Port Hawkesbury group exploring development

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PORT HAWKESBURY — A newly formed group of business leaders and Port Hawkesbury town councillors is hoping to continue the work of the now defunct Strait Highlands Regional Development Authority.

Adam Rodgers

The group has been working on development initiatives in the town, including identifying ways to strengthen the retail sector in Port Hawkesbury and increasing overall business development.

“We are in the early stages, so we are still sorting out our resources, but two things that we thought we could address were identifying potential investors and perhaps a facade program for Reeves Street.” said John Ouellette, a group member.

“We also want to work with the town more closely on promoting cultural and sporting events. It will be good for the events, and hopefully for our retailers as well.”

The group was originally formed when the community learned the NewPage paper mill would close and was reactivated on the initiative of Ouellette.

Other members are town councillors Dr. Trevor Boudreau and Bert Lewis, as well as members of the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce board, including its president Adam Rodgers.

Having council and chamber members on the board has led to discussion of a partnership between the chamber and the town.

“The concept of a partnership has been presented to both town council and the chamber board of directors, and has received broad support from both organizations,” said Ouellette.

Rodgers hopes the partnership can become a model for how the group can work with other municipal units, as well.

“Working together can only improve things in both directions," said Rodgers.

"Also, some of the things the chamber is working on, like tourism and port development, cross those boundaries. So, if we have these partnerships, it will make it easier to push those broader initiatives.”

The development group has been meeting for breakfast every two weeks to ensure that the agenda continues to be pushed forward.

If others are interested in joining and making a contribution, they can contact group members for more information.

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  • Michael H
    October 01, 2013 - 12:40

    Isn't the Chamber of Commerce already supposed to be doing this? Why do we need another 'partner'? What is different about their mandate that will somehow help the situation?