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                     Strait-Highlands Regional
                      Development Agency




                         Business Plan

                              2010 - 2011




Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency
32 Paint Street, Unit 5
Port Hawkesbury, N. S. B9A 3J8
Tel: 1-902-625-3929
Fax: 1-902-625-1559                            January, 2010
             Our Mission

To foster the generation of prosperity in
Communities, Enterprises, and Businesses
 throughout the Strait-Highlands Region
         Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                            Page 1


                                     Table of Contents

1.0     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY _______________________________________________ 3
2.0     OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT ________________________________________ 4
  2.1    Economic History ___________________________________________________________4
  2.2    Regional Analysis ___________________________________________________________5
  2.3    Population Highlights ________________________________________________________5
  2.4    Labour Force _______________________________________________________________7
  2.5    Income ____________________________________________________________________8
  2.6    Building Permits ___________________________________________________________10
  2.7    Key Players, Leaders and Primary Organizations Involved ________________________10
  2.8    Opportunities for CED/Economic Growth ______________________________________11
  2.9    Obstacles / Barriers / Threats for CED / Economic Growth for the Region ___________12
3.0     ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS __________________________________ 12
  3.1    The Organization: __________________________________________________________12
  3.2    The Board_________________________________________________________________13
  3.3    The Staff __________________________________________________________________13
  3.4    The Challenges_____________________________________________________________13
4.0     SERVICE AREAS AND EVALUATION __________________________________ 14
  1. Strategic Planning ______________________________________________________________16
  2. Business Retention, Expansion & Recruitment _______________________________________17
  3. Skills, Learning & People Development _____________________________________________19
  4. Information & Research _________________________________________________________21
  5. Infrastructure, Sites & Premises ___________________________________________________23
  6. Marketing & Communications ____________________________________________________24
5.0     OPERATING BUDGET ________________________________________________ 25
Appendix “A” – Organizational Overview
Appendix “B” – Communications Plan
Appendix “C” – Summary of Major Accomplishments
Appendix “D” – In-House Financial Statements as of January 31, 2010
Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency   Business Plan 2010 – 2011
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         Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                           Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                   Page 3


1.0     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency’s business plan depicts information on the current
operational environment, the strategic initiatives contained in the 5-Year Strategic Economic Plan for
the Strait-Highlands Region. The Service Areas Objectives of an action plan, complete with
output/outcomes and result indicators, a financial budget, communication plan, a summary of major
accomplishments (using the Performance Based Framework), and Mid-Year Review highlights.

The Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency (S-HRDA) is the lead regional economic
development group for a coalition of Municipal Units, Inverness County, Town of Port Hawkesbury
and Richmond County. Our economic mandate is to foster the generation of prosperity in
communities, enterprises and businesses throughout the Strait-Highlands Region.

The Agency’s service areas, initiatives, projects and events have led to growth in the local economy
and broadened the region’s understanding of its economic development processes. S-HRDA’s
activities in 2010 – 2011, along with its many partners, contribute to making Inverness County, Port
Hawkesbury and Richmond County vibrant communities in which to locate business, raise families
and to improve the quality of life for all residents.

This year S-HRDA intends to build on the momentum of recent years by following six service areas:
Strategic Planning, Business Retention Expansion & Recruitment, Skills Learning & People
Development, Information & Research, Infrastructure Sites & Premises, and Marketing &
Communications. It is our intention through the use of this plan to accomplish the following:

  Establish formal and informal partnerships with those leaders, volunteers and youth who can
   assist with developing innovative and energizing technologies.
  Strengthen existing community, municipal, provincial partnerships and cultivate new ones in
   the process of continued development.
  Support small business retention and expansion.
  Improve our reporting of progress in our various undertakings to all stakeholders and partners
   by communicating what we are doing and our reasons for those actions.
  Continue to engage well in long-term planning but also be quick to react to changes and
   developing opportunities in the present.
  Actively seek sustainable projects.
  Assist in identifying sources for funding.
  Follow the procedures which will ensure that the agency is professionally sound in its
   approaches and record keeping.
  Express our appreciation to all those who support the work of the Agency.

The three municipalities served by the RDA are closely linked by geography and by similar concerns,
issues, trends and opportunities. The well-being and growth of each one of the municipalities affects
the others and the region as a whole.

There are a number of initiatives that will be continued and undertaken to grow our economy in 2010
– 2011. The 2010 – 2011 Business Plan will use the Performance-Based Model Template to indicate
how these initiatives support the Service Areas of this model.
         Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                        Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                Page 4


2.0    OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
2.1    Economic History

Until the early 1960s, the Regional economy had been almost exclusively resource-based (mainly
fishing and logging, with some mining, agriculture and tourism). Some of the traditional
resource sector activity continues to this day, providing the economic base of several smaller
communities within the Region.

