FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Unama’ki – Cape Breton, NS – Individuals interested in contributing to the future of Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s economy are invited to submit a nomination for the Cape Breton Partnership’s Board of Directors for 2023-2024.
Individuals approved by the Board of Directors will be announced at the annual Investor Summit, being held October 26 at the Inverary Resort on Baddeck Bay. Members of the Board of Directors serve a minimum three-year term.
“As Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s private sector-led economic development organization, the Cape Breton Partnership is fortunate to be able to work with a variety of community leaders from both the private and public sectors,” says Tyler Mattheis, Cape Breton Partnership President & CEO. “The valuable guidance and experiences of our Board of Directors enables our team to actively participate in activities, programs, and projects that have a positive impact on our local communities and economy.”
Nominations for the Board of Directors will only be accepted from investors of the Cape Breton Partnership until Friday, September 29, 2023. For more information or to make a nomination, visit https://capebretonpartnership.com/board-nominations/.
Jeremy Martell, Director of Communications
Cape Breton Partnership
About the Cape Breton Partnership:
The Cape Breton Partnership is Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s private sector-led economic development organization that supports companies and entrepreneurs by promoting our island as a great place to live, work, and invest; growing a culture that values and celebrates creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and connecting entrepreneurs and companies to the resources they need to succeed. For more information, visit https://capebretonpartnership.com.
If you’re passing through the bustling village of Inverness, N.S., you may have noticed a new shop in town – The Corner Store by missbrenna, located on the corner of Central Avenue and Broad Cove Banks Road.
For Brenna MacNeil, her dream shop at 15645 Central Ave. is the culmination of her creativity and the nostalgia of generations of her family growing up close to the corner that is now home to her new brick-and-mortar store. From apparel with MacNeil’s own Cape Breton-style designs, to cards with beautiful photography, Italian goods, and so much more, there is something for everyone at the carefully curated Corner Store by missbrenna.
When MacNeil began designing apparel nine-and-a-half years ago as a way to keep her creativity flowing during her maternity leave, she never imagined that one day she would be cutting the ribbon to open her own shop in her hometown of Inverness.
“I just have to look at my daughter Lucinda to know when this really all began,” says MacNeil, who owns and operates The Corner Store by missbrenna with her husband, Brandon.
“I was on maternity leave from my role at Dalhousie University as a graphic designer and had created cards for a long time,” she continues. “I used to take photos of scenery and glue them onto cards and sell them at a local shop, and then I went on to self-publish a book called ‘twentythree’ in February of 2011.”
The book, ‘twentythree,’ was created as a coffee table book and included question-and-answer style cards, along with MacNeil’s own photography that was sold at both the Farmers’ Market in Halifax and Inverness.
“When I was selling the book, it became clear that the Cape Breton photography that I had included was really well received and popular, so I thought I would design a Cape Breton calendar for people to enjoy the beautiful scenery here,” adds MacNeil.
It was after the success of her first calendar that MacNeil began designing her first pieces of apparel.
“I developed a colour palette of gray, green, and black and then took my designs to the Mabou Farmers’ Market, and every time I ordered t-shirts with the ‘I Love Cape Breton’ design, they sold out,” says MacNeil.
A corner store is born
So how did The Corner Store by missbrenna end up on Central Avenue? It’s quite the story, which MacNeil shares with a smile.
“It seemed like the ideal location, but it wasn’t for sale at the time,” says MacNeil. “I found out who the owner was, and I went to visit him at his home in town, and shared with him my brand and plans of what I wanted to do.”
The owner was willing to listen to MacNeil’s story, her passion for the community and her dream for the building and was quickly on board to sell her the place that is now home to her shop.
Before she opened the doors to her new shop, The Corner Store by missbrenna saw a spike in popularity during the pandemic when Chef Mary Janet MacDonald launched her Facebook Live cooking show, ‘Tunes and Wooden Spoons,’ wearing a “Cape Breton Crew” apron designed by MacNeil.
“I had gifted her an apron because she purchased some Christmas gifts from me for her grandkids,” says MacNeil. “I honestly thought when the pandemic hit, business would slow down considerably, but once Mary Janet wore it on her show, I was flooded with orders. People from all over with a connection to the Island were buying them.”
While she has had the support of the entire community behind her and her family’s new venture, it hasn’t come without its challenges.
“The most difficult part has been navigating owning a business in its first year. The ebbs and flows of what is popular and when it is trending, introducing new products, knowing when and how much to order, as well as determining how we can support our community and give back,” says MacNeil.
Thankfully, MacNeil was able to get some support through the Micro-loan Program for Female Entrepreneurs, offered by the Sydney Credit Union and the Cape Breton Partnership. The team at the Cape Breton Partnership and Sydney Credit Union worked with MacNeil one-on-one to approve her application and loan to help put The Corner Store by missbrenna on the map.
“The Micro-Loan Program allowed me to take a chance on a couple of new products that I was interested in carrying but didn’t have all of the funds for,” says MacNeil. “It allowed me to take a calculated risk and enhance our offerings. The payoff was so worth the time investment, and the application process afforded me the opportunity to look at my own business with a more critical eye than I had before. That, in itself, was a factor in a more successful launch.”
