For Sale

February 14, 2014
written by Tanya Collier MacDonald

Sometimes I wonder if I had an angel knock on my door and drop off a heavy blank check, which of the many projects buzzing in my brain would I begin. And then I wonder, how many other people have ideas that invigorate their imagination and sense of innovation, but only have so much they can risk?

My belief is that we have an army of silent entrepreneurs in Cape Breton. For this army, seeing a For Sale sign posted on a beautiful brick building in downtown Sydney often feels like being hurled into the great beyond, only to have the gravity of your personal situation drag you back to reality.

When I see a building, I immediately spread my imagination and fill each corner of every room. I expose the brick and remove the ugly this and that, throw up a funky sign and move in. The downtown streets are always busy in my imagination. It’s a wonderful place to be.

I’m ready to build a better Nova Scotia and I’m not alone. Our entrepreneurs have the energy, the passion for our home, we have great ideas and the ability to change our world. Some of us have risked all that we have for now and are recharging, while others are preparing to take another leap. Others are waiting.

There were two pieces of information that we received in recent weeks, the Urgent Call to Action by the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy and a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business reporting that Nova Scotia lags far behind on support for business. Both contain important information for entrepreneurs and demand action. The most important piece for me was the words that “the status quo is not an option.” Amen.

Creativity is Crucial. Let’s be Bold. Why don’t we start by removing the For Sale signs on our abandoned buildings and auctioning them off to entrepreneurs with the greatest vision, maybe a break from commercial tax until they get their feet under them, a community-sourced renovation fund and a mentor to help them reach their full potential. One building at a time, we can change our world. And the best part of all, our generation will pay it forward.

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January 30, 2014

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I’ve heard that a lot of people head out west for work these days, but I don’t personally know anyone who has left, so I guess it wasn’t real for me. I mean I understand what draws people away from Cape Breton, Halifax alone has four universities to bring students away from the island.

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