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News

Southern Kings and Queens Business Supports New Ferry

EPEICC Expresses Relief With Announcement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montague, PEI – 8 May 2017
The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce (EPEICC) today expressed strong support for the announcement of a proposal that completely revamps the ferry service operations between PEI and Nova Scotia to provide long-term support and stability.
“We are very pleased with the announcement today of the Government’s proposal,” said Kier White, President of the EPEICC. “The economy of Southern Kings and Queens is reliant on the ferry service and last year was a wake-up call, highlighting the need for stability and reliability. The potential for a twenty-year contract along with a three year program to phase in new ships would be hugely beneficial to our region. We are encouraged by Northumberland Ferries support for this proposal and look forward to seeing the successful outcome of this process.”

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Ferry task force seeks public input

The new Prince Edward Island Ferry Task Force wants feedback from Islanders on the importance of the Wood Islands-Caribou ferry service to the province.

After Northumberland Ferries Ltd. (NFL) announced that the Island would not have full two-ferry service during summer 2016, the provincial government immediately attempted to secure a second ferry – while stressing to NFL and the federal government the importance of full ferry service. Islanders can submit written comments to the ferry task force at www.princeedwardisland.ca/ferryinput through April 30.

“The Wood Islands ferry is a vital transportation link for trade and tourism in eastern Prince Edward Island, with economic spinoffs for communities right across our province,” Rural and Regional Development Minister Pat Murphy said. “It is critical that stable, two-vessel ferry service continues, and as a province we will work together to ensure our voices are heard by the federal government.”

The Prince Edward Island Ferry Task Force was created in February. Members include Ray Keenan, Audrey Shillabeer, and Scott Annear.

The goals of the task force include:

  • highlighting any policy objectives that should be addressed by both the provincial and federal governments;
  • providing information on revenue, operational costs, long-term infrastructure and capital requirements; and
  • identifying the potential traffic for ferry service for the next five to 10 years.

 

Recommendations from the task force will be presented to cabinet by June 1. After that, cabinet will share the task force’s recommendations with the federal government – as ferries are a federal responsibility – while it continues to reiterate the importance of the ferry service.

The Wood Islands-Caribou ferry contributes an estimated $27 million to the Prince Edward Island economy each year, carrying approximately 475,000 passengers, 160,000 passenger vehicles, and 18,000 commercial trucks. The service also provides stable, seasonal employment for more than 200 employees.

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Eastern Chamber Will Celebrate Business in Eastern PEI

The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce, (EPEICC) will host the 10th Annual Business & Community Excellence Awards on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at the St Peters Bay Complex, 1968 Cardigan Road, St Peters Bay at 6pm.

Sponsored by Provincial Credit Union, CBDC, MRSB, Grant Thornton, Country Garden Florist, Grant Rushton Photographer.

This annual, Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce event recognizes businesses, entrepreneurs and community leaders who have demonstrated excellence in four different categories:

  • The Business Excellence Award is sponsored by Provincial Credit Union and recognizes those companies who have demonstrated excellence in business operation.  This year’s nominees are Bohemian Findings, (St Peters Bay), Colville Bay Oyster Co, (Souris) and Baker’s Corner Express PetroCanada + Robin’s Donuts, (Montague).
  • The Emerging Business Growth Award is sponsored by Grant Thornton and recognizes companies that have achieved outstanding business performance in a short period of time and have demonstrated exceptional promise of continued growth.  This year’s nominees are Navigate Food Safety Solutions, (Montague), Tranquility Cove Adventures, (Georgetown), White’s Fabrication, (Montague) and Wicked Eh?, (Murray River)
  • The Pillar of the Community – Impact Award is sponsored by MRSB and recognizes the organizations or individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to the economic, social and cultural well-being of one or all of the communities in eastern PEI.  This year’s nominees are Robert Benoit, (Montague) and Rotary Club of Montague, Lori Murphy.
  • The Employee of the Year Award is sponsored by CBDC and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated community pride and a commitment to making Eastern PEI a positive place to live and work.  The nominees are John Handrahan, (Cardigan Feed Service), Debbie Livingstone, (Canada Post Montague), and Pat O’Connor, (MacPhee’s Market-Souris)

The guest speaker for this event will be Carl Brothers from Frontier Power Systems. He will speak on their vision for Eastern PEI, which includes their wind powered micro-grid technology and their refurbishments of the former Georgetown Timber facility.

