The Pictou County Chamber of Commerce had a good year.
At the organization’s annual general meeting on March 14, staff reported the chamber had finished its fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2018 with a $6,045.49 surplus.
Total revenue was up by $11,000 in 2018 over 2017. Expenses were also down by $6,400, which treasurer Matt March, attributed in his report to not having an intern in place for 2018. He noted some expenses for 2018 were up from a typical year due to increased costs of running the ChamberHub, but ChamberHub revenue and sponsorship also contributed to the increase in income for the chamber.
The board has approved a balanced budget for 2019.
In his report, chamber chair Blair VanVeld said 2018 was a bit of a soul searching year as the group created a strategic plan.
“The plan is designed as a guide for the chamber to be a go-to resource for businesses in Pictou County,” he stated in his report. “The plan supports fully our mission to represent and support the needs of the Pictou County business community through leadership, innovation and advocacy.”
He said membership at the chamber continues to grow and is now over 250.
As well, he noted, ChamberHub has continued to be a valuable community asset, which he expects will increase with St. FX’s satellite location joining it.
VanVeld described 2018 as a good year for the business community in Pictou County with job creation and investments throughout the year from businesses such as Zenabis, Michelin and Web.com as well as many small businesses.
In 2019 he said they are looking forward to many mega projects moving forward such as the LNG plant in Guysborough County, Melford Container Terminal, several gold mines and the twinning of Highway 104.
“The chamber will be here for those businesses, ready to take on the challenges of these projects.”
He said the chamber is concerned about the future of Northern Pulp ,which he described as a mainstay of the local economy.
“This situation is without a doubt, the greatest economic challenge for our community in decades.”
Nicole LeBlanc, project navigator with Health Pictou County, was guest speaker for the dinner that followed the AGM. She spoke about her role in helping to attract and retain medical staff and students to Pictou County.