The structure of the economy began to change in the late 1950s after the construction of the
Canso Causeway with the construction of a pulp and paper mill in Port Hawkesbury. The mill
received a substantial upgrade in production capability in the late 1990s and continues to operate
despite the difficult economic circumstances facing this sector in North America due to global
competitive pressures. Nova Scotia Power made a further addition to the area’s industrial
infrastructure in 1970 with the construction of a thermal generating station, currently producing
160 MW of power.

Over the years, other manufacturing and processing plants were established in the Strait area,
making the Region one of the more industrialized areas in Nova Scotia. The resource base
attracted some of these, including gypsum mining/manufacturing and aggregate production, with
the economics of these industries greatly enhanced by the excellent, ice-free, deep-water harbour.

The harbour itself also played a major role in attracting other industries, including oil refining
and the manufacture of heavy water. Though shifting economic conditions caused both of these
industries to fail, one legacy of the refinery – the deepwater dock and storage tanks – remain and
form the basis for NuStar Energy (formerly Statia Terminals) a thriving petroleum storage and
trans-shipment business. Also, the Strait Area became an integral part of the Sable Offshore
development in 1999, providing a site adjacent to NuStar Energy for the natural gas liquids
fractionation plant.

Today, the Greater Strait Area industries create some 2,000 full-time and seasonal jobs. The
wider economy of Inverness and Richmond Counties supports another 9,500 jobs in construction,
fisheries, agriculture, tourism, small-scale manufacturing (including arts and crafts), wholesale
and retail trade, and in delivering education, health and business services.

Though the economy generates employment for between 11,000 and 12,000 individuals, it is not
enough to attract and sustain all the people looking for work in the Region. The unemployment
rate is substantially higher than the provincial average, with many in the labour force looking
outside the Region to find work which pays higher wages. This has resulted in net out-migration
over the years, contributing to a population decline which is now impacting on the labour force
availability for certain sectors.
         Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                          Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                  Page 5


2.2    Regional Analysis

In the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 the economy of the Greater Strait Area continues to be stable and is
showing signs of modest growth with New Page and Minacs hiring. Although retail has shown
weakness, some new commercial businesses opened in the Town of Port Hawkesbury. In the
rural area of the Region, there have been fluctuations in sector strength and weakness (i.e., fish
landings, mineral extraction, and aquaculture production). Overall, Tourism expenditure
appeared to be stable this year, and in some parts of the region are up.

The Planning for a new container terminal continues to advance. The Strait of Canso Superport
Master Plan and Superport effort are increasing interest in the Strait Area, although the formal
Report has not been released.

S-HRDA completed the innovative and ambitious “Strait-Highlands Green Action” initiative and
is moving into Milestone 4. This effort is generating interest and S-HRDA is fostering, with
partners, a number of green initiatives. This multi-year program has received additional financial
support and is producing opportunities.

The multi-year IT Sector undertaking, the eBusiness initiative “Richmond Advantage Pilot”, has
been completed and is providing benefits to a number of businesses.

Labour market issues pertaining to the availability of labour, especially in the more rural area of
the Region, is becoming a critical factor in small businesses’ ability to expand and grow and, in
some cases, even survive. There are increasing cost pressures, especially energy (fuel costs) on
many resource businesses (fisheries, farming, tourism) and certain service and retail businesses.

S-HRDA and other strategic development partners are exploring a reporting framework for key
economic indicators by County, along with other baseline data for sector planning purposes.

S-HRDA has continued with the St. Peter’s Façade & Streetscape program and has initiated, with
partners, another program for village of Cheticamp. S-HRDA is also working with the Town of
Port Hawkesbury in developing a Community Economic Strategic Plan within the Town
boundaries.


2.3    Population Highlights

Like most counties in Nova Scotia, Inverness and Richmond have been losing population
steadily since the 1980s. Inverness is down by almost 13% since 1981, while Richmond has lost
about 20% of its population. For Cape Breton as a whole, the population loss since 1981 has been
about 16%. This compares with a net gain of over 10% for Nova Scotia for the same period, with
that gain concentrated in the Halifax Regional Municipality and the counties surrounding it.
           Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency   Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                             Page 6


Figure 1: Most counties in Nova Scotia, including
Inverness and Richmond have been losing
population since the early 1980s. Nova Scotia has
gained population largely due to the growth in
the Halifax Regional Municipality.


Population loss reflects a lack of economic
opportunity in the area, and it also contributes to
a reduced ability to maintain services, including
health and education




Figure 2: Population projection of Inverness
County to 2031 reflects historic trends with
average decline in the working-age population of
approximately 35%.




Figure 3: Population projection of Richmond
County to 2031 reflects historic working-age
population 44%.