The Business and Community Excellence Awards is an important community-building and social event for local businesses.   “It’s exciting,” said Doug Bridges, Marketing & Communications for Provincial Credit Unions, “Nominations in each category will have to be narrowed down to only one very deserving candidate, and seeing the nominations involved, it will be a tough task for the selection committee”.

“We are proud of all the nominees and entrepreneurs who are doing business at home,” says Keir White, President of the Chamber.  “It is a demonstration of giving back to those who have worked so hard to make vibrant communities in Eastern PEI.”

Everyone is invited to attend what is expected to be the premier business event of the year. Guests are encouraged to get their tickets early by contacting the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce office at (902) 838-3131 or info@epeicc.ca.

International Food Safety Expert Part of Growing Food Sector on PEI

For Immediate Release: January 19th, 2017

Charlottetown, PE – Today in Charlottetown, international food safety expert Alex Hanley presented to PEI food production executives.  The session, hosted by Navigate Food Safety Solutions, an Island based company, provided business owners and managers with key information on how to transform their food safety system to one that can grow and expand with their company.

“Regardless of what is being produced, every company is clearly focused on ensuring safe food for its consumers,” said Hanley. “Yet as business leaders you can’t necessarily be involved in every aspect of food safety. That’s why we wanted to speak to executives about what their role should be in ensuring food production is safe and meets all required standards.”

There is an emerging and diversifying food sector being fostered on Prince Edward Island. From food science, new product development, production and export opportunities, PEI is often now being referred to as Canada’s Food Island.

“Prince Edward Island has a strong and growing food sector. From concept and product development, to final food production, more and more food focused businesses are emerging,” said Tyson MacInnis, Director of Company & Product Development, Food Island Partnership. “And as these businesses grow and look to export products they will be required to have more robust food safety management systems, that’s where Alex’s expertise becomes vital.”

Alex Hanley is co-founder of Navigate Food Safety and an international expert in food safety auditing, training, program development and coaching. Alex has worked with international brands, and food production facilities of all sizes for over 20 years. It was this experience, and the ongoing challenges that he saw in plants every day that moved Alex to start his own company. A company that is now based on Prince Edward Island and focused on making food safety simple and practical to implement, something that is currently missing in the sector.

“As we continue to grow our food sector on the Island,” said McInnis, “having local access to the international experience and knowledge of Alex and his company will be a strong advantage for PEI businesses.”

To learn more about Navigate Food Safety visit www.NavigateFoodSafety.com or the Food Island Partnership visit www.FoodIslandPEI.ca

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For more information contact:

Maureen Hanley, Operations, Navigate Food Safety

Office: (902) 361-2288  Cell: (902) 327-0547   Maureen@navigatefoodsafety.com

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Potential School Closures Have Impact on Local Business

Chamber of Commerce expresses disappointment over school closures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montague, PEI – 11 January 2017

The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce (EPEICC) today expressed disappointment in the recommendations to close two rural schools in Eastern PEI, and encouraged the Government of PEI to consider the wider implications of the school closure recommendations.

“Because of a spread out population base, rural schools are again recommended for closure,” said Keir White, president of the EPEICC.  “These schools provide an easy target for cost-cutting measures, but only when considered in a narrow context.

“We know that local and quality schools are a factor in attracting new residents or retaining those we have. Without a quality and local school system, our businesses cannot attract the local customers needed to survive or the top talent we need to grow our businesses.”

The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce calls for the Government of PEI to consider a wider context before proceeding with the recommendations. While the Chamber acknowledges the challenges with keeping small schools operating, it also highlights the need to provide basic support to all areas of the province.