Supporting women in business
Under the Micro-Loan Program, female entrepreneurs in Unama’ki – Cape Breton will be eligible to apply for a loan of up to $10,000; offered at a low-interest rate and with zero per cent interest for the first six months by applying to one of the two participating Credit Unions: East Coast Credit Union or the Sydney Credit Union.
Participants in the program also receive a one-year membership with either the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce or the Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and a one-year membership with the Centre for Women in Business.
“We were so happy to be able to launch the third round in January 2023, which is still accepting applications until all of the funds are allocated,” says Lan Zheng, economic development officer at the Cape Breton Partnership and lead contact for the Micro-Loan Program for Female Entrepreneurs.
“Seeing women entrepreneurs get the support they need to build businesses across Unama’ki – Cape Breton is why this program is so important and we are proud to have The Corner Store by missbrenna be part of it,” says Zheng.
The Micro-Loan Program for Female Entrepreneurs was not the only help MacNeil had along the way. Business development services, InRich and Savvy Lemon, worked one-on-one with MacNeil to build her business plan and take her through the necessary steps to prepare her application for funding.
“Everyone that supported us along this journey has been terrific,” says MacNeil. “The Cape Breton team at Invest Nova Scotia was also a great support by providing advice and directed us to the Credit Union.”
The Corner Store by missbrenna is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday from noon – 4 p.m.
MacNeil describes owning her store as a dream come true and can’t wait to see what the years ahead has in store for her.
“For me the best is yet to come. I have my dream shop in my hometown, and there is nothing more rewarding than interacting with our customers and being a welcoming place for the community,” says MacNeil.
To learn more about The Corner Store by missbrenna, visit www.missbrenna.com, and to learn more about the Micro-Loan Program for Female Entrepreneurs, please visit https://capebretonpartnership.com/initiative/micro-lending-program-female-entrepreneurs/.
Elevate is Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s business-focused publication brought to you by the Cape Breton Partnership. To evolve with our business audience, the publication has now moved from a print publication to fully online. Starting in 2022, our readers can expect to see Elevate articles appearing on both our website and on Saltwire.com.
About the Cape Breton Partnership
The Cape Breton Partnership is Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s private sector-led economic development organization that supports companies and entrepreneurs by promoting our Island as a great place to live and invest; growing a culture that values and celebrates creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; and connecting entrepreneurs and companies to the resources they need to succeed.
To learn more about how we can help you and your business and the FREE services we provide, please visit capebretonpartnership.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cape Breton Island, NS – Registration is now open for the annual Safety First in Cape Breton Symposium, hosted by the Cape Breton Partnership and presented by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration (LSI), WCB Nova Scotia, and EverWind Fuels. The Symposium is set for Wednesday, May 24, 2022 from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Safety First in Cape Breton Symposium and Network. In celebration of this milestone, attendees can expect a full-day of learning, networking, keynote presentations, and panel discussions on a number of important topics, including equity, diversity and inclusion; first-aid legislation changes; the importance of including wellness as part of organizations’ occupational health and safety programs; and more.
“We are excited to once again bring this event to Unama’ki – Cape Breton with our event partners to share and acknowledge the important role safety plays in our workplaces and in our daily lives,” said Tyler Mattheis, President & CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership. “We’ve all navigated a new normal in our workplaces these past few years, putting a renewed emphasis on our responsibilities as employers and employees when it comes to health and safety. We must work together to build stronger safety cultures in our industries, workplaces, and in our everyday lives across Unama’ki – Cape Breton.”
While physical safety is extremely important, so is mental health. Joining the symposium as the Keynote Presenter this year is Tara Beaton, a speaker and facilitator who most recently spoke at Canada’s 22nd annual “Managing Your Duty to Accommodate” conference. Beaton is a Certified Disability Management Professional and Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional, and sits on the Board of Directors for VRA Canada.
“The Safety First Committee has been hard at work to make this year’s symposium a great day of learning for both attendees and employers,” said Kelly Johnston-Noseworthy, Relationship Manager with WCB Nova Scotia.
“From great panel discussions, to tackling mental health, and first-hand experiences from presenters covering important topics like diversity, equity, inclusion and wellness, there are a broad range of topics this year to mark our 10th anniversary and make Unama’ki – Cape Breton the safest place to do business.”
A highlight panel of the symposium will feature a Women in the Trades and Safety panel discussion led by Rochelle Hatcher, Regional Director and Community Engagement Coordinator with the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council, with panelists representing the Office to Advance Women Apprentices, Women Unlimited, Construction Safety Nova Scotia, and Lynk Electric.
Early bird ticket prices are available now until April 30 for $114.99 +HST. Regular tickets go on sale on May 1 for $129.99. To register, visit https://2023-safety-first-in-cape-breton.eventbrite.ca.
