The time is now

The time is now

< Back to Articles | Topics: From the President


Patrick Sullivan, President and CEO, Halifax Chamber of Commerce

Investing in Nova Scotia starts with you

How far in the future do you have to look to see Halifax at its full potential? In my opinion, we’re nearly there. Think about it, a handful of years ago we received a confidence boost through the shipbuilding contract, the past few years we’ve seen an increase in tourism, immigration and retention and most recently, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster was announced. We’re in our element. We understand what we bring to the table and we aren’t afraid to talk about it. We’re not taking baby steps anymore — we’re running and soon we will be sprinting.

There’s potential in this moment.

Let’s continue to make thoughtful and impactful decisions that benefit us individually and as a greater community. Lucky for us, it doesn’t all have to be through multi-million dollar investments.

I am happy to showcase two of the recent investments in Nova Scotia’s future in this issue of Business Voice, including Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, which will create jobs and bring money into our region (keep an eye out: this will be highlighted at our Annual Spring Dinner on May 2). The second is the upcoming accessibility legislation that will remove barriers for many by creating an accessible Nova Scotia.

These stories impact the province as a whole, but I also want for each of you to have tangible ideas of what you can do to make a difference today, so we can see an even brighter tomorrow. Here are five simple things you can today:


I’m not the first person to remind you of how much talent is pumping out of our post-secondary institutions. Consider your minimum requirements when hiring for a position or see if there’s a way co-operative education can elevate your organization. There’s also funding opportunities available for new grads, co-op students and even post-grads to make this the best option for your business.


Imagine packing up your life and moving to some place entirely new? It takes courage. Talented people are choosing to come to Halifax because they see where we are headed and they want to be a part of it. You can help make their move easier by considering them for openings at your organization, or something as simple as taking them out to coffee and making connections.


Your people are what keep the engine of your business running. They are the ones that show up, turn on the lights and keep your customers coming back. The challenge for many small businesses is that there isn’t a lot of room for valuable employees to move up, so they risk them moving out. Take advantage of their dedication by developing their skills so they can continue to grow and provide even more value to your team.


Now is the time to look at the longterm gains of supporting each other. Build relationships within your industry so you can better understand where you fit in the market and the exact value you provide. We can grow the entire pie, not just our individual pieces.


There’s something about the culture in Atlantic Canada that leaves people fearful of sounding boastful if they toot their own horn. It’s 2018 and we can’t afford to continue being afraid. We need to get out of our own way. The Chamber now has more than 1,600 members. That’s more than 1,600 unique and interesting stories that we could all learn something from.

I encourage you to learn more about these topics and to get involved in your own capacity. I look forward to seeing the Nova Scotia we can create together.

< Back to Articles | Topics: From the President

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