The most significant projected change in
population in both counties is in the 65 years and
over cohort. As all other age groups decline,
senior populations in Inverness and Richmond
are expected to grow at an average rate of over
60%.
               Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                                      Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                                                    Page 7


2.4         Labour Force

Labour force statistics provide some insight into why county populations are shrinking. It has
much to do with a limited availability of employment opportunities resulting in a relatively high
unemployment rate. The table below shows comparative data for Richmond and Inverness
Counties, Port Hawkesbury, and the Nova Scotia average.
                       Table 1: Labour force activity, S-HRDA Area vs. Nova Scotia average
                                            2001                                                          2006
                     Richmond      Inverness       Port Hawkesbury   Nova Scotia   Richmond   Inverness      Port Hawkesbury   Nova Scotia
Labour force            4,390       9,451             2,421            457,676       4,305     9,375             2,436          476,125
Employed                3,263       7,561             2,127           407,896        3,590     7,965             2,172          432,595
Unemployed              1,127       1,890              297             49,780         715      1,410               259           43,530
Participation rate      51.8         58.5              64.2            61.6          52.8       59.8              65.2            62.9
Employment rate         38.5         46.8              56.4            54.9          44.0       50.8              58.1            57.2
Unemployment rate       25.6         20.1              12.3            10.9          16.6       15.0              10.6            9.1
       Source: Statistics Canada

      •     The labour force declined slightly in both counties, indicating a drop in the working age
            population in the Region (probably due to out-migration)
      •     The number of persons employed increased in both counties as the economy recovered
            from the 2001 recession; with the drop in the labour force and the increase in
            employment, the number of unemployed dropped.
      •     A higher percentage of County residents participated in the labour force in 2006 than in
            2001, though the percentage is still well below the provincial average.
      •     The employment rate also increased in the Counties between 2001 and 2006, rising by
            about 4-6 percentage points. But again, the rate of employment (percentage of the labour
            force who are employed) was well below the provincial average.
      •     And finally, the unemployment rate decreased significantly between 2001 and 2006. The
            high unemployment rates in 2001 are largely due to the recession that at the time affected
            all of North America. While the drop reflects an improvement in economic conditions,
            the unemployment rates are still unacceptably high when compared with the Nova Scotia
            average.

Labour force data, provide a valuable insight into the Region’s industrial structure and its
ability to support employment. Table 2, showing Census labour force data, indicates how
industry structure is changing over time and where opportunities for future growth may lie.
Caution should be used in interpreting these data because small population size and survey
sampling error can result in wide year-to-year swings. Nonetheless, several points are worth
noting:
    • The general trend in the S-HRDA Area is away from the good producing industries –
         primary sector and manufacturing – towards production of services. Services account for
         80% of the labour force, up from 73% in 1991.
    • There has been a fairly steady decline in the numbers employed in the primary sector
         (agriculture, forestry and fisheries). This sector accounted for 9.1% of the labour force in
         2006, down from 11.6% in 1991. The decline is most noticeable in logging, which is
         down by half. Offsetting the declines in other sectors is an increase in fishing in 2006.
         This is likely attributable to an expansion in the crab fishery after 2001.
    • There has been a steady decline in the numbers employed in manufacturing. Employment
           Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                         Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                   Page 8


          in fish processing has remained fairly stable, while pulp and paper has experienced a
          significant decline, particularly amongst NewPage workers living in Inverness County.
          Manufacturing accounted for 11.6% of the total labour force in 2006, down from 15.5%
          in 1991.
      •   Construction shows relative stability over the 1996-2006 period.
      •   Employment in business services has increased steadily, but still accounts for a relatively
          small proportion of total employment (4%)
      •   Government services, including education and health, have remained steady at 23% of the
          total labour force between 1991 and 2006.
      •   Access to educational services has been reduced with the declining population of school-
          age children.
      •   Health services have increased in response to increased care requirements for an aging
          population.
      •   Accommodation and food services have held on to its relative share of total employment
          (about 8%).
      •   Other service industries increased sharply after 2001, presumably due to the jobs created
          with the opening of the EDS/Minacs call centre.
      •   Arts, entertainment and recreation were identified as a separate industry in 2001. It grew
          between 2001 and 2006, particularly in Inverness County. In absolute size, it rivals
          several other industries including finance, retail trade and mining/quarrying. Nonetheless,
          it represents a relatively small share of total employment.

2.5       Income




Figure 4: Income in the S-HRDA area is
rising at rates comparable to the Nova
Scotia average. The industrial base in Port
Hawkesbury explains why the Inverness
average income closely approximates the
Nova Scotia average.




