For obvious reasons, a lot of thought in Pictou County is revolving around ways to spur small business growth. Naturally such discussion will occur following news like we had last week of the loss over the coming year of 500 jobs at the Michelin plant. But job creation and business development need to become daily buzzwords.
To that end, Michelin itself has announced organization of one of its own programs in this community – something that will prove a welcome addition to opportunities available to help entrepreneurs. Michelin Development, which has been rolled out in several other communities that are host to the company, will provide low-interest loans through partnership with a bank to people starting up a small business or looking to expand.
The program also provides entrepreneurs access to Michelin expertise along the path toward developing a business.
A steering committee will be set up, to work with the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, to determine candidates that could benefit from this kind of assistance.
This is a hugely positive gesture from the company, and the offer, although it could mean a new opportunity for a departing employee, is extended to others in the area.
Also stemming from the announcement of layoffs at the Granton plant: from a meeting last week of politicians and business leaders came a decision to create a local team to develop ideas on the economic front. That’s another worthwhile endeavour that will do even better if it infiltrates the mindset of the average citizen in the county.
As Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane said following last week’s meeting, in spite of such a heavy job loss, the way forward for the area will be through small and medium-sized businesses.
It’s often been noted that in the Atlantic provinces in particular small business is a huge driver of the economy. Every successful venture launched that adds to this sector will also add to the momentum and help establish a healthier business climate.