First of all I’d like to thank our outgoing president Bruce Herron for the important initiatives and work provided by the Chamber of Commerce over the past 2 years under your committed leadership. Members of the board and other chamber members work without reward and recognition and are the lifeblood of our business community. Without you Pictou County would be far less than it is today.
I’d like to address how we can use our talents to find solutions to the very acute challenges we face. We must meet these issues head-on or they’ll affect this county we love.
Pictou County has faced hardships in the past such as the poor Scots landing on the shores of Pictou, off the Hector, too late in the year to clear and plant; they worked hard and smart to survive and prosper. In later years Pictou County was the starting point for steel production and rail transport in Canada.
During the sixties Frank Sobey Sr., through Industrial Estates, stepped up and was key in bringing new industries to Pictou County such as Michelin and what is today Northern Pulp. We are very fortunate to have the head offices of Sobeys and Empire, the most progressive merchandiser in Canada, located here. MacKay Meters have just produced parking meters that can be fueled from our cell phones or credit cards. AECON Fabco has the Pictou Shipyards back in operation. Velsoft is exporting IT support services world-wide. However there are businesses that are challenged such as Nova Forge and Maritime Steel, which we’d like to see find good solutions in Pictou County.
Our strengths are in our people, however we need to work as a team if we don’t want our county to become a retirement haven. NS Business Inc. has told us they don’t know who to call in Pictou County when a new business is looking for a home! Who speaks for Pictou County as a whole?!
We need a Team Pictou County!
The Chamber wishes to thank our municipal leaders for their votes to bring a governance study to Pictou County. The business community is fully committed to helping complete and implement this study as we know that better, clearer governance will build business.
When we work together great things like the Wellness Center come about and happen; on time and on budget. This can be an important key in bringing and retaining people in our county and continuing to make Pictou County a wonderful place to live. By the way, how do we identify where we’re from when people ask; most people I know say Pictou County; so let’s back it up by being Team Pictou County.
So who will bring business to Pictou County and who speaks for our county?
With the closure of the Pictou Regional Development Agency (PRDA), the Chamber is the logical organization to be an important part, if not a leader, in our regional development and we have chosen this as our key initiative for the coming year. No, the Chamber can’t and won’t handle all the regional development requirements for Pictou County, however we’re fully committed to providing support and leadership. We will do whatever we can to bring a “Team Pictou County” together and help it accomplish its goals.
For an economic development win in Pictou County it should not be at the expense of each other, but rather winning should be a benefit to all. We need all citizens of Pictou County, including members of our 6 governments, to get behind Team Pictou County.
It’s now time for those of us who care about Pictou County, to step forward together to guarantee our prosperity for the future.
President, Pictou County Chamber of Commerce