AVCC ENews: May 19, 2023

Staffing Strategies Panel Discussion

In-Person Professional Development Opportunities

Computerized Accounting, Level 1 – Sage

Program Name: Computerize Accounting, Level 1 – Sage
Prerequisite(s): N/A
Total Hours: 40
Minimum 32 hours
In-person, The Valley Business Hub, 448 Main Street, Kentville
Mondays, 1 – 5 PM

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learning Outcomes:
    • Reviewing financial foundation concepts (financial statements, receipts, invoices, bookkeeping basics)
    • Setting up a company
    • Setting up accounts receivable, customer invoices, and receipts
    • Setting up accounts payable, purchase invoices and receipts
    • Adding an employee, paying an employee, and applying the various payroll features
    • Completing a bank reconciliation
    • Completing year-end procedures
    • Creating and entering adjusting entries

Email: coordinator@annapolisvalleychamber.ca to register.

Tentative start date – June 26, 2023

The Low Carbon Communities (LCC) Program supports community-led, innovative solutions to create long-lasting greenhouse gas reductions. The program provides funding for projects that support low-carbon solutions in buildings, electricity, transportation and education.

Projects can include testing new ideas, applying best practices, increasing knowledge or enhancing equity and accessibility.  You can submit an expression of interest until 22 June 2023.

Deadline to Apply: 4 PM today, May 18th

Tourism Nova Scotia is now accepting applications for the 2023-24 RADIATE Tourism Program. The RADIATE Tourism Program offers market research insights and coaching to help tourism businesses and attractions develop packages that raise awareness of unique Nova Scotia experiences and activities.

Packages created through the program will be featured on a NovaScotia.com landing page, which will be promoted through digital marketing campaigns in the fall and winter to help encourage year-round travel in Nova Scotia. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of tourism businesses and attractions, as well as extend the tourism season.


📷: familybusinessatlantic.ca

Family Business Atlantic celebrates Nova Scotia’s leading women of wine

Congratulations to these women, and their successes in the wine industry, we’re happy to have you as a part of the Annapolis Valley Chamber community.

Local Food Infrastructure Fund

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF) is a 5-year, $70 million initiative ending on March 31, 2024. It was created as part of the Government of Canada’s Food Policy for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada.

Program objectives

The program is aimed at community-based, not-for-profit organizations with a mission to reduce food insecurity by establishing and strengthening their local food system.

The program’s primary goal is to help increase food security through investments in infrastructure needs.

This intake of LFIF mobilizes an additional $10 million announced in Budget 2023, to provide grants to help increase food security through investments in infrastructure needs. The impact of which must be targeted and immediate, and must be directly related to addressing food security and increasing the accessibility and distribution of healthy, nutritious and ideally local foods within community(ies).

In a recent survey of the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (AVCC) agriculture members, three main challenges were identified; labor shortages, government red tape and cost increases. As a result of these findings, the AVCC’s Agriculture Committee targeted a conversation to discuss current labor challenges and share innovative ways to tackle difficulties regarding employment. In what promises to be one of future many, the committee hosted a Staffing Strategies panel discussion on May 4th, 2023 at Benjamin Bridge Winery. Panelists included Alfa Arias and Nancy Lee Heath-Curtis from Eden Valley Poultry, Josh Oulton from TapRoot Farms and Brittany Parker from Benjamin Bridge Winery.

Brittany shared the wineries’ focus on workplace culture and work-life balance. They are working towards four-day work weeks across the whole team, which allows staff the flexibility to volunteer to give back to the community. Senior management works to ensure there is full coverage of staff and works with each employee to see what fits them, understanding that there are times when four-day work weeks are not feasible but ensuring staff receive lieu time during slower months. Flexibility is key for Benjamin Bridge Winery.

Alfa and Nancy Lee shared struggles with a significant number of employee vacancies. Eden Valley is filling the gap by using the Atlantic Immigration Program which is a pathway to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers and international graduates from Canadian institutions. The program helps employers hire qualified candidates for jobs they haven’t been able to fill locally.

Josh shared the benefits of bringing in professional farmers, the majority being Jamaican foreign workers as a means to fill labour gaps at TapRoot farms. They are less focused on work-life balance and come with a priority to work and provide for their family, however, TapRoot has targeted making employee’s time here as welcoming as possible and integrating them into the community.

While each panelist was tackling labour shortages in different ways the common themes of the discussion were rapidly growing workforces, shared labour shortages, and staff turnover. The most common message among the group was an effort to focus on employee retention and developing strategies to retain their current workforce. When tackling retention, TapRoot works to make employees’ experiences in the Annapolis Valley as enjoyable and welcoming as possible. Every employee has their own room and shared spaces are homey to ensure they want to come back. Benjamin Bridge plans for longevity with employees. Growth goals are set between employees and employers and collectively work to achieve them. Both Benjamin Bridge and Eden Valley stressed the importance of providing on-the-job training to set employees up for success.

The biggest challenges panels are planning for over the next five years are an aging workforce and a new demographic entering the workforce, and labor skills not meeting their current job demand. Panelists all recognized that the labor shortage will continue and they need to learn to pivot to be efficient. Strategies panelists have been implementing are; investments in technology, utilizing students and interns to allow staffing breaks for vacations, focusing less on the qualifications of job applicants and building internal training and programming to bring applicants up to speed, reviewing and adapting positions – adjusting qualifications to restructure roles to meet the current labor skills.

Stay tuned, there are sure to be more panel based conversations brainstorming how businesses can assist other businesses in the area.

Learn more about: Atlantic Immigration Program (novascotiaimmigration.com)

If you would like to connect with any of the panelists, please contact coordinator@annapolisvalleychamber.ca

Welcome! – New Members:

Unfinished Business Renovations

Shannon Reynolds – Registered Acupuncturist

Del’s Reiki Room

Scotiabank – Kentville

Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa

Realmeta Studios Inc.

Cinderella’s Caribbean Pot


Triquetra Consignment Clothing

Designs By Devyn

Boots On The Ground Foot Care & Nursing Services

Victor Cuts


Women of Excellence

Women of Excellence Gala Show & Cocktail Hour tickets are now available! 🏆🎟
The evening will begin at 6:30 PM at the Atlantic Theatre Festival with a Networking Cocktail Hour in the lobby, with the stage show beginning at approximately 7:30 PM. Enjoy live entertainment from Tir na n0g Irish Dance Academy, Serpentine Sisters, and Cadance Academy while celebrating all of these amazing women and their accomplishments.
Follow the Women of Excellence Facebook page to see more from our wonderful nominees.
Learn more about the event & get your tickets 👇

The Chamber Plan – Employee Benefits Plan

When your mental health isn’t improving, it can be overwhelming. That’s why our Extended Health plan comes with Teladoc Mental Health Navigator, for an expert review of your diagnosis and treatment plan and support in staying on track.

If you are interested in connecting with a Chambers Plan representative, please contact coordinator@annapolisvalleychamber.ca