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The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to business growth in our communities, providing opportunities for its members to be collaborative, connected and thriving.

The Chamber hosted five exceptional events during the month of February in support of our membership.

At the beginning of the month, we welcomed nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Tareq Hadhad to speak at a lunch and learn, sharing his personal journey of leaving his war-torn home in Syria to arriving as a refugee in Canada to begin a new life. The audience also learned about government guaranteed small business loans from Credit Union CEO and President Darrell Kuhn and heard about the newly launched Atlantic Immigration Pilot.

The Chamber also brought together a group of tourism stakeholders to discuss long-term solutions for marketing the region, hosted a first-class carbon pricing panel discussion with experts representing national, provincial and Atlantic Canadian interests, hosted our monthly TD Business Builder series on cloud communication and welcomed the president and CEO of REDspace, Mike Johnston, who shared about the many job opportunities in the province in the information communication technology fields.

In a single month, anyone attending all of these events would have had an opportunity to network with more than 200 people; making value contacts to grow business while learning about industry news.

Hosting events is an important piece of our annual program, however, advocacy is the Chamber’s primary focus. Along with the wide selection of networking opportunities we offered to our members in the past month, we have diligently worked to advocate on their behalf in many other ways.

Chamber President Andrew Lake and I participated in the State of the Province address in Halifax in mid-February. There we spoke with Premier Stephen MacNeil about the progress of the region’s economic development project uniting the Chamber, municipal units and First Nations community in an effort to attract new business.

In recent weeks we have also had conversations with several provincial ministers and their staff sharing viewpoints expressed by our members – Natural Resources, Immigration, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and most recently, Finance Minister Randy Delorey, guest speaker at our March 7 AGM.

We have provided referrals to a number of callers seeking services offered by our member businesses, supported committees working for the betterment of the community and engaged with our elected municipal officials.

The Chamber’s Youth Retention Committee is laying the groundwork to launch a project in the fall aiming to showcase local business while demonstrating the number of potential jobs in this region.

We are also in the process of becoming accredited with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce providing assurance to our membership we are operating at the highest possible standards.

The Chamber has issued a call for nominations for its annual dinner gala awards April 27, Business Excellence and Business Person of the Year.

Join us, members and future members alike, at any of our events to discover how becoming a part of the Chamber network is an investment in your business.

For more information about upcoming events and ongoing projects, visit the chamber’s website www.trurocolchesterchamber.com.

Sherry Martell is the Executive Director of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce. She may be reached at 902-895-6328.