Municipal and regional partners along the South Shore will work together to help businesses grow by forming the province’s third regional enterprise network.
Nine municipalities, including five in the County of Lunenburg, the Region of Queens Municipality, and three in Shelburne County, are joining to create the South Shore Regional Enterprise Network.
“By forming regional enterprise networks, we’re helping these regions work together so they can create conditions for growth and be more accountable to taxpayers,” said Lunenburg MLA Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. “The collaboration and commitment of these municipalities will greatly contribute to the success of local businesses and I want to thank everyone for taking a leadership role in such an important initiative.”
The network will develop a regional approach to economic development by creating strategies, co-ordinating efforts, and focusing on helping businesses in the region grow.
To improve accountability, the networks will use a standard framework that includes measures to improve the board’s financial oversight. They will also follow a standard policy that includes orientation and training for new board members.
“The worldwide economy has changed significantly over the past few years, and it is critical that we work together on initiatives that increase the business capacity of our area, and not stand alone,” said Christopher Clarke, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality.
An inter-municipal agreement gives each partner rights and authority.
“Over the past year, the absence of the regional development authority has been felt, and we are eager to move forward with this new model for strengthening the economic development work being done in our communities,” said Roger Taylor, warden of the Municipality of the District of Shelburne. “Although all the units sitting at the table are different, we are all looking for the same outcome, a strong regional economy.”
The network will choose a board of directors which will define the strategic direction.
“All the municipal units involved are strong, but together, we are a very powerful voice for our region, capable of making big things happen,” said Allen Webber, warden of the Municipality of the District of Chester. “The South Shore has a reputation of being a can-do region and we are excited to move this forward.”
The South Shore Regional Enterprise Network includes the Region of Queens Municipality, the towns of Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Bridgewater, Lockeport and Shelburne and the municipalities of the districts of Chester, Shelburne, and Lunenburg.
More information on regional enterprise networks and a guide to help set them up are available at http://novascotia.ca/econ/ren/ .