When it comes to business, our bottom line is probably very similar to yours: we want business and industry to flourish throughout Antigonish. Whether it’s supporting existing businesses to grow and prosper or encouraging new investment in Antigonish, we’re working to strengthen and diversify our local economy. It’s not just about getting bigger, it’s about getting better.
Here are some of the ways ARDA is facilitating business development in Antigonish:
Retention and Expansion of Existing Businesses
Business Development is a key component of ARDA’s mission, which strives to empower the community of Antigonish to be a thriving place to do business, a great place to live and a community of growth. One of the ways ARDA is fulfilling its mission is through its Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) program.
BRE is an internationally recognized program that helps existing NS businesses stay and grow in the province. In essence it means that ARDA connects local businesses to the resources available to them.
How does BRE work?
ARDA Development Officers have been trained and certified through the BRE International organization. Development Officers make contact with local businesses and request time to sit down and have a conversation with the owner/manager. It is an opportunity to build relationships and to identify issues and needs that a business may have.
If an issue or opportunity is identified, ARDA works with its Local Action Team (LAT) to find the best means to address the businesses’ concern. The LAT is made up of members of various government agencies, including; ACOA, ERDT, XEDC, Career Resource Centre, Labour and Advanced Education, and NOBL. These agencies provide a variety of services to the business community – from information to financial resources.
The gathered information is stored in a province wide secure database. Having a central location for information ensures the ability to identify issues that are common across the business community. This tool enables ARDA to see trends locally, regionally, as well as Province wide and offers direction for business support. Rest assured that any information gathered by ARDA staff, shared with the LAT team and stored in the database is confidential, everyone associated with BRE have signed confidentiality agreements to ensure your information is kept private.
What have we done so far?
ARDA has met with over 100 businesses and have generated over 90 referrals to the LAT team. This has meant businesses get the assistance they need. Identification of common needs amoung the business community has led to a variety of targeted actions, e.g., in 2010 ARDA sponsored a Succession Planning Workshop in response to several businesses expressing concern over their lack of direction in this area.
Labour and workforce concerns are another common theme expressed by our businesses, to this end ARDA has recently partnered with Labour and Advanced Education to assist them in delivery of their workplace education program in Antigonish.
For more information on the BRE program please contact:
Colleen Mitchell, Development Officer
Attracting New Business
New investment in Antigonish is not only essential for economic growth, it also creates new employment and opportunities for our youth. With the viable option of making a living here in Antigonish, people are less likely to take their skills and resources elsewhere, thereby helping us build a stronger future. ARDA closely analyses trends, seeks new opportunities and networks with industry leaders to discover ventures that will benefit Antigonish.
Why invest in Antigonish? Visit ARDA’s Invest in Antigonish website for more information on what our community has to offer.
A Better Business Climate
If business is going to thrive, we need to ensure that Antigonish is a place that cultivates ideas into opportunity and opportunity into success. It needs to be a place where businesses feel supported and encouraged. Working with various levels of government and other organizations, ARDA is helping Antigonish become a more competitive environment where businesses are given their best chance to prosper.
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