TRURO – Truro’s mayor says a regional approach to economic development should soon see another hurdle cleared.
Bill Mills told the Truro Daily News he recently met with officials from Stewiacke, Amherst, Cumberland County, East Hants and the Department of Economic and Rural Development regarding the creation of a regional enterprise network (REN). An area REN would provide regional economic leadership, assist in the development of economic strategies and offer support to small local businesses.
“We discussed what it’s going to take,” to move forward with a regional approach, said Mills.
The mayor said one relevant topic is in-kind services between the communities.
“No money would be put into this; rather people, phones, and facilities would be the contribution.”
The “conversation was quite positive,” said Mills, adding he’s waiting to hear what the next step is and expects word will come “soon.”
Another area to consider is how long of an agreement between the areas could occur. Mills said the provincial government suggested two years but the local areas are considering a five-year agreement with a review in the third year.
The Municipality of Colchester County recently hired its own economic development co-ordinator and was not part of the area REN meeting. Mills said despite that, he expects continued communication with the county on some topics.
“The county would not be part of this REN but I imagine we’d still collaborate … there will be discussion on some things,” said Mills.
The REN replaces local regional development associations, which recently shut down after federal funding was discontinued.