Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Possibilities - My Provincial Presentation Part 4

This is a photo of our fabulous Ironworks distillery. .    If you haven't already been, then be sure to make a special trip.  It is more than worth it.  Also check out this incredible festival that they have organized.  Spirited Away.  One more reason to come visit our beautiful town.  This next part of my presentation that I gave to the Building Advisory Committee is about THE POSSIBILITIES.  I am using Ironworks as an example, even though they are no longer a home based business because this part of my presentation is so much about understanding how valuable local businesses of all levels are to our small towns.  If both the provincial and municipal governments can truly grasp  the trickle down effect that local businesses have on our towns and, in turn, throw their support behind us, then we as a province will defy the odds that have been outlined in the Ivany Report.

The Presentation:

 The Possibilities

There are thousands  of Home Based Businesses across the province.  Singularly we are tiny.  Collectively we are a large part of the economy. Nova Scotia needs home based businesses and home based businesses need the support of the Nova Scotia government.
Allowing Home Occupations within Land Use Bylaws was a purposeful, well thought out decision.  It allows parents to work while caring for young children.  Working from home allows grown children to care for aging parents.  Working from home allows people to care for disabled family members.  It provides opportunity to seniors who often need supplemental income.  Working from home makes starting a business affordable for new immigrants and young families.  Working from home gives micro businesses the opportunity for steady growth without taking on excessive debt.  Working from home is also sometimes the best possible option for disabled people themselves.   You may have heard of Earl Bailly, a famous Lunenburg painter, who was disabled.  The following is a comment that was left online in regards to an article on my blog about an artist that left Lunenburg as a result of the current interpretation of rules.      "This is a great article .... I certainly know that there is absolutely no way my uncle Earl Bailly could have survived in this type of atmosphere in terms of selling his paintings and reproductions ... thousands of visitors came into our little house on Pelham Street ... no steel doors, no public washroom, no parking except on the street …..”

If we want to bring young families to Nova Scotia, it is often the possibility of having a home based business, where overhead can be kept low  that makes the dream a reality. 

Home based businesses support and grow a community. Tourists come to visit specialty businesses like mine.  They will then grab a bite to eat  in one of our restaurants and often stay the night in one of our bed and breakfasts.  I often refer them to our wonderful distillery, our local coffee roaster and the other wonderful shops in our commercial district.  Because I am able to support myself at home, I support our local grocery stores, eat in our restaurants, shop at our local farmers market and when I have spent too much time learning about land use I often feel the need to buy a bottle of our locally distilled rum.
Now, multiply my impact on my community just 20 fold and imagine how we can revive our small towns.  Everyone wins.   

Anna's additional notes:   In my seven years in Lunenburg I have watched many businesses come and go.  I remember talking to Aidan, who owned Doggone Beautiful Dog Grooming.  She was doing quite well, but she had a hard time finding qualified help and so was doing all the grooming herself.  I know from experience that when you are the CEO and chief bottle washer that sometimes getting ahead can be difficult.  I remember thinking that instead of the province mindlessly trying to attract new businesses they might do better to ask the ones that are already here how they can help.  It would be a small investment with a huge return.   Aidan was employing local people, she was here with her family because she loves Nova Scotia, but eventually just found the struggle too difficult and returned to BC.  They still own their home in Lunenburg and have wanted to return to open a home based business to keep their overhead low.  They have been watching this issue unfold from the West Coast and I think the jury is still out whether Lunenburg will support them.  So far they have been told they would need to make the same changes to their home that I was told to make.

But back to Ironworks.....They are a shining example of "the possibilities"  With savvy, a lot of hard work and determination, they have managed to bring growth and change to Nova Scotia.  They employ people all over the province, they attract tourism and they are now able to export.  The money they earn is put right back into our community.  They are not the only ones, but I think they deserve a medal for what they have brought to this town and this province.  This needs to be recognized at a governmental level.  Our local government and our provincial government should be learning everything they can from Lynne and Pierre.  Our council and provincial government needs to make sure that any obstacles that may lie in their path are removed.  Not saying there are any, but this is what government can do to help.  Knock on their door and ask them what they need to continue doing what they are doing.  This applies to us smaller home based businesses as well.  Just today I had a woman visit me from Vancouver.  She was staying in Halifax, but came all the way to Lunenburg just to see me.  I am sure I was not her last stop.  We are doing the work that needs to be done in this province.   If Lunenburg's  understanding of a rule does not support their entrepreneurs, then they need to find the understanding that will.   Halifax gets it.  They are only 100 km. away.  A phone call with an open mind could have solved this long ago. Their current lack of understanding serves no one..... but themselves.  

Ironworks has actually been a tremendous support to me throughout this battle.  (wish I could use a different word)  Without their Rum, I would have cracked long ago.
Here's one last photo for temptation purposes and a special recipe for Mojitos.  Enjoy!

The Policy of Majitos

A Mojito is a delicious, refreshing drink with a strong mellowing agent.  It is best enjoyed with company on a summer’s eve, but can also be enjoyed alone if the occasion calls for it. The Ministry of Hats encourages the drinking of Mojitos as they have been found to have a positive affect on a community.

The Mojito Bylaw

Mojitos are permitted in Nova Scotia as long as you don’t try to change the recipe.
The Recipe
1- crush a good amount of mint in the bottom of the glass with 2 tsps of sugar.  Use whatever you have on hand to accomplish this.
2- Add 1-2 shots of Ironworks rum, depending on your day.
3-Squeeze a whole lime into the glass.  Less may be permitted by development agreement.
4- Top up with soda water.  Stir and enjoy.

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