Retirees & Seniors, Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!

I regret to inform you that your current lifestyle and future is at risk. You had the privilege to grow up during Cape Breton’s golden age, coal and steel employed thousands, the fisheries dragged in tons of cod processed at local fish plants, the harbor was filled with ships from around the world and the possibilities, they seemed endless. You remember the streets buzzing with young families; multiple hospitals and schools filled with the hopes and dreams of the future. This is the past you fondly remember; a past when you worked hard raising your families and prospered. You should be proud of your achievements; how you shaped this community. This is your legacy; your history and I applaud you, thank you for your hard work. Unfortunately your contributions are now being wasted. The taxes you paid towards community infrastructure, the money you raised for hospitals and halls, ball fields and parks, volunteer fire departments and equipment are now wasted. A lifetime of commitment to family and community is all at risk!

Cape Breton is in a downward spiral as more and more people exit our community in search of employment. Your history is not your children’s and grandchildren’s present. You know this, you drive through your community pointing to the vacant lots where you once worked, overgrown ball fields and playgrounds falling into disrepair. The proof is reported daily, schools are closing, the university eliminating staff, hospital beds reduced and emergency rooms closed. Every year businesses close and your neighbors continue to struggle. In fact, every year you pay more tax for fewer services because there are no new tax payers, they’re leaving and you are left to pick up the bill and unfortunately you can expect more demanded of you in the future. Now, I know you know the answer to the problem; your years of life experience tell you we need to create jobs. I also know you look to our politicians to lead our community out of this whirlpool, hoping your families won’t have to leave and I also know you reminisce of better times and you wish you could hold the grandchildren who now live far from Cape Breton’s shores.


Guess who also know you reminisce of those better times. Politicians know! Guess what else they know? They know you are the key to their political future. You are the most active voters in our community and to get your vote they promise jobs. Unfortunately there is another tactic they use to manipulate you into voting for them, one that hurts us all, they promise a return to the past, the things you fondly remember, big industry, harbors filled with ships, mines churning out coal and all manner of industrial projects, because they know you vote hoping they can make the past come to life. The reality is, for the past 20 years they have all failed to deliver on that dream. Not any one political party has succeeded and they have proved it through numerous failed attempts and hundreds of millions of dollars. Please take my words to heart, “no amount of money invested in these promises is stopping your children from leaving.”

There is a reason; the world you grew up and prospered in no longer exists in the way you remember. I could give you a thousand reasons but that past, that history as glorious as it once was is not our future. This is why you have to be afraid. This is why you have to not vote for politicians that are selling that dream. One of your generation’s greatest minds Albert Einstein gave us his definition of Insanity, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Does this describe what you have witnessed over the last 20 years? What gives me hope is that you, the older and wiser members of our community hold the true power, you can influence the future and you can do it with your vote. Here’s how, each time a politician promises big industry he is playing on your memories and your desire to have jobs for your family. You must resist the temptation to believe! Recent history has proven that most of these projects, especially if they depend on Government money are likely to fail. If the CEOs of these companies saw an opportunity worth exploiting, they would be doing it, simply because they can make money, no other reason. The tax breaks they ask for simply add to the bottom line, but are not the reason they will come, the profits have to be there in the first place the rest is simply a bonus. What you need to recognize is that big business benefits typically result in a transfer of your tax money into the hands of people that if it was truly viable could afford to do these projects without government support. Remember, these groups have no true commitment to Cape Breton, no true commitment to you or to your family beyond the money. Loyalty stops at the bank!

You must forget the past and ask questions regarding how they intend to support small local entrepreneurs get off the ground and succeed; hold them to it and make them accountable. These are the very people that live in your community, the people who will raise a family and pay for the very services you’re losing. These are the companies that hire local, will buy local and any investments made by government will likely stay here. Even if the start-up company fails, that money will be spent here and the entrepreneurs in our community will learn and be better next time. Think of it as an investment in education.  So I share these thoughts with all retirees and seniors, you have the power, you can drive change, and as biggest political influence in our community, I beg you, ignore the big announcements and demand that the government invest significantly more in helping launch local small businesses. Everything you worked for shouldn’t find its way into the hands of the agencies that will be left to care for you, it should go to your families. Your future and the future of your families depend on giving local entrepreneurs a future. Cape Breton can prosper again; it simply needs your help to demand an investment in a significant kick-start!

Want more opinions?  Check out these links:

https://capebreton.lokol.me/f-me-once-shame-on-you-f-me-twice

https://capebreton.lokol.me/the-system-of-exclusion-policies-and-guidelines

 

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Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Wow, nice article! Where do I sign up?
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
You already have Matt! You and many like you are all saying the same thing, myself included. We need to create a social shift; rally support from those who can influence. There are efforts that are helping,but the truth is, they need to be scaled up significantly to have an affect. I applaud the Spark Competition and its alignment with the UIT program.......that has created 6 new companies this year. The reality is, we need 60 new companies a year. After sitting through Startup 4.0, I recognized Ted Zoller's point about the entrepreneurial environment Entrepreneurs - Deal Makers - Investors. The elephant in the room that didn't get discussed is the money......the best advice came from Doug Milburn, Sales, Sales and More Sales! Getting from concept to sales is an especially difficult road, Without investors, we are screwed. Remember, Spark is supporting 6 new companies, there were another 22 that are left to make it on their own without support, told to go find money somewhere else. As entrepreneurs hunt for money, they quickly learn the programs available require them to put up 20-25%. A $100K business startup then requires $20-25K from the entrepreneur and they have to hammer their business model to fit the criteria which in Cape Breton is still often asset based. Hence the need for a fundamental shift in how we as a community will help them succeed. This is about survival.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Our sector needs to embrace our failure rate. I agree with Christian on the UIT/Spark complementary programs. The Verschuren Centre's CBIF now adds to that 1,2,3 punch, or 2,3 punch for those that are already versed in entrepreneurship/startups and just need access to seed capital without the hoops. I think we need to push UIT to 100 enrollees every 6 months, and increase Spark Cape Breton funds to $1 Million per year. Give Martin's Chernin zero taxes on his new building IF he does an exclusive low cost lease for approved startup entrepreneurs that attend UIT or actively build a new business in Cape Breton. Just do something to innovate and create a reason that we can start siphoning top talent from (in the beginning) all around the Atlantic regions into Cape Breton. I don't think we're anywhere near doing effective marketing except to the extent that we don't have the capacity to do more yet anyway. A restaurant with 5 tables doesn't need to build up line ups.
