There was a true sense of unity on display at the Marigold Cultural Centre on June 23 as local municipalities, Millbrook First Nation, and the business community rallied in support of positioning the Colchester region for future economic growth.
During the past few months the County of Colchester, Town of Stewiacke, Town of Truro, Millbrook First Nation and the business community, through the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce, have been working diligently to launch a new organization focused on business attraction and retention.
This region is one of few remaining areas in the province that does not have a regional approach to fund an agency or body focused on delivering economic development. The newly formed Truro Colchester Regional Enterprise Network will stand out in Nova Scotia as the only regional enterprise network in the province uniting business, municipalities and a First Nation as primary funders.
The structure of the organization was explained to the audience of about 100 people during the rally. There are two distinct parts: a Liaison Oversight Committee (LOC), which has representation from all key funders, and secondly, a business-led board of directors.
The duties of the LOC are: to provide strategic input to the board of directors, hold the board accountable for outcomes by ensuring they meet the goals they set, ensuring financial accountability and communication as a direct link between funding partners and the board of directors.
The board will develop a strategic plan, and a budget, and be tasked with implementing the plan.
All stakeholders have committed to financially support the initiative. The established plan has business as an equal funder with Truro and Colchester, with a target of $60,000 set to be raised annually from the local business community. Earlier this year the province agreed in principle to match funds raised locally in support of this project.
The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is committing $20,000 over three years toward the initiative. The remaining contribution commitment must be raised organically from business. To date, more than 30 businesses have pledged financial support to this organization. Every business, no matter what size, is encouraged to offer a pledge with a wide range of options to fit all budgets.
The chamber will recognize these businesses investing in their local community’s future on its web page, newsletter and future chamber events.
For more information about making a pledge, contact the executive director by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 902-895-6328.
The chamber of commerce would also like to congratulate the hundreds of graduates across Colchester County this year. Each year, the chamber offers three $1,000 bursaries to local graduates.
Best wishes to this year’s bursary recipients: Colin MacDonald, North Colchester High School; Arthur Dodsworth, South Colchester Academy; and Isabelle Paryse Choumiline, Cobequid Educational Centre.
Sherry Martell is the Executive Director of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.