Median household income statistics indicate that, despite employment rates well below the
provincial average in both counties, median household income increased at a regional average
rate of 35% -slightly higher than the provincial rate of 33%.
The large proportion of employment in higher-wage industrial, civil service, education, and
healthcare industries in the region explains some of this phenomenon, with the attrition and out-
migration of lower-paid occupations contributing factors.
           Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                                                                                      Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                Page 9




                                                                Table 2: Labour force by industry based on Census data*

                                                                 INVERNESS                        RICHMOND                     PORT HAWKESBURY                         S-HRDA AREA
                                                       1991       1996  2001       2006    1991    1996 2001       2006      1991   1996 2001  2006           1991       1996  2001         2006
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting             1,195      1,110      940   1,050   445     320      315      265       35      10      10      65     1,675     1,440     1,265     1,380
         Agricultural and related service industries     230        240      245     160    75        0     145       50         0       0    n.a.    n.a.      305       240       n.a.      n.a.
                    Fishing and trapping industries      570        550      560     660   215     220       90      190         0     10      10      60       785       780       n.a.      n.a.
                   Logging and forestry industries       395        320      200     230   155     100      160       60       35        0    n.a.    n.a.      585       420       n.a.      n.a.
Mining, quarrying and oil well                           200        190      215     240    35      35       15       30       10        0     45      45       245       225       275       315
Manufacturing industries                                 945        670    1,120     895   885     565      695      660      405     300     295     205     2,235     1,535     2,110     1,760
                                    Fish processing      n.a.       n.a.     340     270   n.a.    n.a.     305      330      n.a.    n.a.    n.a.    n.a.      n.a.      n.a.      645       600
                                     Pulp and paper      n.a.       n.a.     525     360   n.a.    n.a.     225      200      n.a.    n.a.    n.a.    n.a.      n.a.      n.a.      750       560
                                              Other      n.a.       n.a.     255     265   n.a.    n.a.     165      130      n.a.    n.a.    n.a.    n.a.      n.a.      n.a.      420       395
Construction industries                                  530        505      715     585   285     455      355      390       55     100     120      65       870     1,060     1,190     1,040
Transportation and storage industries                    295        340      300     355   185     180      190      240       45      85      25      45       525       605       515       640
Communication and other utility industries               200        120      185     130   140     165       60       75       80      45      40      20       420       330       285       225
Wholesale trade industries                               175        285      180     185   100     125       80       95       40      80      45      40       315       490       305       320
Retail trade industries                                  990        835    1,235   1,105   575     460      490      340      425     340     400     350     1,990     1,635     2,125     1,795
Finance and insurance industries                         145        160      165     180    65      85      110      100       35      40      70      55       245       285       345       335
Real estate operator and insurance agent                  45        110       90      75    30      20       20       30       30      25      20      30       105       155       130       135
Business service industries                               80        135      210     365    75      85       85      115       80      45     115     120       235       265       410       600
Government service industries                            460        365      475     455   365     265      225      200      180      80     140     130     1,005       710       840       785
Educational service industries                           595        555      620     600   440     440      405      285      175     140     110     115     1,210     1,135     1,135     1,000
Health and social service industries                     705        715      870   1,020   310     405      450      475       95     120     100     135     1,110     1,240     1,420     1,630
Accommodation, food and beverage services                695        750      875     890   300     300      280      295      185     245     195     135     1,180     1,295     1,350     1,320
Other service industries                                 600        595      755     855   335     410      345      520      100     120      65     220     1,035     1,125     1,165     1,595
Arts, entertainment and recreation                       n.a.       n.a.     160     220   n.a.    n.a.      65       50      n.a.    n.a.       0     25       n.a.      n.a.      225       295
Industry - Non applicable                                205        260      190     180   135     250      155      125       50      65      30      50       390       575       375       355
All industries                                   7,845    7,425     9,100     9,200    4,580    4,335     4,175    4,175     1,990   1,795   1,800   1,785   14,415    13,555    15,075    15,160
Source: Nova Scotia Community Counts web page - data modeled from Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006.
           Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                               Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                       Page 10


2.6     Building Permits

Building Permits Issued
                 Inverness             Richmond             Port Hawkesbury
                  County                County
            2008           2009     2008        2009       2008         2009
Value $28,809,500* $20,911,632 $70,292,461** $8,026,448 $2,477,600 $4,951,250***
Fees         $35,765        $38,798   $29,217   $23,435     $7,785        $11,388
Permits           206           244       196       207         23             42
* Inverness County – Value up in 2008 due to $17,000,000 nursing home.
** Richmond County – Value up in 2008 due to two wind turbines valued at $60,000,000.
** Town of Port Hawkesbury – Value up in 2009 due to institutional & commercial improvements and renovations.




2.7   Key Players, Leaders and Primary Organizations Involved

      a) Municipal Leaders, Staff and CED Committees of County Councils – The three
         municipal units comprise one third of our funding partnership and play an essential
         role in developing the region. The current model of S-HRDA communications with
         municipal units has resulted in better working relationships between municipal
         councilors, RDA board members, community groups, and business groups. This
         model is based on an “open-door” concept and has let to successful and innovative
         projects in the region (i.e. Strait-Highlands Green Action, various planning
         undertakings, ICSP and Pilot Projects).

      b) Other government departments – It is important that S-HRDA, in its effort to improve
         the economy of the region, defines and supports partnership building with the key
         players in the development field, to reduce duplication and strengthen efforts to
         improve the economy. We have met several times with our provincial and federal
         partners to discuss strategic issues. This process and relationship building will
         continue.
         Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                      Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                            Page 11


      c) Sector Advisory Committees - staff and Board members contribute to several
         advisory committees (i.e., Nova Scotia Mining Society, New Page Forestry Advisory
         Committee, Celtic Colours, etc.)

      d) Corporation and Business Groups - (Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Association
         Groups, etc.) are some of the key players in economic development projects in the
         region.

      e) Community Groups and Communities of Interest - for strategic planning, project
         planning, who are doing major infrastructure or enterprise related projects.