Bob Willman Follow Me
The young talent is out there waiting for the opportunity to shine. Most coming right out of college and university face the age old problem. Companies only want to hire those with many years of experience. Employers should be snatching up these young people and training them in how they do business. I would think an employer would rather have an employee who is open to new ideas and not stuck on how they did things at their last job.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
In other places in the world, it is the young people developing new businesses, attacking problems with technology. Some win (Facebook) while others fail (Myspace) but each contributed to learning what works and what doesn't. There are smart and innovative people here or wanting to live here. We need to figure out how we can become the most entrepreneurial friendly place in Canada. That will lead to investments in the services these people want for themselves and their families.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Note: The CBIFF fund resulted in none of the initial round of applicants being funded. Disclosure (I was an applicant as well). This may have been related to transition away from the digital technology category included in the application. In any event, this CBIFF is likely only going to be a viable option for funding if the business opportunity is a very close fit with the "clean tech" industry. So it won't quite be as good a fit as I mentioned before for most new startups.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Hi Joe, sorry for my ignorance, but could you remind me what CBIFF stands for? I hate acronyms! Thanks, C
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Cape Breton Island Futures Fund (CBIFF), sorry why would I bother you Joe when I have google?
Joe Ward Follow Me
Ah ha. I wasn't online for a bit, but you got it. ;) http://www.cbu.ca/news-events/story/verschuren-centre-launches-fund-targeting-sustainable-start-ups-42/
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
They probably don't have that much capital available to inject into startups after they pay for staff and marketing. $500K seems like a lot but hire 5 people and contract out your marketing and it can disappear very quickly. Too bad that no one made it into the money. Never forget the only interest is self interest.....or loan interest! With $500 K they can probably keep the office running for 3 years and talk a great deal about investing in start ups.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Oh boy, I sure would love to have $500,000 to hire 5 people! :) In seriousness, I don't know what lead to this decision. But the CBIFF definitely isn't to be confused as an option for startups focusing on digital technology. Hopefully some clean tech related projects will be able to take advantage of it at some point. TBD.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
No you wouldn't, it would simply make you lazy! 8-) You know what I am going to say next, get out and sell something!
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Perhaps GoCB should have a jerk of the month award! I will accept your nomination now Joe!
Joe Ward Follow Me
I can't bring myself to do it. I appreciate the conversation too much! :)
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Saved by your boredom. Well, more contracts to review. It would be nice to have a lawyer that works for free! By the way, I was looking at the news feed for CBIFF and I am seeing a number of articles regarding PhD.'s and their successes. You may not meet the educational requirements to qualify,I know I don't!
Joe Ward Follow Me
Nothing Photoshop can't handle. Small print: Based on future expectation of the achievement of an honorary doctorate. ;)
Joe Ward Follow Me
I'd say that with $500k I'd be able to eat lobster dinner, but we're in one of the few places in the world where folks with no money can already do that! :P But hey, isn't delegation one of the most effective forms of being lazy? Ha ha.
Joe Ward Follow Me
There are a bunch of people that will call you negative for writing this Christian. But I fundamentally believe that nothing can be solved without clearly understanding and accepting the problem. No sugarcoating. Kids that don't perform should get their F grade so they can know where they truly are, get comfortable with disappointment/failure (a necessary skill for the future of everyone, always has been) and then get the help they need to fix it - and so should communities and local economies. We are not going to change leadership mindsets. We need to change the leaders. And it might be high time that we start thinking of a little election time coup d'état by the startup community. Who is most prepared to lead us into the new economy? I've often said that I'm concerned that we don't seem to have any mayoral candidates available that offer a good alternative. After Fitzgerald's drop out last election, I wouldn't have batted an eye at voting for Mayor Clarke. Who else was viable? So ►Mathew Georghiou, Bob Pelley, and Richard Lorway◄ would you happen to know any experienced business people well versed in innovation, with deep roots to Cape Breton, and a full historical viewpoint of its failings at attempts at finding new alternatives? :)
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
I am not negative, I simply don't see how we can succeed as a whole. UIT is great, but not everyone entrepreneur fits that criteria. I am a doer Joe, I don't wait. As such, I have reached out to an old friend who dwells in the Raleigh - Durham Tech triangle. He is part of that community that Ted Zoller was talking about. He and I are coordinating schedules for a chat. Since he also runs a startup incubator as well as heads up a large venture capital firm, it would be nice to sign on a few local companies that might appreciate a potential kick start of sorts if of course they are interested.
Joe Ward Follow Me
I would say that we don't have the right prioritizations, and a leadership that I'm personally skeptical of. However, I think we can become more successful and grow our economy, but with expectations at a scale consistent with our regional/cultural limitations. Thinking: Protocase/Slyce multipliers. We need many more similar take offs with those business models. UIT has multiple factors that can be helpful. I've actually enrolled in the next round. For me, I'll be focusing on 3 things: 1. Upgrading exposure to more modern development methodologies/languages (preparing to evaluate my own platform/code, understand what modern devs know/want to aid recruitment and project management, and build a career insurance policy for myself) 2. Pushing myself to improve my ability to pitch and get more comfortable with that important aspect of the business. Though I have had some success in doing so, my delivery now is all about rehearsal and not about comfort or second nature. 3. To get access to the mentors and the network that UIT provides, as there is much to learn, but it's also a gateway into deeper connections and advantageous positioning for other programs. However, when I was saying 2/3 punch in another post, that's what I was getting at. It's not essential for everyone. There are many that are ready to move on to funding stage and already have many of the essential factors and know-how needed. There will likely be many redundancies for me as well, but I'm thinking of it as incubatory. The startup community needs to be much larger. 4 year business degrees aren't going to turn out the right people *fast enough*. So it would be great to leverage that existing capital with current BBAs and engineering types (in particular) or other educated people that might be a good fit with entrepreneurial pursuits. Though it's apparently more of a software specialty with UIT, it's definitely a growth area. Much like an intense 6 month bootcamp is my expectation.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Are you connecting with your VC contact with the intent to go to them and recruit others, or are you trying to recruit them to do some incubation here?
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Joe, as I said, Spark and UIT are great, but there are 22 other companies and many more that are not going to UIT. I have a home, children and all the responsibilities associated, taking time off to go to school is not an option, I will lose my house and trust when I say, I have lost enough over the past number of months. I will be looking to bundle companies at various stages that are seeking to get off the ground or scale. What's the point of me having all these relationships if I can't use them to drive the greater good in my community.
Joe Ward Follow Me
I wasn't really selling UIT to you - though it would cool to have you as a colleague in the program. More to a broad audience. I was thinking that you were more at the 2/3 punch combo stage (where punch 1 is UIT). Just expanding upon how it is/can be a great fit for others especially for those with new degrees not yet able to take advantage of them, or with entrepreneurial inclinations without experience or know-how. In reality, I can't afford to go either. Their bursary program is going to make figuring out how I'm going to pull it off for the next 6 months a little easier. However, I'm also treating it as an incubatory phase for my business as I'll be focusing all my efforts there on http://socialresponseapp.com, and will continue to seek other funding options concurrently. Most of the Spark Cape Breton award winners are doing other things (many including full time jobs or businesses) at the same time. So my UIT participation won't push me out of that same category, it will just be a reduction in my time availability. As I won't be funded by any other source (i.e. no EIC program eligiblity for me), if I don't secure additional business funding soon, I'll need to expand upon some consulting work I've started or look for other concurrent employment opportunities.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Oh no, don't take what I said as assuming you were selling UIT to me. It's a great program for a specific demographic. I simply don't fit the model, I'm not a programmer nor do I have intentions of becoming one at my age and social position. I am pivoting my company to address the opportunities that are there versus wishing for funding. I have partners signed, time to go make money. In fact, I am launching a program with one of my partners that may be of interest to you. Happy to have a chat.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Sorry Joe, I didn't answer your questions: Are you connecting with your VC contact with the intent to go to them and recruit others, or are you trying to recruit them to do some incubation here? I am starting off seeking advice around getting something started here in Cape Breton. I've come to realize that we need big money but also smart money. As it stands, there's not all that many options for entrepreneurs who can't self finance. The next and most obvious is my own startup. Since options are limited locally, it's time to look elsewhere. Next, I know of a number of local companies that are struggling to get by, I am not opposed to bring them into the mix as well. First things first, have the chat.
