September 2020 Update
In Nova Scotia, Regional Enterprise Networks (RENs) are
leading a collaborative approach to economic development
and supporting business growth.
See below for some recent updates from each of
Nova Scotia’s Regional Enterprise Networks.
In September the Cape Breton Partnership, administering both the CBREN and CBRM REN, launched the #CapeBretonFirst campaign. The campaign builds on a well known local campaign called Think Cape Breton First, using social media and other modern mediums to encourage residents to support local. The campaign also includes a number of products carrying the campaign branding, sold through the Breton Ability Centre’s Best of Cape Breton online shop. More details can be found at www.cape-breton-first.com.
Cape Breton Welcome Network
The Cape Breton Welcome Network is a new initiative of the Cape Breton Partnership to support communities across the Island in welcoming newcomers. It will be comprised of local volunteer-led Welcome Groups, eventually reaching every corner of Cape Breton – Unama’ki. Each Welcome Group will be unique across Cape Breton and work to best meet the needs of newcomers in each particular community. Regular activities could include making welcome baskets, hosting community events and offering tours of the community. More details can be found at www.welcometocapebreton.ca/welcomenetwork.
Connector Program Networking Training
The Cape Breton Partnership’s Connector Program is hosting two upcoming 8-week virtual training series, each aiming to help individuals enhance their networking skills and expand their professional networks. Both virtual series are free of charge for participants: Make Your Connection: A Networking Event for Future Leaders and Cultural Connector: Highlighting Cape Breton Cultures and Communities. More details can be found at http://bit.ly/cbConnector-Fall2020-Training.
Social Selling Reinvented Webinar
Recognizing that many businesses are moving toward capitalizing on on-line sale methods to address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Cape Breton Partnership hosted a webinar focused on the reinvention of social selling on September 10 via Zoom. The recording of the webinar can be viewed at https://capebretonpartnership.com/video-social-selling-reinvented-webinar-with-paul-watts-base-over-apex/.
Supports for Business
The Cumberland Business Connector is continuing to support businesses dealing with the impacts of COVID. A Supper Workshop Series is being finalized for small businesses. Four sessions will be held in October – November, and several more from January – April, 2021. This workshop series is being developed in collaboration with Municipal Economic Development Officers, CBDC-Cumberland and the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce. Plans are also underway to expand the Cumberland Business Accelerator Program. This unique program provides extensive one on one coaching to businesses with high growth potential. Each business will be in the program for approximately 15-18 months. This program is targeted to businesses that have been in operation for at least two years and are scalable.
Economic Mobility Pathway Project
Through a series of cross-Canada virtual meetings, the PCREN presented to the provinces, territories and 11 selected communities, the successes and challenges of the model of labour mobility being trialled in Pictou County. This project will simultaneously provide expanded opportunities for skilled refugees, while aiding employers in finding talent to fill chronic and increasing labour shortages in their workplaces.
Pictou County E-Commerce Fund
The Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network (PCREN) received funding from ACOA to support local businesses with creating or enhancing their online presence. This will be carried out by the development of an e-commerce fund that will be managed by the PCREN. Businesses in Pictou County can apply for monetary support to develop a new website, enhance their current website, and/or to implement an e-commerce site. These funds will be distributed by the PCREN through an application process that will launch this month.
Partnership with Mashup Lab
Truro and Colchester residents now have more opportunities to connect, discuss and get support with their new business ideas. The Truro & Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity and Mashup Lab are partnering to host a series of virtual ‘Idea Generating’ workshops and events over the next 6 months. Mashup Lab, owned and operated by Andrew Button, is a company obsessively focused on unleashing the potential of rural communities through activation events, co-working spaces, and Virtual Business Incubator (Dream Business) programming. The robust schedule of programs, workshops and events kicked off Sept 4. The schedule offers everything from one-week workshops (encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to dig deeper and explore their ideas further) to bi-weekly lunch’ n’ learn chats. All programs will be offered virtually. For the complete schedule of virtual events, please visit www.trurocolchester.ca/idea-generation or check out the TCPEP Facebook page.
Regional Marketing Initiative
The Valley Regional Enterprise Network, Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Business Leaders’ Initiative created a partnership aimed at developing a regional marketing program to promote the Annapolis Valley from a tourism, residential attraction and settlement, labour force attraction and business investment standpoint. A regional marketing website was launched in July 2020 and a marketing campaign was developed and launched to promote the Annapolis Valley throughout the Atlantic Bubble in hopes of attracting more visitors to the region. The campaign is targeting every city centre (and surrounding area) in all Atlantic Canadian provinces. For more information, please visit www.haveitallav.ca.
Annapolis Valley Regional Economic Recovery Taskforce
The Valley REN continues to drive implementation of the regional economic recovery plan through the Annapolis Valley Regional Economic Recovery Taskforce. The following activities have been implemented: Developed a Reopening the Annapolis Valley Guidance for Businesses document Developed a Finding Child Care Guide for Employers Recording a series of information sessions with local workforce organizations to showcase services and programs in the region for employers with labour challenges Develop a bi-weekly Taskforce Newsletter to share information from all the organizations involved in the Taskforce Promote the great work of local organizations and businesses entitled “Valley Victories” on social media Conduct sector solutions-focused brainstorming sessions with businesses in the tourism, ICT and manufacturing sectors Conduct solutions-focused brainstorming sessions with small business/entrepreneurs Creating an e-commerce online directory For more information about the Taskforce, and for news and updates regarding the recovery plan, please visit www.valleyren.ca/economic-recovery-taskforce.
Internet Expansion in Western NS
The Western Regional Enterprise Network worked in partnership with Develop Nova Scotia, Bell Canada and the Municipalities of the Districts of Argyle, Barrington, Digby and Yarmouth, to bring 5,400 homes and businesses in western Nova Scotia access to high-speed internet. The Western REN worked as a liaison between the Municipalities and the public to identify the region’s needs around high-speed internet and partnered with Develop Nova Scotia and Bell Canada to put into motion the two rounds of projects. This is the second round of the internet expansion project, the first round started in February 2020, and saw 1,690 homes and businesses receive access to high-speed internet in the western region. Bringing high-speed internet access to the region is critical for businesses and residents, especially now during COVID-19, where many of the region’s businesses, employees and students need a reliable internet connection. This is very exciting for the region and work on this project has begun immediately will be completed by summer 2022.
Western Region Energy Investment Plan
Nova Scotia has released data of the energy consumption in the province during the month of May 2020, when there was a 19.3% decline in power and availability compared to May 2019. This is the largest decline seen among all provinces in 2020 and underscores the need for clean and local energy sources. The Western REN has been working with the climate panning consultancy, Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG), to develop a plan that focuses on investment in local, renewable energy and improving energy efficiency within the region. The western Region Energy Investment Plan (WREIP) brings seven municipalities together to identify clear opportunities for local energy generation, use and storage in support of regional industry clusters.
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