Cape Breton Partnership
The Cape Breton Partnership is excited to celebrate the resiliency of Cape Breton – Unama’ki’s businesses and the incredible contributions of their leaders across the region at the 2022 Economic Impact Awards, presented during the 2022 Cape Breton Partnership Investor Summit at the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands in Ingonish Beach.
“Though the last few years have been challenging for many across the region, we are excited and proud to be able to recognize business leaders and employers across Cape Breton – Unama’ki for their significant contributions during what has been an unprecedented time not only for businesses here at home, but around the world,” said Brian Purchase, Chairperson of the Cape Breton Partnership and owner of Schwartz Furniture and ServiceMaster in Cape Breton.
The 2022 Economic Impact Award recipients include Carbide; the Baddeck Waterfront Committee; the Port of Sydney; and We’koqma’q First Nation/ We’koqma’q Aquaculture Venture.
“We are extremely honoured to receive one of this year’s Economic Impact Awards. This award is an affirmation of the focus and commitment of our leadership, past and present, as well as the support from our community and Unama’ki-Cape Breton as a whole,” said Storm Gould, Director of Marketing and Communications for We’koqma’q First Nation. “Our commitment to the success of this island and driving growth to rural Cape Breton is no secret, we have quickly become a rising star in the aquaculture industry and are one of the leaders in rural full-time job creation right here in Cape Breton. We see a bright future for We’koqma’q and look forward to realizing this potential in the years to come.”
“Our recipients of the 2022 Economic Impact Awards are all organizations from various industries who have worked extremely hard to make a lasting impact on our economy, and it is an honour to be able to celebrate their impacts and accomplishments here at the beautiful Keltic Lodge at the Highlands today,” added Tyler Mattheis, President and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership.
The 2022 Economic Impact Awards, which attracted more than 20 nominations from Investors of the Cape Breton Partnership, are presented by Seaside Communications, Coastal Business CBDC, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, and Bear Head Energy. To be nominated, an organization or business must have demonstrated a noted economic impact on Cape Breton – Unama’ki through new investment, innovation, and/or workforce development and been nominated by an investor of the Cape Breton Partnership.
Director of Communications, Cape Breton Partnership
About the Cape Breton Partnership
The Cape Breton Partnership is Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s private sector-led economic development organization that supports companies and entrepreneurs by promoting our island as a great place to live and invest; growing a culture that values and celebrates creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and connecting entrepreneurs and companies to the resources they need to succeed. For more information, visit https://capebretonpartnership.com.
Sydney, NS – Safety was top-of-mind on May 4 as more than 200 professionals representing several industries gathered at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre for the 2022 Safety First in Cape Breton Symposium, hosted by the Cape Breton Partnership in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration and WCB Nova Scotia.
A key highlight of the day was the 2022 Safety First in Cape Breton Awards ceremony, presented by Protocase, where occupational health and safety champions were recognized for their contributions in building a strong safety culture and going above and beyond to make their workplace, and all of Cape Breton – Unama’ki, the safest place to do business.
The 2022 Safety First in Cape Breton Awards recipients include:
- Safety Culture Champion Award: Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Ltd.
- Engagement Ally Award: Paul Kehoe, Health & Safety Supervisor, Port Hawkesbury Paper, and Craig Thiel, Manager, Occupational Health & Safety Eastern Zone, Nova Scotia Health
- Innovation Expert Award: Krista MacInnis, Administrative Assistant, Municipality of the County of Inverness.
“The Safety First in Cape Breton Network created these awards to honour employers and employees across a diverse range of organizations who are committed to making our Island’s workplaces the safest places to work and do business,” said Tyler Mattheis, President & CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership. “It was a privilege to be able to celebrate and recognize these organizations and individuals in person, and alongside our partners who help make this event such a success, and who work hard every day to improve workplace safety for all of us.”
The 2022 Symposium welcomed more than 200 delegates to the 10th annual Safety First in Cape Breton Symposium this year. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from industry leaders, visit an industry trade show, and participate in interactive breakout sessions that underscored how safety can be ingrained into our workplace cultures and everyday lives.
The Safety First in Cape Breton Symposium is the only event of its kind in Cape Breton – Unama’ki and is committed to making the Island the safest place to work and do business by prioritizing physical, psychosocial, and mental health of the workforce in our region. For additional details on the Safety First in Cape Breton Network, Symposium, and Awards please visit www.safetyfirstcapebreton.com.
Cape Breton Partnership
About the Cape Breton Partnership
The Cape Breton Partnership is Cape Breton – Unama’ki’s private sector-led economic development organization that supports companies and entrepreneurs by promoting our island as a great place to live, work, and invest; growing a culture that values and celebrates creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; and connecting entrepreneurs and companies to the resources they need to succeed. Learn more at https://capebretonpartnership.com/.
About the Safety First Cape Breton Network
The Safety First Network demonstrates Leadership by providing safe work environments for employees, distributing online newsletters to share with industry about safety related topics, highlight the work of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, and WCB Nova Scotia, while showcasing the safety champions in the Cape Breton – Unama’ki region.