Joe Ward Follow Me
The next round of Innovacorp's I3 was just officially announced. Also, there is the Verschuren CBIF fund. You probably are already aware of these two options, but listing them here just in case other readers happen upon them. :)
Richard Lorway Follow Me
Geez, I leave for a couple of days and I get called out! Seriously, this is a really great thread. I find it encouraging that we are more open to sharing our views and opinions in a public way. Of course, goCapeBreton.com was designed for that purpose. And (just to follow up on some other ideas) it was also designed to crowd-source, organize, and archive valuable information about topics of interest, and to enable the community to create its own asset map. We don't need to create an online tool for this. It exists. We just need to start using it. Re: potential mayoral candidates - I have no thoughts there on who might be a fit. If you decide to run, let me know. 8^)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Must always do the sneak attack comments when people on away for a few days. ;)
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
Richard: Perhaps you can go into a bit more detail for a non-tech person on how we can use this website to have a topic and then archive information about that topic. My main topic would be "tourism" but would have about 10 potential sub headings to that , and many often would also fit under another topic , namely "taxes" .
Richard Lorway Follow Me
Thanks for your question, Peter. There are a couple of different ways to host community conversations, but let me first say that all posts and comments on goCapeBreton.com are stored (archived) and may be found using the menu system or Search function at a later date. Method 1: Create a post in which you compile (link) a number of resources related to your topic. As new resources become available, ad use the Edit Post function to update your post and add new content. Examples: the Port of Sydney story and the school closure debate. https://capebreton.lokol.me/port-of-sydney---the-unfolding-story Method 2: Create a series of posts and aggregate under a menu or sub-menu heading. Perhaps use the headlines to identify them as a series. One example is the Gravespotting series by Scott Sharplin. Since tourism is your interest, I suggest you create posts under Visit > News, Stories. If there is a political slant (i.e. taxes), you could cross post under Gov > Political Commentary. The best method depends upon your specific objectives. I'd be happy to chat with you to understand your needs and make recommendations. In the meantime, here is a link to a tutorial on creating and editing posts: https://capebreton.lokol.me/how-to-post-on-gocapebretoncom Let me know if you'd like to chat. Hope this helps.
Brenda Durdle Follow Me
Is this a pitch or $$? Not really getting your point. Youth can influence. Get out and work on a campaign. Vote.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Sorry Brenda, the conversation went down an obvious different path. The point is that we need to get the largest voting population which is increasingly seniors and retirees to focus their political support on activities that will truly have a positive impact on growing our economy. Joe and I have similar entrepreneurial goals that has taken the conversation off track. Youth can influence, but from a voting perspective they are not as active as the group with the most voting power. We do have to educate this group that we need them to focus on candidates that have an invest local mindset. Not those who are promising big industries that typically go no where. The Northside industrial park is a prime example. Big bucks, big industry and only one remains. Why can't we take that type of capital and invest it in the many entrepreneurs that are local. So is this a pitch? Yes, for all of us.
Brenda Durdle Follow Me
I suppose what I see is the same old guard / boys doing the same old things. Most seniors are not going to take that on. Youth can and ought ti, I'm thinking.
Brenda Durdle Follow Me
Why aren't youth asking the mayor what is up with China and waterfront development when we don't have a railway. Is the goal just to be a dropping off and picking up point, fully automated, dockyard creating no jobs and of benefit to whom? Young entrepreneurs need to get some and challenge the status quo.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
To be honest, I've walked away from following the white washing of an elephant. My opinion is simple, if a real opportunity existed, we wouldn't need government at any level to lead the charge on the harbor, economics would facilitate: supply and demand and in the world of ports there is ample supply and with a shrinking middle class a decline in demand. Why do you think most of the relevant multinationals have set up in Asia. North America isn't where they see their future. They see developing those economies and creating demand as having the most promise.
Brenda Durdle Follow Me
Well I suppose. It's your $$$
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Brenda, when it comes to the Sydney Port, it's our money. Here is a little rumor I heard floating around, again a rumor so judge accordingly. CBRM plans to pay over $1 Mil for a plot of land that was valued at $400K until they decided to purchase it....do you know, that would give 20 startups $50 K. What's truly funny, when it all goes to crap, someone will buy it from them for a $1 and sell it back in the future for $1 mil and the cycle continues.
Brenda Durdle Follow Me
and you can guess who that will be. So, young entrepreneurs aren't speaking out because...?
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
And they keep getting elected! There are not enough youth left to tip the balance of power.
Bob Willman Follow Me
My son graduates from college next summer as an electrical engineering technician. He and some of his friends at school are thinking of moving Cape Breton area to look for jobs and settle down. Their concern along with many graduating from school, is there going to be career opportunities for them. By the way, son is an American going to school in Ontario. He has been to the area many times while growing up and fell in love with the community. His friends are from all over Canada and they see the benefits of the area.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Cape Breton is a great place with some difficult challenges. The economic situation has been studied to death, there are enough reports to fill a library yet we languish. Big promises of big companies locating here sounds great unfortunately there are no quick fixes, governments focus towards investing big to attract these companies. The reason is simple, a big project equals big hype that to voters appears the elected officials are making a difference. Again, there are enough big vacant buildings to prove otherwise. We need entrepreneurs and lots of them and some will succeed,scale and grow. Small businesses are the number one employer in Canada. We have to build on that. To Joe's point, $1 million invested directly into startups versus $1 Million invested in a building that now stands empty.
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Peter Sheehan Follow Me
All over the Maritimes, the rural areas are declining in all sorts of ways , and populations are shrinking fast . Every level of government shares the blame .The municipal councillors share the most .If they do not watch their area close and plan ahead , then they loose . WE tend to believe that certain economies are municipal but which ones is your municipality working on ??? We think tourism is provincial , but it is really municipal and provincial . We think rail is federal, but it is really all three levels . Economies are built by having the right "numbers" . You have products or services or resources that people are buying . The municipalities on Cape Breton have yet to join forces on one cohesive business plan. IF the rail line doesn't survive , it's no ones fault but theirs . They haven't been watching the ball . The less we manufacture meant the less we had to ship . IN the IT sector or any white collar sector , what work is being done to attract investment on CB ? Toursim is a huge "export" product , but yet the province just dismantled the tourism department , so now we have none . The province no longer cares about the loss of taxes in the growing underground tourism vacation home rental market while many rural tourism businesses are starting to close . We are loosing graduates in all sorts of trades because we have no one trying to help them stay on CB . Yes, having more ships use the Sydney harbour sounds lovely but that is very long term "dream project" , it does nothing to address "today". We should be building more product here , but we saw government be part of the problem that helped close 2 wood flooring export plants in Antigonish and Victoria counties as the would rather burn the wood instead . Every municipality should have an investment fund that is solely to grow business and the municipal economy .
