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Chamber offering outreach

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The new business outreach officer for the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce hopes to better the community.

Jake Chisholm, who has previously worked for the Town of New Glasgow and small businesses throughout the county, recently took on the role and hopes to hear from people in the business community about how the chamber can support them.

“The more support we provide them, the better we can move forward and create a stronger and more advanced community.”

His role will involve meeting face to face with members and non-members to let people know what the chamber offers and find out how else they may be able to help. For anyone who is thinking about starting a business or one already in existence in need of extra help, Chisholm said the chamber has access to lots of information, workshops and courses. “I don’t think people fully realize the resources at the chamber, that becoming a member is so valuable.”

Chisholm added the chamber’s door is always open and encouraged people to drop in.

“In the span of a week, it’s amazing the people that walk through the door,” he said, adding that he’d like to see more people using their hub space free for members and affordable for non-members who may need a space to meet with clients or a place to work alongside other entrepreneurs.

Executive director Jack Kyte said the chamber wants to do a better job for the business community, “to talk to them about their issues and discover some things we could be helping them with.”

“The number one thing we hope to come out of this is to make our business community more aware of what the chamber does and for us to be more aware of the business community.”

Kyte said the position requires someone who is outgoing and energetic, and Chisholm fits that role.

“He’s very interested in business and moving our community forward and we share that interest with him.”

Chisholm said he brings passion for small businesses, the desire to get things done and new ideas. He stressed the importance of small businesses as many national retailers have closed their doors or shrunk.

“You see so much potential for an area, and you see all the good things that are happening from individuals and businesses, that’s just so cool. To support them and help them is pretty cool.”

Both Chisholm and Kyte noted some important dates approaching for the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s annual general meeting is scheduled for April 26 at 11 a.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre with guest speaker Andy Horsnell from the Centre for Local Prosperity. Kyte said they’re excited for an event coming up on Thursday, March 22 called Game Changers, a partnership with the deCoste Centre, which will bring internationally known speakers Mark Brand from Save on Meats, Barb Steggeman from The 7 Virtues, and Tareq Haddad from Peace by Chocolate to talk about entrepreneurship and social enterprise businesses.

“I think it’s very exciting. It’s something we don’t normally have an opportunity to take part in in rural Nova Scotia.”