Amherst set to celebrate Small Business Week

Darrell Cole
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Amherst Chamber joins forces with CBDC and NSCC to host several events

Numerous events are planned in Amherst next week to celebrate Small Business Week.

Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce president Gladys Coish and executive director Patti Colson look over plans for Small Business Week celebrations in Amherst next week.

AMHERST – The Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce is joining forces with CBDC Cumberland and the Nova Scotia Community College to celebrate small businesses next week.

Success Ahead! Map Your Future Growth runs during Small Business Week from Oct. 21 to 25 and will see a number of events throughout the week beginning with the official launch at the chamber’s office at 35 Church St. on Monday at 10 a.m.

“We have a full schedule of events planned for the week. As an organization, we have been working hard to prepare for Small Business Week,” chamber president Gladys Coish said.

The afternoon will see CBDC Cumberland hosting a series of business seminars, introducing entrepreneurs to what the business development corporation does, the steps to starting and expanding a small business, business planning and financing a business venture.

On Tuesday, the Nova Scotia Community College will open its Amherst learning centre to tours and a session by Rhonda McDougal, the director of Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s Investment Readiness Program.

“NSBI has been talking to people in rural communities throughout the province about what skills are needed for business to succeed and what some of their long-term goals are,” Coish said. “We’re hoping to fill the room with entrepreneurs sharing ideas about growing their business and what investment opportunities may be available.”

Lunch is being provided, so pre-registration is required at or by calling 667-8186.

The day’s activities will also include an interactive plan discussion on ‘Why Not Amherst!’

The chamber is hosting its first Chamber Pit on Wednesday at its downtown office in which entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges including retired Mount Allison professor Arnot Coish, downtown business owner Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin and someone from the Nova Scotia Community College.

Prizes of a non-cash value will be presented to those with the best business ideas.

“There are people out there who have ideas but haven’t thought of the setting to share them,” Coish said. “The Chamber Pit would be an excellent opportunity to bring those business ideas forward and to get feedback and input from two people who have MBAs and someone from the college.”

The Small Business Week banquet is set for the NSCC Amherst learning centre with tours of the college and speakers Gladys Coish of the chamber; Carys Wood of Cumberland CBDC; Tanya Bellefontaine, the project manager of All Ships Rise; and Jamie O’Neil, president of consulting firm Beluteau DeVenney.

Small Business Week celebrations wrap up with an expo at the Amherst Centre Mall on Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. and a membership services information session at the chamber office rom 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Our membership services chairman, Wayne Bishop, has been actively recruiting new members to the chamber,” Coish said. “This session will be an opportunity for those businesses, and others, to learn about the benefits of chamber membership.”

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Nova Scotia Community College, Amherst Chamber, Area Chamber of Commerce Nova Scotia Business Chamber Pit Beluteau DeVenney

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