Nigel Kearns Follow Me
Great article in deed Chris! More than ever a social shift is required here. There are good initiatives in place as you have pointed out, I agree with you, a great deal more is required. We need a less safe and politically motivated approach to entrepreneurial efforts in start ups. A little gutsy out side of the box thinking is required. To achieve this, it really only requires to learn what these smart, brave and enthusiastic people truly need to get started and act on it. Get it done! I look forward to hearing the outcome of your conversation with your old friend in Raleigh. The conversations you and I (and others) have had since attending 4.0 has me very encouraged and as you know, I stand with you with optimism and encouragement that we are on the right track. I must really get back to making a buck now, but I must address one more thing. And this is not pointed at anyone in particular, but you all will have someone in mind I am sure when I say... The use of the word "NEGATIVE" when used to describe ones view or statements of how it is, or needs to be, is generally used by those who do not want change, or have something to loose (personal agenda) and when one makes a "negative" comment in describing what must happen here, they generally are just saying it as it is. It should be taken constructively as it is intended. Of course, this is just my opinion. Game on!
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
Christian: It appears we have a fair number of IT/computer type companies on the Island , which is good to hear . My suggestion is that it would be a big help if these companies were also communicating as an "economy". While they may not have that many direct clients on the Island , maybe they can get more support if everyone on the Island knew what the company does , where it is based , and had a profile of the number of employees, job opportunities ,etc. etc. Also , maybe if they were more visible , more networking could evolve as today so many in business are trying to make sure they keep up with technology. Almost every business has a website now and many of them want to build new websites and would prefer to deal with a "local" website designer , but who and where are they ?? Maybe the IT community/economy needs to have a newsletter that gets sent to all other businesses and politicians , and of course potential investors .
Nigel Kearns Follow Me
That is a good and important point that you bring up Peter. I am constantly asked to have my brain picked by many. For a vast variety of things. The request is usually preceded with..."This might sound crazy, but do you know of any..." And when I share what I have to offer, I commonly get this response..."We have/do that here? I had no idea!" It is amazing what we do not know what others around us truly do or are involved with and right under our noses: be it directly or at arms length. We need to educate each other on what is here, what "we" do and what "we" have access to. Hmm, did I just come up with a good project here?
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Ahem ... Cape Breton Tech Sector Roundup right here on goCB: https://capebreton.lokol.me/cape-breton-tech-sector-roundup
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
A few community groups need to have their websites redone . So funds are tight for them . Is there a list of web designers around ?
Joe Ward Follow Me
There still seem to be several people doing that kind of development around here. Honestly, if budgets are very tight, here's an easy 1,2,3 solution: 1. Go with a wordpress installation as your CMS (Content Management System, fancy way of saying where you get to enter your content, ha ha) 2. Choose a template (predone design) at http://themeforest.net/ Note: Search for "Wordpress responsive". Look for something that looks like a website, not a blog. 3. Once you pick one you like, find someone local that can install it for a modest fee, and do customizations, or pay an online freelancer to do the same. By the time these templates are branded with your logo, some local/biz photos, and your content, they are entirely your own. And they are high quality, professional sites, that work great on mobile as well. Choosing a custom design for a website these days is a very bad investment. Design/structure has been solved. With a little exploration, many will be able to add/edit their own content. However, it's only a modest fee to have a tech add it for you in the event that is required. Note: This pertains to a marketing website only, not something that requires more advanced interaction. There are easy tools to add contact us forms, or mailing list signups.
David Rae Follow Me
I agree with many of the comments Christian and others have made. Specifically that Provincial and federal governments and agencies are not on your side and will only invest minimally in Cape Breton. IT is one of the very few sectors with the potential for innovation, growth and sustainable employment, partly because there are some resilient people and firms which keep going and have track record showing what can be done. UIT is making a difference but more is needed. CBU made an error a few years back by withdrawing its Technology Information degree having neglected & failed to update it. There is now a project to reintroduce a completely updated IT-applications centred program through a partnership with NSCC, the IT sector and the Egyptian partner CIC who continued to deliver it. Patricia Morrison is driving this with great determination and I think it can work. The point about early stage financing for tech startups is completely valid, new approaches and investment are needed here.
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
David, it's nice to see someone like you say this who has seen the inside of our challenges and has no reason to sugar coat the truth: "Specifically that Provincial and federal governments and agencies are not on your side and will only invest minimally in Cape Breton." I can tell you that "they" feel they are doing a good job and that we (complainers) under appreciate their efforts. Much because too many in our community play the funding game and will complain about "them" in private but never when it counts. So nothing changes.
David Rae Follow Me
Democracy is a wonderful thing, there is a Federal election so there's never been a better time for those with votes here (I dont!) to challenge candidates and party leaders on the need for openness and transparency in government. This is manifestly lacking and seems to have got much worse under the Harper administration. A specific example affecting us is the Provincial Rail Committee - they have 3 reports funded by ACOA. I have asked repeatedly for these to be released because the Province will use them to decide the future of your rail line. They are being suppressed for quite specious reasons and will eventually be released when they wont make much difference. http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1308499-release-of-c.b.-rail-service-reports-delayed-by-committee-questions
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Ah, yes, the "Study Game" is a fun one :-) We've seen it many times over. I document the biggest study game played by the Growth Fund in my "Epic History of the CB Tech Sector" article. There is also this Fun Study that we reportedly contributed $700,000 for and seems to have disappeared into the night: http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2013-03-18/article-3202516/ECBC,-N.S.-helping-fund-iron-ore-plant-study/1 That would have funded 3 rounds of SPARK winners alone. But, we are expected to accept these nickels and dimes and be thankful that our overseers are taking care of us.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
I get those emails from Russia in my spam filter all the time: I am Ms.Ella Golan; I am the Executive Vice President Chief Internal Auditor with FIRST INTERNATIONAL BANK OF RUSSIA LTD (FIBR). I am getting in touch with you regarding an extremely important and urgent matter. If you would oblige me the opportunity, I shall provide you with details upon your response. Faithfully, Ms.Ella Golan I usually delete them.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
When I read the article again I chuckled. One of the statements was, "Sydney is relatively close to a source of iron ore in Labrador." I couldn't help but think that Labrador is relatively close to a source of iron ore in Labrador.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
It seems the general public are not as aware as we may think of the waste in government , at all levels . There just has to be a way to embarrass our municipalities and the province to make them get more transparent . Is there no simple way to start a website that would simply track any of this kind of stuff ? e.g all the consultant contacts ? the media would love it .