2.8    Opportunities for CED/Economic Growth

The S-HRDA is working to strengthen this community capacity by: making tools and
information available on our website; by working with CED groups on specific projects; by
assisting groups navigate government programs; by providing conflict resolution services to
competing community groups; by managing projects; by referring groups to other resources; by
bringing groups together to form new innovative partnerships; by advocating to government
partners to find required financial resources and by providing modest strategic seed funding for
specific projects.

Communities and community organizations have different levels of capacity and/or resources
for planning. When requested, the S-HRDA assists communities and organizations with a
number of planning functions: strategic, action, operational, project, governance, and human
resource planning. S-HRDA’s role in assisting can range from one-on-one counseling, to group
advisory assistance, to sourcing funding assistance.

The more community capacity that is developed the more community champions will be
created to understand economic development and to deliver projects to enhance and
economically grow their communities. There are other opportunities being identified for the
Region such as being recognized as a “smart energy region” and attacking skills shortage issues
through the region in a variety of sectors.

Every community in the region must improve its competitive advantage to survive. Some of
the above directions, if accepted and acted on by communities, will assist in building
enterprising communities.

While continuing to serve these clients to the best of our ability and within available resource
limits, we realize that we need to be focused and strategic in the way in which we work with
each of these client groups so as to be deemed successful. Our focus takes on more of a
“project based” work approach (with an emphasis on economic benefit) and this will force us
to be more directed in what we do, or what we do not do, with these clients.
         Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                 Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                       Page 12


2.9   Obstacles / Barriers / Threats for CED / Economic Growth for the Region
        Outward Migration of people from rural areas
        Outward Migration of Youth
        Increasing senior population proportionate to the labour population
        Geography – the distance between communities as well as the small populations in
          each of the communities limiting their capacities to meet, plan, implement and
          operate regional economic development projects.
        Need for Increased Capacity building in community groups
        Need to find Leaders and new methods of organizing community
          volunteers/organizations
        Insufficient Local Resources (specifically human and financial)
        Volunteer Burn-Out
        Transportation Deterioration (roads, rail) and Lack of Transportation Planning
          (Marine Port and Airports and Public)
        Diminishing Services to rural area by Government
        Fragmented Promotion and Marketing efforts to attract investment
        Decline of the Rural Economic Base creating a spiral of reduced services and jobs
          leading to the out migration of people which in turn results in less demand for
          services and hence fewer jobs.
        Low literacy levels
        Lack of project funding available within the S-HRDA


3.0    ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS
3.1    The Organization:

S-HRDA has developed organizational effectiveness in several areas to overcome/mitigate the
obstacles mentioned above and to optimize economic opportunities in the region. The core
competencies of the Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency that benefit the regional
economy are:
        Building/supporting community champions through mentorship
        Facilitating community cooperation and partnership
        Acting as a catalyst for small to medium-sized enterprise development (community
           enterprise or business enterprise)
        Facilitating major regional, municipal and community strategic projects
        Leading in innovation to explore new methods and best practices
        Advocating strategic planning
        Providing a strategic buffer and deal maker for the community, municipality,
           provincial, federal and private sector associations
        Communicating with funders and project partners
       Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                   Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                       Page 13


       Improving administration effectiveness by:
               o ISO 9000 Registered
               o Use of Performance Base Model
               o S-HRDA’s Real-Time Tracking System
               o Improving technology skills and systems
               o Improving information and communication
               o Improving applications navigation
               o Up loading strategies, policies, and programs to the federal and
                   provincial departments and agencies

3.2   The Board

          Having an active Board Chair and advice from Past Chair and Vice-Chair
          Creating a supportive and balanced board of nine voting members representing
           the community, business and three municipal units along with ex officio
           members
          Undertaking major initiatives to refocus the Agency, in consultation with
           partners, to make the Board more efficient, effective and
          Encouraging staff to take initiative

3.3   The Staff

            Experienced and project/outcome driven (full-time and contract staff)
            Highly resourceful and close to the community and business
            Knowledgeable with the ability to “make deals”
            Innovative and attune to creative solutions
            Knowledgeable of funding programs, options and procedures
            Positive and spirited work ethic, skills diversity and teamwork
            Ability to identify and form productive relationships with partners
            Networking capabilities at business, community and government levels
            Very high level of credibility in the Community and with Business
            Flexible approach, one approach does not fit all
            Knowledge of Community and Business Enterprise
            Long-term visioning for the region
            Project completion focus

