TRURO – The local economic network has received funding to create a regional tourism development and growth initiative.

A number of businesses in both Colchester and Cumberland counties will benefit from the initiative.

Brennan Gillis, chief executive officer with the Truro Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity (PEP), says the organization has received $120,000 from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, or ACOA, to work with consultants through the Accelerated Market Readiness program.

“Businesses will work with consultants to identify their strengths, and opportunities of improvements,” said Gillis, noting more than two dozen businesses will be identified and assisted with the funding. “The fact is, tourism is getting hurt because of COVID-19, so this has made this more important to get out and help these companies.”

Within the next two weeks, Gillis expects a group of individuals to come together to discuss and identify the businesses or industries that will be best served with the program.

“These consultants will review the companies’ operations around their peak time, and identify ways to improve business.”

Virtual mentors available

Along with the funding to the market readiness program, Gillis says the PEP, and other networks across the province, has secured funding for a BoomersPLUS program.

“BoomersPLUS matches business people with retired executives or professors through virtual meetings,” said Gillis. “Maybe it’s a chocolate business in the area and they want to talk to someone that’s retired from the industry. They could be from out west, but they might’ve experienced the same sort of thing. They’re kind of like virtual mentors.”

The business, says Gillis, could be struggling or trying to recover from the pandemic. The mentors are experienced professionals from across the nation and represent a number of industries, environments, or areas of expertise.

Free course access

For the next 12 months, Colchester County business owners can also access the SympliWorks course. The free online program can help business owners develop an understanding of their business value as perceived by the ideal customer. Owners can apply strategic decision-making tools and processes that have been proven to impact growth and profitability in a positive way.

For more information on any of the programs available, contact the Truro and Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity at 902-890-3120 or