Joe Ward Follow Me
There is no simple way. Getting the data opened up is the biggest challenge. I've been thinking about an application that would essentially scan archived media reports (Web accessible), tracking funding/expenditures, program names, and stakeholders involved. So this would be extracting data from media sources. Much less accuracy in the data, but a good source for estimation and tracking. Normally this would be done by a researcher. But there are ways to semi-automate such extraction. Automation of the scanning, and then human confirmation of the data. With that said, it's a significant effort and would require collaboration. I'm in over my head with my own projects at this moment, so it gets added to the list of several other community oriented projects I have jotted down as pet projects.
Nigel Kearns Follow Me
I think Tanya Collier MacDonald and her team at Orenda my have the tool for this task. https://orendasolutions.com/
Joe Ward Follow Me
Interesting point, Nigel. I've been hoping to get a look at the tool after learning about it from the Orenda software developer, Ardell. Having familiarity with social media tracking, reputation management, and sentiment analysis, I have an idea of what to expect - and it's pretty cool stuff. ;) I actually was thinking about how it could be used in the context of analyzing the entire Cape Breton economic development community, from the startup folks, to the intermediary academics, on over to the industry reestablishment/feasibility study folks. That would be super useful for all stakeholders to have access to. There's a decent amount of coverage even on Twitter with the startup ecosystem representatives, UCB stakeholders, and political commenters/activist-types.
Nigel Kearns Follow Me
I will be having a discussion with the Orenda team on this topic. They have created an incredible tool. Truly remarkable accomplishment.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
Sent her a note . Took 3 tries .
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
Joe : Most local topics , even at the province wide level, do not get that much media coverage really . So you take a topic , e.g. "Sydney port future " and you slowly build in chrono order a list with links to the PDF of the media coverage . I say PDF because you have to get around their paywalls now . When you list each article, you may also list some keywords such as the names of people mentioned . So in this example by now you might have a list of 50 articles , most from the CB post , and a list of 30 names and maybe highlights on the mention of money 30 times too . If local people want more transparency , maybe there would be some way to harness their energy and have them post the items ??? They /some do it on Facebook all day long it seems
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Peter, I think you know that goCapeBreton.com is already being used for something like this in this example here: https://capebreton.lokol.me/port-of-sydney---the-unfolding-story People names are not listed, but anyone can reproduce what we created and do more with it - or create a separate post with just the names of those involved. But, doing the PDF thing is problematic because it could be considered copyright infringement. This is why we link to articles.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Matt, we live in a world where transgender attracts more attention than politics. I believe we have succumb to a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome. "Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors." In concept of course.
Joe Ward Follow Me
One of the things we should be aware is that big industry doesn't need help with feasibility reports when they are interested in major projects. They are not going to wait around for slow paced municipal gov (or gov at any level) to make slow moves. They find an opportunity, explore it, and move on it if it make sense. We just set ourselves up to hand over cash to high paid consultants. Oftentimes, that's vapor investment. Goes to an expensive consultancy and that's it. When people know that kind of investment is a possibility, some of them specialize in knowing how to extract it. Just get something done. I think many are now seeing the opportunity cost. Let's stop being wasteful and start injecting these funds into the entrepreneurial community to promote business establishment and job creation.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Senior votes may be ready to support an alternative as well. But they have to be given choices. Many entrepreneurially types as quite averse to any thought of working in politics. But there still may be some that could act as intermediaries.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Typos fixed: "Many entrepreneurial types are quite averse to any thought of working in politics"
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
As an update, I have scheduled a call with my friend out of North Carolina to discuss the Cape Breton startup ecosystem. I am developing a brief that I will share prior to our meeting and I thought I would ask the participants of this discussion to toss me some topics. Taking Ted Zoller's comments to heart, making this an entrepreneur driven endeavor is my overall goal with success the primary objective. Please email suggestions to [email protected] as I believe this is a big opportunity if handled intelligently. Top 5 opportunities Top 5 challenges:
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Chris, I admire your enthusiasm, but if I may share my experience .... unless your contact has an emotional or physical connection to Cape Breton, it is highly unlikely he will have any interest in startups here. Your best strategy with people from away is to focus on leveraging your relationship for your specific needs to be successful. Do what you need to do to be successful. Once you close the deal for you, then your contact will be more ready to hear about everything else.
Joe Ward Follow Me
I think Matthew is right. Your top focus should be your startup. But perhaps there may be some regional factors that you can use as part of your pitch for locating here? Lower square footage costs for office space, significantly lower salary ranges compared with other markets (tech space), startup ecosystem creating a potential HR talent pool that can be accessed, ability to attract additional funding from gov agencies after some initial funding/traction, etc. I'm not sure I'd get too deeply into the discussion of the disadvantages.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
What if a group were started that were called for lack of a better name "Invest in Cape Breton" ? In other words , pool all those looking for investment and then start going out to the world with a good proposal offering on why invest, not only in the ones offering , but in the Island in general .
Joe Ward Follow Me
In the startup sector (IT specifically), I've been curious if that approach is taken with organizations like Innovacorp, where they could leverage their investments to pull in outside investment. And I know they do help companies promote in other markets, so I'm just not sure to what extent that happens or what priority of focus it is. I've only worked with them on the lowest tier, with Spark, not as a portfolio company - and I'm sure the experience is very different. Likewise, not sure how New Dawn's fund works, or if they also pursue funding from outside on behalf of those they've invested in, etc.
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Here is how New Dawn works: http://newdawn.ca/invest/
[comment deleted] Posted
Carl Jessome Follow Me
The rich few will always grab any incentives available and [word deleted by admin] us all any chance they get. That is why Cbu is where it is and not in downtown sydney. Why the tar ponds were covered up and not removed. Why we have vacant condominiums and poor and homeless people. Why housing prices have dropped 30 to 40 percent. Why our main streets are ghost towns. Why Cecil continues to promise a future that will never come. Cme and Archibald's Wharf . What a waste. Bechtel and now a Chinese disgraced company will reap some of our hopes and destroy more of our dreams. We need change and it will only come when the [word deleted by admin] like Cecil and the cb mafia have gone away.