The EPEICC continues calling on the provincial government to consider the rural economy in the school review.  “We seem to be asking the wrong questions,” says Mr. White.  “Instead of asking if we should be closing schools, we should be asking how we can best support growth in our communities. That takes long-term planning in a broad context, which we aren’t seeing in this review.

“We are disappointed in the narrow focus and arbitrary measures considered in this school review. We are encouraging businesses through Eastern PEI to make known to the Government how these recommendations will impact their operations. We can’t sacrifice the economy of a large portion of our province.”

 

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You name it – Belfast Mini Mills can weave it!

Everyone loves their pets — but do you love your pet enough to make a scarf or sweater out of its hair?

That’s just one of the things Belfast Mini Mills customers are doing with unique – and sometimes rare – animal fibers like bison, muskox, camel, and alpaca. They’ll turn almost any animal hair into yarn, including the brushings from the family pet.

“Dog fiber is becoming popular. Samoyed fur has a beautiful halo effect,” owner Doug Nobles explains. “People love something made out of their pet’s fur.”

The two-decade-old Belfast PEI business has a worldwide reputation for the advanced technology and design they use to make top-quality products in small quantities. Besides knitted products, they also sell all the locally built machinery to enable others to set-up their own mini mill.  The company even offers lifetime repairs on equipment they sell.

The advantage of these small mills is that producers can have their own fiber returned to them as high-quality finished products – and some big names have taken notice. Belfast Mini Mills sold a large mill to now-deceased Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi in 2008 so he could weave camel-hair gifts to visiting dignitaries.

“Gaddafi liked to give things made in his country,” Nobles explained. However, due to unsafe travel conditions, lifetime repairs were not offered on the product that was sold to Libya.

More than 20 years ago Doug Nobles and his wife Linda decided to move to PEI from British Columbia and take a chance by building a small business. They bought a farm in Belfast — where they could grow everything except oranges and bananas – acquired some animals and built their first mill.

Like many things in Prince Edward that start out small, it didn’t take the Nobles’ enterprise long to grow big.

Today they have mills all over the world and host 10,000 tourists a year to their remote operation, hidden eight miles down a dirt road in Belfast. This week (December 2016) they have visitors from Iceland.

They operate a store selling warm toques and mittens made by local knitters using exotic yarns. Linda’s favourites are the ultra-soft Merino wool and cashmere, but Doug prefers to work with the hard and cold edges of the machinery.

Most people who see how the mills work will end up buying one, he says.

“We show what we’re trying to sell,” Nobles explained. “It demonstrates that you can run a successful business from virtually anywhere.”

The $3 million gross the company expects helps power the province’s rural economy and demonstrates how the world is taking notice of our small but mighty province.

The rural business has opened a world of opportunity to its 20 year-round staff.  Staffers have had to travel by boat to the Orkney Islands off the northeastern coast of Scotland to service a mill that spins rare-breed sheep fibers.

One long time staffer, who grew up in rural Prince Edward Island, has been called on to visit every Canadian province and every U.S. state as well as 50 different countries.  In fact, a pair of local brothers on staff are in Italy right now working on an Alpaca and sheep mill.

Of Doug and Linda’s four children, two have gone into the family business. Their youngest son works in the Belfast mill and the oldest son just put a mill in his Ottawa garage.

 

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Espira Massage Therapy Introduces-Workplace Chair Massage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montague, PEI – December 05, 2016
Attention Employers! Espira Massage Therapy can now offer a portable chair massage to new and existing clients to improve morale and increase productivity in the workplace.
A chair massage lasts as long as a typical coffee break; 10-20 minutes. This is a clothed massage that focuses on the classic high-tension areas of the neck, back, shoulders, arms and hands. The massage provides clients with relief from both physical and mental strain and returns them to work relaxed and invigorated.
The actual massage station requires only a small amount of space, allowing any empty corner to be transformed into a relaxing and rejuvenation retreat. Clients receiving chair massages report experiencing immediate relief from pain associated with repetitive stress injuries and poor posture, best of all they report an increased sense of well-being and improved mental clarity.
Lenore Lubbert, founder of Espira Massage Therapy, emphasizes the importance of massage therapy for those concerned with their wellness. “Stress is a leading cause of lost productivity in today’s environment, it can easily overwhelm and interfere with a person’s personal and professional responsibilities. I believe this type of concentrated session is a wise choice for individuals who choose to embrace a healthy lifestyle and great way for employers to foster a happy, healthy team.
Sarah Roach-Lewis agrees, saying she gets an immediate sense of relaxation from sitting in the chair and listening to the music played by the on-site massage therapist. “You immediately feel the stress level drop,” she explains.
To discover the benefits of massage therapy and a more proactive approach to wellness through the workplace chair massage, call Lenore Lubbert at Espira Massage Therapy at (902) 394-0118.