3.4   The Challenges

          Staying focused on the mandate: the challenge will be to maintain the
           community and business focus – thinking in strategic terms – building
           enterprising communities.
          Maintaining the level of skilled and competent staff given the pressures of the
           work and the contract nature of many positions.
          Developing security for talented core, or contract, employees.
         Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                          Page 14


            Expanding leadership within the community: the S-HRDA must continue to
             find key individuals in the community to involve in CED and business efforts to
             avoid burnout of existing stakeholders, particularly volunteers.
            Continuing positive momentum: the S-HRDA with other partners must
             continue to provide the community and businesses with positive feedback on the
             success of business in the area, and to ensure that expectations for the future
             remain high. This confidence in the local economy and community will, in
             turn, influence the actions people take and the actual outcomes in the future.
            Sourcing funding for projects as well as core expenses
            Improving communications and business environment and marketing
            Finding ways to involve youth in the economic development process
            Clarifying the Agency’s role for the business sector and community to improve
             image and correct misperceptions
            Servicing the large geographic and diverse demographic region
            Effectively using staff time (balancing short, medium and long-term initiatives)
             and providing opportunities for staff personal and professional development
            Using staff and programs at community colleges
            Keeping abreast of program and funding criteria
            Promoting environmentally sustainable development


4.0    SERVICE AREAS AND EVALUATION
The New 5-Year Strategic Economic Plan for the Strait-Highlands Region, completed in 2008-
2009, has directly influenced the strategic objectives of S-HRDA in the 2010 – 2011 Business
Plan. Following a process of several months, and with assistance from Gardner Pinfold
Consulting Economists Ltd., input was gathered through consultation from private sector
organizations, public sector organizations and community organizations. Several strategic
opportunities were identified such as Ocean Industries (Port Development, Fisheries), Mining
and Quarrying, Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology, Tourism, Arts &
Culture, and the Green Sector.

The central message in the observations is that the Region needs the S-HRDA to focus on local
small business, community enterprise, community economic development, and building
capacity within CEDOs and CDOs to move economic development projects forward. It should
take the lead in forging partnerships and coordinating the activities of agencies and
organizations in the design and implementation of community-based projects. The other broad
message is that the S-HRDA has neither the resources nor the mandate to get involved in
business attraction. This is the mandate of other agencies with substantially greater resources.

Therefore, S-HRDA’s economic development mandate is to “Foster the generation of
prosperity in communities, enterprises and businesses throughout the Strait-Highlands
Region”. This mandate is articulated in the New 5-Year Strategic Economic Plan under three
components:
           Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                            Page 15



            Strategy 1: Growing the local economy by supporting community and private
                         enterprise
            Strategy 2: Promoting regional development through partnerships and by
                         supporting regional marketing
            Strategy 3: Strengthening development through sector and infrastructure
                         initiatives

The Service Areas and Evaluation Section of the 2010 – 2011 Business Plan follows the
Performance Based Model, identifying service areas and specific implementation objectives.
In keeping with the “projects-focused and results-oriented approach”, each objective is
comprised of a series of distinct outputs, target groups, key performance indicators, and
outcomes.

There are a number of on-going activities, meetings and commitments; for example,
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with various partners [Nova Scotia Department of
Natural Resources, CDÈNÈ, InRich (our CBDC), etc.], as well as several multi-year initiatives,
that will require continuous effort throughout 2010 – 2011.

The six Service Areas detailed in this plan are: Strategic Planning, Business Retention
Expansion & Recruitment, Skills Learning & People Development, Information & Research,
Infrastructure Sites & Premises, and Marketing & Communications. The Service Areas of
Innovation & Productivity and Program & Project Management are underlying elements
throughout most of S-HRDA’s Implementation Objectives, and so are not reported on
separately.

A review of priority initiatives outlined in the New 5-Year Strategic Economic Plan was
conducted at Board and Staff levels. Priorities identified from this plan were combined with
initiatives that will carry over from the previous year, resulting in 33 new/revised objectives
with 44 separate outputs as described in the following pages.

The evaluation framework for measuring the effectiveness of S-HRDA’s efforts is based on
ISO processes (particularly Client Satisfaction Surveys) and performance-based indicators. As
you will note on the following pages, S-HRDA has taken great care to ensure that each output
has a specific target based on key performance indicators that are measurable, ambitious and
achievable.
            Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                             Page 16


1. Strategic Planning

     Outcome: S-HRDA will support actions to improve strategic planning internally,
     regionally, and at the community level.

This process requires a significant level of effort and focus. S-HRDA will continue to
encourage the process and gauge the appetite for entering into a regional economic strategic
framework planning exercise. S-HRDA will also continue to support the development of an
effective communications vehicle for partners on Cape Breton Island. Further, S-HRDA will
continue to provide planning (strategic and project) to community organizations and perform
partnership assessments to foster better collaboration.