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Your frustration is justified Carl yet the situation is what it is. The pointing of fingers will not deliver what is needed. I rather be part of the solution then focus on the errors of the past. In my post 4 Steps to Fix Cape Bretoners I pointed out that waiting for the Government is a mistake. https://capebreton.lokol.me/4-steps-to-fix-cape-bretoners They're some good people who want to do good things, unfortunately they must operate within the agendas, short term goals and procedures of the moment. We the residents are not held by such; we can make the difference. It's not some glorious revolution; it's a persistence. A conscious commitment combined with a collection of small acts that result in large accomplishments. Our collective anger (mine included) often results in focusing efforts on the symptoms and not the disease. Carl, will you perform one small task for me? It's not huge. I would like you to go to a local small business and purchase one $20 Christmas gift. When you leave the shop, stop and take a deep breath and smile. Because at that moment you made a difference. Now let's repeat that 50,000 times and we will have put $1,000,000 into the hands of our neighbors. Small acts have huge implications.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Of the million spent, 15% of it goes to GST, another %-age for gov payroll deductions (though the ROI from EIC really pays off later). Now for product businesses, a large majority of their supply (via inventory/materials) either comes from other parts of Canada, the USA, or Internationally. So the cost of goods sold component has largely already departed this market. Of the actual profits, the business will then yield a significant amount to provincial and Federal taxes. And to the extent they are a highly profitable business, as many of our well established businesses are (Schwartz/Burkes/Kenny's), it's less likely that those funds are going directly back into our economy, and more likely that it will be placed into International investments (stocks, bonds, etc) and also removed from the local economy. Since places like Walmart also have to employ local people, expenditures there also end up returning to the economy in salaries. But the return to the community is probably similar to many of our profitable *local* businesses. Specifically, any business where the owners are already satisfied with their level of consumer spending, and an increase in profits is likely to go into their market accounts. So the best expenditures in the buy local sense are very small businesses. By the time they get to franchise level, they may already be profitable enough that the buy local mantra doesn't work as well as one might expect. Meanwhile, in the interesting effect of Walmart, as it supports employment, it also delivers cost efficiencies that allow those who shop there to have additional disposable income left over after buying essentials. And that additional income may be allocated into small businesses. But, honestly, I think the best "buy local" type purchases are lifestyle businesses or businesses where the owners are not doing extremely well. Another example is trades providers. I.e. profits in are highly inclined to be spent back in the economy.
Carl Jessome Follow Me
I agree Joe. These local businesses once they reach a certain point become like all other businesspeople. They invest elsewhere and keep their employees as working poor. They want more and others to have less. It's a nasty cycle. I don't honestly have a solution to the problem. I wish I did
Joe Ward Follow Me
One of the things I'd like to see is a removal or regulation of parasitic businesses within the CBRM as a starting point. Outstanding credit debit reduction actually would have way more impact than buy local. We're on the same page with the "invest elsewhere" idea. If it goes into a retirement account, bonds, stocks, etc, it's gone from this region. So the two big parasites that I see in our community are: #1 Payday or short-term high interest loan businesses, and #2 Furniture/electronic rental/leasing businesses With the latter, it's not the biz model per se. It's the fact that some of the interest rates and leasing agreements they provide are absolutely 100% predatory - and that includes some major well known brands here. Just imagine the amount of money lost to our economy through interest and various financial fees and penalties. One of the payday loan places had someone I know locked in a pattern of defaulting and going in every week to "get a new loan to pay the previous loan" off and extend their payment deadlines in so doing, each time with new fees and penalties rolled over. Absolute parasites. The CBRM would do a great service in finding a way to limit what they are capable of, or preferably shutting them down. Maybe a business occupancy tax of $20,000 a month. I don't know what legal options we have at the municipal level.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Typo: credit debit reduction Should be "credit debt reduction"
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Joe, as always your narrative of the challenges is accurate. I will point out that we have to build influence. Much like building a brand, it takes time and commitment. Death and taxes: We can't focus on taxation, it's a constant that we can account for. Payroll Deductions: If we are deducting for payroll than we are doing something right. As for Production: I've simplified Cape Breton Economics down to three items; makers, takers and middlers (made that word up). Protocase: Maker Walmart: Taker Schwarts: Middler This simple formula can help us make purchase decisions within our budget. Obviously we as consumers will not be able to purchase locally made iPhones, but we can purchase gift certificates from a local eatery. Now to Carl's point, yes some businesses have grown to a point where they may invest elsewhere. That's capitalism. I will however point out that our community has a history of criticizing rather than celebrating our neighbors' success. When you crawl up the food chain, the animosity grows. If we look at Silicon Valley, successful business people are treated like Rock Stars....we need to create Rock Stars not hate them for it. Communities that love their business people will see a greater effort of these people to invest back. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful, I mean successful!
Joe Ward Follow Me
I think the "Buy Local" argument generally has major flaws, to the extent that it may be a wasteful focus. If I could give advice to consumers, it is to buy the best deal. That is: the most fitting product/service, highest perceived quality, and best value. But that's one of the flaws. It's vastly harder to get the attention of consumers, group them together, and convince them to change buying patterns at scale. You can reach a small demographic of the community minded people, usually with more disposable income on average, who will act on it. The majority take the best deal by necessity or lack of interest in local economics. So if there are lessons, it should be focused on political, CED, and business stakeholders. Those who are concerned with the issues and more likely to take action if there is a convincing argument. For some things, the best choice is going to be Walmart. But I'm not sure that even your example of a middler versus a taker is fully accurate. Local businesses that do extremely well may tend to actually be a good fit with takers. And this isn't an argument based on begrudging of success. That's actually impressive on its own merits, but separate from the buy local viewpoint I'm presenting. Walmart injects lots of money locally via salary. But they also invest lots of money locally by having tremendous buying power, cost efficiencies that drive prices down. They will actually create *more* disposable income for the majority of consumers here - and they can spend the savings elsewhere or slow the accumulation of debt - after buying items that they need. It would be very bad for our economy if they left. For me, this is the rule of thumb (without its original connotation): If you want to have an impact in terms of "buy local", you have to "buy local small". (cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
The closer the business is to one employee, the more impact it actually has on the local economy. As soon as they are moderately to highly profitable, that spending is going into investment accounts - and most of the time they are not local. I truly think buy local impact is exaggerated when it becomes anti-corporate, or just any regional ownership qualifies to fit with it. Highly profitable local businesses, or regional businesses (i.e. Sobey's or No Frills) aren't much different than Walmart. But Walmart actually does have a positive impact for consumers. Just think how much those families comprising the 30% or so experiencing child poverty conditions appreciate the savings when it comes time to buying essentials that they can't afford. Save and pay down debt and when you do buy, "buy local small" *if* you can. But always take the best deal for you when you have limited resources. And in Cape Breton that sound advice for a very large segment of us. But that's just my perspective and a work in progress. ;)
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Joe, your position is not without merit, I simply feel we, if you can afford to, purchase from a local business. It can have an impact. With that said, influencing a whole community will take an effort that goes beyond a marking plan, as mentioned it's guys like you and I acting as cheerleaders. Getting the message out there. Will my posts change Cape Breton tomorrow? No. Over time, if my voice is added to a thousand others can we start a cultural shift? Yes! We can always pull things apart; bringing things together is what makes the difference. Marginal at first, but in time we can generate a title wave.
Joe Ward Follow Me
I definitely agree here. Every comment matters. We should always take the opportunity to share what we believe. My theory on buy local impact is different (and definitely more of an outlier type view), but either way our messages are fully aligned in terms of trying to introduce ideas that can help our region do better. :)
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
I'm working on it Joe. Always looking for the executable solution.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Joe : the Chambers of Commerce are the group that should be leading the charge to help the buy local or buy small as you call it . I realize Walmart is the extreme type where prices are low and the profits leave the island , as does almost every other chain or multinational . It's the small business owners themselves that have to get out there to tell us just who is who and why we should shop at or support their business , and maybe they should pool some of their money too .
