federal government announced its intention to temporarily expand eligibility for the Local Lockdown Program and Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit. This will help to ensure Canadians are protected and workers and businesses get the help they need to sustain them through new and necessary public health restrictions.

For more details: Temporarily Expanding Eligibility for the Local Lockdown Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit -

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]

Live for Local Rally begins!

The Live for Local Rally was a contest aimed at promoting shopping local that ran until December 17th, 2021. You could upload a receipt from any business in Colchester County to earn an entry for our amazing prize giveaways. If you uploaded a receipt from one of our “Participating Businesses” you received two entries.

Congratulations to our winners!

Weekly Prize Winners
Name Prize
Becky Cowrly Coffee Lovers
Alison Wilson Nintendo Switch
Julie Stone Get in the Spirit
Rosalind Belland Charm Diamond
Alyssa Moraze Gas & Go
Sherri Webb Winter Car Care
Miranda Rock Kirk Saint
Deanna Lumax Stay & Play
Deborah Lusby Stay & Play
Elizabeth Spence Hub Cycle Ski
Lindsay Mattinson Self Care
Kathy Schedler Masstown Market
Grand Prize Winners
Penny Ferguson Truro Mall
Yvonne Kerr Downtown Truro
Chris Connolly Home Makeover
Sue Murray Inglis Jewellers
Nicholas Stokdijk Berry’s

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.