Implementation Objectives   1.1 Establish framework & resources for a Regional Economic Development Plan (looking out
                            20-25 years)
                            1.2 Facilitate Community Strategic & Project Planning
↓                           ↓
Target Population           Municipalities, Business organizations, Community organizations, Sector organizations,
                            Senior Levels of Government
↓                           ↓
Outputs                     1.1 Partner and support an Economic Assembly event for the quad-county region resulting
                            in a framework established and resources identified to develop a quad-county regional
                            economic profile
                            1.1 Act as an influential partner of the Cape Breton Developers Alliance on common
                            economic issues and opportunities on Cape Breton Island (and economic indicators
                            developed)
                            1.2 Assist 10-15 community organizations in community strategic or project planning – see
                            Output 3.3 for more details
                            75% overall positive results from Client Data (satisfaction surveys)
↓                           ↓
Key Performance             1.1 Status of a framework and resources identified to develop a quad-county regional
Indicators                  economic profile
                            1.1 Status of the Cape Breton Developers Alliance partnership/process (and economic
                            indicators developed)
                            1.2 Number of community organizations in community strategic or project planning – see
                            KPI 3.3 for more details
                            All outputs measured by Client Data (satisfaction surveys) results
↓                           ↓
Short-term Outcomes         1.1 Increase understanding of a framework process to allow the dedication of resources to
                            an economic strategic plan process by Municipal units, communities and senior levels of
                            government
                            1.2 Increase in community organizations seeking to achieve specific and prioritized
                            ambitions
↓                           ↓
Long-term Outcomes          S-HRDA will support actions to improve collaboration and strategic planning internally,
                            regionally, and at the community level
            Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                             Page 17


2. Business Retention, Expansion & Recruitment

     Outcome: The Strait-Highlands RDA will support actions to attract, expand and retain
     business.

Several stakeholders play a significant role in attracting, retaining and expanding local business
activity; Federal and provincial departments and agencies; the Strait Area Chamber of
Commerce; our CBDC, InRich; the Municipal Partners; the region’s CED groups and the
region’s entrepreneurs. S-HRDA will continue its focus on business growth from a sector-
based approach. Specifically, the Strait-Highlands RDA role is to support the business
initiatives of stakeholders where possible and to play a navigation role to assist firms achieve
their business goals. S-HRDA will focus on innovation as a means of attracting, expanding and
retaining business. In 2010 – 2011 the S-HRDA will:

Implementation Objectives   2.1 Provide Business Navigation & Counseling
                            2.2 Encourage and Celebrate Innovation in Business
                            2.3 Develop and Support the Information Technology Sector
                            2.4 Support Sector-Based Opportunity Identification and Development
↓                           ↓
Target Population           New Business
                            Existing Businesses
↓                           ↓
Outputs                     2.1 Make 60 contacts and conduct 40 business visits through BRE
                            2.1 Assist 50 firms through BRE and by responding to general information requests
                            2.1 Use information in Community Enterprises (CEs) inventory to connect CEs with
                            resources and best practices when required
                            2.2 Sponsor Innovative Company Award at Strait Area Chamber of Commerce Small
                            Business Week Awards Gala
                            2.2 Participate in 3 Innovation Partnerships and/or Events
                            2.3 Secure funding for and implement an expansion of the Richmond Co. eBusiness Pilot
                            Project across the Strait-Highlands Region
                            2.4 Participate in 6-8 sector-based partnerships and/or opportunities (Ocean, Tourism,
                            Heritage, Culture, Minerals, Forestry, and Agriculture)
                            75% overall positive results from Client Data (satisfaction surveys)
↓                           ↓
Key Performance             2.1 Number of contacts and business visits made through BRE
Indicators                  2.1 Number of firms assisted through BRE and by responding to general information
                            requests
                            2.1 Information in Community Enterprises (CEs) inventory used to connect CEs with
                            resources and best practices
                            2.2 Innovative Company Award sponsored at Strait Area Chamber of Commerce Small
                            Business Week Awards Gala
                            2.2 Number of Innovation Partnerships and/or Events
                            2.3 Status of expansion of the Richmond Co. eBusiness Pilot Project across the Strait-
                            Highlands Region
                            2.4 Number of 6-8 sector-based partnerships and/or opportunities (Ocean, Tourism,
                            Heritage, Culture, Minerals, Forestry, and Agriculture)
                            All outputs measured by Client Data (satisfaction surveys) results
↓                           ↓
          Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                       Page 18



Short-term Outcomes     2.1 Business Navigation and Counseling services made available to new and existing
                        businesses / community enterprises
                        2.2 Increase profile of the value of Innovation
                        2.3 Increase in eBusiness capacity and training for local business
                        2.4 Strengthen sector-based partnerships and/or opportunities (Ocean, Tourism,
                        Heritage, Culture, Minerals, Forestry, and Agriculture)
↓                       ↓
Long-term Outcomes      The Strait-Highlands RDA will support actions to attract, expand and retain business
            Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                     Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                              Page 19


3. Skills, Learning & People Development

     Outcome: S-HRDA will support actions to attract, retain and develop the human
     resource skill requirements of the Strait-Highlands Region.