Joe Ward Follow Me
Agree; it's essentially a "specialization of labour" model. Majority of individual consumers are not going to collectively align to respond to the call of "buy local", especially in a struggling region. That alignment has to come via the marketing of individual vendors, and coordinating groups like the chamber. But the best way to secure the business is by differentiation; some clear advantage, even if it boils down to a highly rewarding/pleasant customer experience. Panhandlers do well with this type of appeal, but they are successful because they deliver it with a direct, hard sell, one-on-one sales strategy. ;)
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
I am conducting a small social experiment. Nothing grandiose, simply a test of our commitment to our local businesses. https://capebreton.lokol.me/cape-breton-christmas-challenge-in-3-easy-steps I have placed a modest goal of $20,000 injected into our local community. It will be interesting to learn if our frustration is equal to our commitment to act.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Think the time has come for some real hard talk about the economies of the whole province and especially CB . People are not getting the messages from those in small business that things are tough and getting tougher . You'll hear a big cheer this year because tourism will be up , BUT it will not be as high as was in 2000 and not high enough to erase the accumulated losses since 1999-2000. I look at rural CB and other than Inverness, do not see much in terms of growth and signs of improvement , but rather see places closing, school populations decreasing , gas stations that disappeared and dozens of country stores that are gone or going . Yet Wal- mart etc., is packed . Don't people realize they are basically shooting themselves in the foot to save a few pennies . All that money leaves CB and ain't coming back. Many trades people are aging but we have no younger trades people able to take over, so then what?? Some talk about the underground economy. It's a huge problem in some businesses and trades . The Municipalities are their largest facilitators by not dealing with the avoidance of commercial property taxes . People have no idea what is really happening in the IT area as they don't see the IT jobs being advertised in traditional ways . IT does not locate in storefronts , so people do not see the same signs that show there are people working in this building and this is what they do.
John R McLellan Follow Me
I mentioned coal coming back online and got trounced and told how Green is the answer. So where is the Green to supply the jobs?? The coal is there for the taking and would at least supply badly needed cash flow on the island while Green is brought into play. Cape Breton needs to do like Danny Williams did in NFLD. Take control of the islands future. And so again I suggest that coal be worked at least until the Alternative's are brought to fruition.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
John if we keep on using coal, green will never be cheaper. Our planet is warming up and the change needs to be made, If you want to take control of the islands future, be ahead of the others and face the future. The future is green and high tech, and the first region in Canada that gets there will be leading the next boom. it is only a matter of time when the environmentalist will be boycotting every thing Nova Scotia if we don't change our ways. Besides all that. you should look up Cline on line and also watch the videos of the Westray mine. That happened in Nova Scotia and the government was supposed to be protecting us.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Also, green energy is here now, there is no wait. There would be construction and engineering jobs during builds, and tech jobs upon completion. You say coal is here under our feet...the sun in above our heads, the wind blows quite well and we have great tides The coal industry needs to continue to be completely phased out, not brought back. Those days are over.
P Sheehan Follow Me
The coal should be exported far more so than used for electricity in NS .
John R McLellan Follow Me
Here is something I noticed. I suggested putting a business in New Waterford and people said it would be throwing money away. That is sad to hear. People have lost their enthusiasm.
Bob Inglis Follow Me
Makes me proud to be a small business owner now please help me explain to Cape Breton business owners that " The expert does not have to come from over 500 miles away" we have to battle our own people for business we supply BUT sometimes THEY buy the products we sell at the same or better price, off island. The "Think Cape Breton First" motto does work please keep it in mind when spending your hard earned dollars. The companies who purchase products off island are the same companies expecting support of their hockey team, ball team etc.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I have seen even small business owners buy "the cheapest" supplies from box stores because they say they can't afford to buy local. We really need a shift in thinking from the small business sector as well.
P Sheehan Follow Me
The small business sector seems to forget that customer loyalty is so critical, as is the word of mouth references. Today we can tell 100 people in seconds about a company we like or one we do not like. A small business just can't afford any negatives flying around their market area . We all want a "deal" and we'll go to great lengths to get one . Small businesses can be far more proactive at offering specials, sales and packages.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
Further to my previous comment, I wanted to share an "experts from away" experience. I do community video and work a lot with youth. I tried to do a free youth workshop with a local youth centre, and it just didn't work. It wasn't taken seriously and the required support wasn't there. I think there were other factors involved, but it did call my attention when a year later a youth video worker passed through town from a big city and did the same thing, was on CBC in the morning being interviewed and said the same things I said, and everyone was awe struck. It might have been just an opportunity the centre had, but I noticed the awe, and rightfully didn't expect them to call me back up for further programming. Maybe I should have charged?
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
You're correct Bob, we have had our minds and identities stolen by the thought that away is better than here. Cape Breton first has to be manifested in a physical form and through the actions of the citizenry.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Christian: I have no idea who is managing anything about Cape Breton First or helping promote and educate CB companies in general. I see all sorts of groups like the CB Partnership , that Business CBRM thing , the now almost Island wide provincial economic development group, but do not get the sense anyone is really in charge of anything and that anyone is really producing anything as a result except , having meetings and award dinners and travelling off island to conferences .
John R McLellan Follow Me
Very well said.
P Sheehan Follow Me
I just went through an exercise of buying heat pumps on CB . Only 1 of 3 contractors bothered to come and quote. The job was worth between $5K and $12 K . One contractor failed to appear for 2 appointments . When companies and contractors give that kind of service , they do themselves a lot of harm . Getting phones calls answered was even a problem with 2. When buying the same for properties on the mainland , all 3 contractors quoted.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
with big items like heat pumps I think there is so much demand they can't keep up with even phone calls... they should hire more people!... at least a receptionist to explain things. :-) I have had excellent service from Breton Energy, and I know that MacMullin Alternative Energy and Home Repairs is actively promoting themselves. Hopefully they answered!
