PORT GREVILLE – Small business initiatives are near and dear to the heart of Cumberland South Progressive Conservative nomination candidate Oralee O’Byrne.
For half-a-dozen-years, O’Byrne worked in small family business. While she no longer works in small business, O’Byrne, who brings 15 years of management and executive level experience in the Nova Scotia tourism industry to the table, believes that there is more to supporting such entrepreneurial endeavours as sustainable farming than just providing small business owners/co-operatives with a line of credit - which was recently extended by the Municipality of Cumberland to a new Oxford-based business.
“Congratulations to Sunset Industries' Randy Thompson (manager) and Julie Matheson (chief executive officer) on the opening of a thrift store & laundromat next month in Oxford,’ said O’Byrne in a news release. “Having worked in a family business for 6 years, I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges of operating a business in rural Nova Scotia. I'd like to see support for young entrepreneurs. Not even necessarily just money, but provincial guidance in things as a business plan and development, for example. This would help revitalize our communities and create infrastructure to support our tourism for all of our villages."
Currently, Atlantic Canadian small business owners only have the federally-sponsored Community Business Development Corporations to turn for support.
“The farmers markets that have cropped up in our communities are a great example of entrepreneurial efforts,” states O’Byrne. ‘These markets combine a sustainable industry (farming) with healthy living, while encouraging people to buy local.’
O’Byrne, who is one of four candidates seeking the party’s nomination for a yet to be called byelection, also addressed the status of the Rainbow bridge over the Nappan River.
"The Rainbow bridge issue needs to be monitored and pushed to get whatever work needs done a priority,” she said.
O’Byrne said the old Southampton Road needs work at the railway tracks and the MacDonald road is worse. She also pointed out the poor condition of the Lower Porter Road, that has become the most travelled alternative around the detour.
“If the (Rainbow) bridge is going to take time, then these routes need to be repaired and improved for travelers. I hate to think of what it might do to the shore's tourist season!,” she said.
In a recent interview for cumberlandnewsnow.com, Cumberland South Liberal nomination candidate Scott Lockhart suggested that Cumberland South would be better off having a member on the government side working for the people of Cumberland South and Cumberland County.
O’Byrne concedes that “…what Scott Lockhart is saying might be true, it also shows what is wrong with politics.”