 

Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates

Market Information Session “Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates”

Thursday, December 1, 2016, 9:00 -11:00 a.m. 
Tupper Room
PEI Convention Centre
Charlottetown

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of Canada’s fastest growing markets in the Middle East, with 2015 merchandise exports from Canada valued at over $2 billion and Canadian foreign direct investment from the UAE valued at over $12 billion. Peaceful and prosperous, the UAE offers Canadian businesses unlimited commercial opportunities in a diverse open economy. Located in the Arab Peninsula, the UAE is a well-established logistics hub providing access to markets in the Gulf, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Indian Subcontinent and the rest of Asia.  Over 150 Canadian enterprises with an established operational presence in the UAE, along with over 45,000 Canadians who live and work there, have combined to create a very mature network of Canadian business connectivity.

This Market Information Session should be of interest to all PEI-based companies and organizations that are interested in gaining more insight on the ins and outs of doing business in the United Arab Emirates.  Cultural considerations and overviews of sectoral opportunities in food, construction, manufacturing and professional services will inform and educate all in attendance.

This Market Information Session is in advance of Trade Team PEI’s planned Business Mission to the UAE and participation at the Gulfood Show in Dubai (www.gulfood.com), scheduled for the week of February 26th – March 3rd, 2017.  PEI-based companies and organizations committing to participate in this mission will want to take the opportunity at and after this session to meet with Trade Team PEI officials and contracted matchmakers to discuss their market/mission objectives and plans.

To register for the session, please confirm your attendance with Sheila Corcoran at ACOA PEI & Tourism at sheila.corcoran@canada.ca or additional information http://tradeteampei.com/market-information-session-business-united-arab-emirates/

Welcome New Member – Bayside Recreation

Welcome new member – Bayside Recreation, established in 2011.
For Life on the Water –  The best place to go for quality built and affordable kayaks, paddle boards, canoes and accessories, as well as tow-ables, inflatables and other recreational gear.
Although, they are located in St Peters Bay, Bayside Recreation is proud to service all corners of the Island and call eastern Prince Edward Island home.
Check out: Bayside Recreation’s Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/bayside.rec/
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Tourism Numbers Mask Impact of Ferry

Southern Kings County Left Out of Banner Year For Tourism

Montague, PEI – 27 October 2016
The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce (EPEICC) today highlighted the impact of the reduced ferry service on Eastern Prince Edward Island.
“While the province was busy congratulating itself on one of the most successful tourism seasons ever, there was a region of the province that was unable to share in the benefits – and that was Southern Kings County,” said Keir White, president of the EPEICC. “The tourism industry in this region is reliant on the ferry service more than any other. Because visitors to the Island did not feel confident in the reliability of the service, and were put off by long lineups, many completely bypassed this region.”
While the Tourism Indicators release from the province states that ferry traffic year-over-year is down 14%, that figure masks the real impact. “During the summer months, which are the most critical for our region, ferry traffic was actually down much more substantially. The quoted figure of a 14% decline includes the month of May, which actually saw an increase. If that pre-season month is not included, the decline – and the resultant impact – is much worse.”
The EPEICC continues calling on the provincial government, the federal government, and Northumberland Ferries to enter into discussions immediately on a replacement plan for the two ferries connecting Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia. “The ferries are 25 and 45 years old,” says Mr. White. “It’s well past time to plan for their replacements to ensure that we have a reliable service.”

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