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
That is an excellent idea about hiring a receptionist, however I would suspect that most small business are a one person operation answering phones and doing service calls To bring that idea further, Would the establishment of a Made In Cape Breton reception/call centre work? All manufacturers and service providers could contribute a percentage to operate it. It could basically work this way. If I wanted a heat pump, first the receptionist would check to see if any heat pumps were made in Cape Breton, second the receptionist would look for Cape Breton suppliers and provide you with that list and answer some basic questions in regard to any supplier that you might be interested in Or I might want some home made jam, the operator could tell me what Jams are made in Cape Breton and where I could buy that jam Another potential incubator mall so to speak was in the news this week. Cape Breton farmers Market looking for a new location. A year round farmers market should be established near both the NFLD ferry Terminal and the Sydney Cruise ships. The closer the better. The rent and taxes should be just to cover the cost. A venue for our local talent should be attached or next door. A farmers market would highlight Cape Breton first and give everyone an almost free opportunity to launch anything that they could produce or think of. It would also be a place where local producers could mind storm together on any other marketing ideas The biggest gain would be that I would think a successful Farmers Market that was a Tourist attraction in it self would put the idea of Cape Breton first in most of the locals thinking
Joe Ward Follow Me
GREAT idea. This is the type of program an econdev agency like Business Cape Breton should already have in place. Sort of like a concierge model.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Joe they had it set up on Charlotte Street for one day when the travel writers were in town. At the last minute they decided to open to the public, it was a huge success and after that it stopped. Personally I think Business Cape Breton is nothing more than a huge draw on our Tax Dollars. The CBRM funded them to almost 1 million dollars this year if you include the hanging baskets on Charlotte street idea. A million dollars could build a greenhouse where we could grow fresh vegetable's for our local food banks and also grow hanging Baskets to hang all over the CBRM. The biggest thing a Greenhouse would do is show Cape Breton that Hey we can actually grow Fresh vegetables here. You know what we could sell these fresh vegetables to NFLD and Halifax when the price of shipping in is so high.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Maybe the top positions for all econdev agencies should appear as a special ballot on each municipal election. If the public doesn't see results, we vote them out and bring in new talent and new ideas. I would be strongly in favor of this adaptation, implementation hurdles aside for the moment. TBD. Give us the power to hire and fire them.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
we have old thinkers in key administrative positions, many patronage positions but not all. They are basically decent people, but they are old thinkers. We need new thinkers to take over. There is an election coming up... if we make some changes, it WILL trickle down and up!
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
That's an excellent idea Joe. I would suggest we vote from a resume. Instead of putting up signs and advertising to run, the candidate could run on a simple resume of his or hers last term.Dont even have a picture of him or her. It would be a great way for some local talent to get some ideas rolling.
John R McLellan Follow Me
From the first day of entrance ALL politicians and public representatives should have their voting records on ALL matters recorded and posted for access by the voters. That way you can track a persons common sense (or lack of it) positions.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
A good idea. I should say though that I was thinking they were TOO BUSY with lots of work so they couldn't get back to you, so they really should get a good answering service of some type going. The idea you have about a collective call service is something that was born to fill a gab several decades ago, before cell phones. We might be able to use it here. When I worked in Hamilton I used a service. I was a one woman office for a government funded community service and just couldn't be in all day. People didn't like automated messaging back then (the 80's) so I call forwarded my line to a human being who was probably a parent working from home, and there was probably a bank of folk... good on two fronts. It was my responsibility to call them before I left and make sure they knew when I would be back, and they handled the occasional call that did come it. The trick to doing this here is to would have to set it up so it works, and have a bank of people to forward calls to so no one was ever left in the dark. Let's think of it as a new take on call girls (and boys!) This business model died in Ontario after a few short years. People learned to do business with a car, a laptop and a cell phone. But maybe we need that bridge now.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Some Sydney companies will come and sell to our area but will not provide service or want such a big retainer its not practical . MacMullan sounds good, based on their website . BTW , the first and second call for quotes was sent to all 3 by email. Only 1 really replied . Have referred him to 2 more clients and one is buying and second will most likely.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Agree. Think Cape Breton First will simply not work if the product/service/support quality of delivery isn't there. The patriotism of the idea will take deep root, but the action mechanism won't. And in a struggling economic region, there is even more cost aversion. Businesses absolutely have to do better product/service development to meet the market, deliver an unrivalled customer/client experience that they'd pay a premium to go back for, and to learn how to market. Sleepy town marketing works when the sleepy town is prosperous. It's time to get a hustle on now.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Is there an actual list of products made in Cape Breton and sorted into Categories?
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I just saw this a few minutes ago... A new local business! http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2016-08-22/article-4621783/Monkeys-on-the-move-in-New-Waterford/1
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Christian this is an excellent article and it has produced a lot of discussion and a lot of good ideas. However like all good post on gocapebreton, they tend to get too long and hard to follow after many comments to keep interest for the average reader in my opinion. It would be a shame to lose all the lets say local produced product you have created. Why not a ' Best of Be afraid, Be very Afraid" Actually I think all good post on gocapebreton should have a Sequel or a best of collection
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
Thank you Michael, it was my intent to invoke thought...which this has done. Our community is at a crossroads that no politician can fix....they can influence but they can't fix. We need to rethink our strategy.....
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Christian I'm running for council to represent district 3 and your comment made me think of my biggest fear of being on council, which is that my opinions and ideas and the opinions and ideas of other candidates for other districts are not that much different. We all want positive change and to end poverty, we all want to help create jobs etc. The problem is that when or I should say if we get elected those ideas and opinions are just that if we are not all on the same mindset and agenda. I might steal your comment and Joe Ward's Pledge idea or better still get Joe to do it LOL Joe's pledge idea was a great idea but maybe it is time for a second pledge with more emphasis added to cover our communities issues and problems and which direction council will take. We can not survive if we get the past (YES)council back in power so maybe a second pledge will show us "who has what it takes" or even "who cares enough to actually read about current issues"
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
In my humble opinion, the CBRM has to start with getting the Municipality back to its core responsibilities. These responsibilities have to align with things that are core to our long term survival. Archibald's wharf was short sighted.....our towns have to become "Baddecks" for lack of a better description. Industrialization of our town cores is not a good long term strategy. I fear Cecil Clarke acted in the interests of a wealthy resident who wanted to sell the ship yard and Archibald's wharf was used to sweeten the deal. The correct approach would have been supporting the relocation of that business to Sydport which is a designated industrial area. Obviously too late, but true. Understanding what we are not, is more important to our future than pretending what we could be. The skeletal remains of big industry litter the landscape here in Cape Breton. Time to stop, it doesn't work and it won't work. What do we have that's successful, it's not railways and ports. We don't produce anything at scale where those things are necessary. In fact, we need to start small.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Very well said !!!! What gets me is that there are not more people drawn to this CB Lokol as this is a great way to converse . Mind you, I'm from the other side of the Island ,and lost as to why there are not more people from all over CB taking an interest in CBLokol,let alone municipal politics .
Christian Murphy My Post Follow Me
The vocal minority perhaps; but people are following. Over 4000 views on this post alone Peter. What does that tell you?
P Sheehan Follow Me
Understand 4000 views is really good , BUT wish there were more people joining the conversations , and on election topics in other municipalities . BTW , CBRM has $6 million to dredge for a 2nd cruise ship wharf ???
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
You are correct, however I do not think it is too late for a new mayor and council to get Archibald's wharf back. First thing would be to talk to CME and suggest a trade for all their land in North Sydney for similar land in Sydport (2) check out the clause of the deal that states if no jobs result within a year (3) Check with lawyers about the legalities of the deal enforce new bylaw and taxation changes in that district. Talk to the provincial and federal government about awarding contracts on any public owned ship that will be serviced in close proximity to harm local resident's health. But the first thing to do would be to talk to CME and show them the benefits of our Marine Industrial Park
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