When you want to make things happen, you just go for it.
And when you already have your own success and spread it around, you end up helping the entire community.
That appears to be the attitude of a pair of local entrepreneurs who are changing the face of Colchester County. Laurie Jennings, along with family members, has been helping to drive the success of Masstown Market for years.
ForJennings, it’s a non-stop love affair with his business, his customers and helping to spur business growth around the rest of Truro and Colchester.
For developer Blair Wallace, growth in Colchester means giving businesses a high-profile location where they can be seen by thousands of motorists and their passengers each day along Highway 102 at the Onslow exit.
I’m spotlighting these two gentlemen and their endeavours this month because their ideas are making a difference. Both are active members of the Chamber of Commerce, and both know that keeping a key growth area like Truro-Colchester growing doesn’t have to be as difficult as many would make it out to be.
For instance, Jennings and his manager of business development Ron Smith are setting up a new gas station, business meeting centre, professional office space and convenience store, plus a whole lot more in the acreage located between Masstown Market and Captain Cob’s Corn Maze, on the site of the former Masstowner Motel.
Smith said that will dovetail into what he likes to call an “entrepreneurial support centre.” That’s a facility where he and Jennings will size up business proposals to co-locate alongside their new venture at the corner of highways 2 and 4 in Masstown, well within sight of Highway 104.
“It’s far from a strip mall,” said Smith. “This is going to be something special and we’re eventually hoping the entrepreneurs who locate in the buildings we put up here can thrive and contribute back to the area.”
He said if you have a good business idea and you’re looking for some high-profile space, don’t hesitate to get in touch. On top of about 25 new jobs that’ll result from the new facility that’s almost built at Masstown, Smith and Jennings want to help local entrepreneurs who have a product or service that’s not getting the profile that it deserves.
Smith said that could even include some “seasonal businesses” provided they complement each other. That could mean a skate and ski shop in the winter exchanges his space with a lawn service company when spring rolls around.
The key is to be flexible.
The same is true of Wallace’s development at the Onslow exit, which is within sight of the Town of Truro.
Wallace expects to have space for as many as eight new businesses ready at the Onslow exit within a few months. In fact, he already has several of those business lots sold, with three either in operation or in the preparation stage.
In addition, he’s working on several new housing developments near the Onslow exit.
I’ve been around the business development game for years. And while both of these new facilities seem like natural fits, they wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Jennings, Wallace and their family and business partners, along with a collective series of good ideas.
These folks have had the wisdom, the foresight and the patience to develop these properties. They’ve waded directly into the red tape that can sometimes crop up in major developments, and they’ve cut right through it into the arena of success!
That’s the kind of entrepreneurial spirit we need to see more often in Truro-Colchester, and if Jennings and Wallace have their way, it’ll soon be spreading so more of our business operators can enjoy similar success.
Alan Johnson is executive director of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at email@example.com