Out migration and current demographic pressures, combined with business growth in the
region are resulting in a very serious skill shortage. The S-HRDA’s SHARP (Strait-Highlands
Action Research Plan) project laid out a framework for creating a “responsive community”
where business, government and the community implements a strategy to grow the available
labour market. The plan focuses on three strategies: attraction of new people, repatriation of
people who have left the region, retention of youth while preparing those not attached to the
labour market for work. S-HRDA is also committed to building capacity within partner
organizations at the community level to help them establish/maintain sustainable enterprises
and CED projects. S-HRDA will:

Implementation Objectives   3.1 Attract and Retain Newcomers and Immigrants to the Strait-Highland Region
                            3.2 Facilitate Youth Engagement in Community Economic Development
                            3.3 Transfer Knowledge & Skill Sets to CED Groups
↓                           ↓
Target Population           Workforce
                            Employers
                            New Immigrants
                            Youth
↓                           ↓
Outputs                     3.1 Completion of one (1) Regional Immigration Navigator project to provide services
                            identified as necessary from the Cape Breton Newcomers Network Research project / 25
                            newcomers served under this project
                            3.1 Partner with NS Office of Immigration and NSARDA on multi-year support for
                            newcomer settlement activities across Nova Scotia
                            3.1 80% of newcomers provided with a Letter of Identification by S-HRDA for the
                            Community Identified stream of the NSNP proceed with provincial application
                            3.2 Four (4) to six (6) specific actions resulting in youth engagement and skills transfer in
                            community economic development
                            3.3 Assist 10-15 community organizations by facilitating board development, operational
                            planning, strategic planning, project development/management, providing best practices
                            and other community development tools (related to Output 1.2 Assist 10-15 community
                            organizations in community strategic or project planning)
                            75% overall positive results from Client Data (satisfaction surveys)
↓                           ↓
Key Performance             3.1 Number of Regional Immigration Navigator projects completed that provided services
Indicators                  identified as necessary from the Cape Breton Newcomers Network Research project /
                            number of newcomers served under this project
                            3.1 Status of partnership with NS Office of Immigration and NSARDA on multi-year
                            support for newcomer settlement activities across Nova Scotia
                            3.1 Number of newcomers provided with a Letter of Identification by S-HRDA for the
                            Community Identified stream of the NSNP proceeding with provincial application
                            3.2 Number of specific actions resulting in youth engagement and skills transfer in
                            community economic development
                            3.3 Number of community organizations by facilitating board development, operational
                            planning, strategic planning, project development/management, providing best practices
                            and other community development tools (related to KPI 1.2 Number of community
                            organizations in community strategic or project planning)
                            All outputs measured by Client Data (satisfaction surveys) results
↓                           ↓
          Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                  Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                         Page 20



Short-term Outcomes     3.1 Increase in the number of newcomers attracted and retained in the Strait-Highlands
                        region
                        3.2 Increased understanding and awareness to assist in any youth retention efforts
                        3.3 Increase in operational efficiency and strategic regional planning (cooperation) among
                        CED groups
↓                       ↓
Long-term Outcomes      S-HRDA will support actions to attract, retain and develop the human resource skill
                        requirements of the Strait-Highlands Region
            Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                             Page 21


4. Information & Research

     Outcome: S-HRDA will support actions to provide accurate, timely, and useful
     information to partners and businesses to assist them in making informed decisions that
     will positively affect the region’s economy.

The Strait-Highlands Region is founded on the development of natural resources: wood
products, minerals, agriculture and ocean products. Tourism/culture represents a significant
percentage of the local economy. S-HRDA will continue to provide valuable information to
public and private partners as they work to grow their businesses and communities. Further, S-
HRDA will continue to take a lead role in the development of our economy in an
environmentally sustainable way. In 2010 – 2011, the S-HRDA will:

Implementation Objectives   4.1 Foster a Green Energy Region – Strait-Highlands Green Action-Year 4
                            4.2 Support the Development of Sector-Based Opportunities and Resources
                            4.3 Provide CED Navigation and Counseling
                            4.4 Initiate and Facilitate Community Economic Profiling and Planning
                            4.5 Provide Information and Support for Labour Market Issues
↓                           ↓
Target Population           Sector Organizations & Sector Specific Business
↓                           ↓
Outputs                     4.1 Implement Milestone 4 (Year 1) S-HGA Milestone 4 of Partners For Climate Protection
                            (Implementation of Local Action Plan)
                            4.2 Respond to all inquiries received related to sector-based information (Ocean, Tourism,
                            Heritage, Culture, Minerals, Forestry, Information Technology and Agriculture)
                            4.3 Assist 30-40 community organizations by responding to information requests and
                            referrals.
                            4.4 Continue development of “State of the Region” economic outlook / publish as a pilot
                            document
                            4.4 Use database of CEs, CDOs & CEDOs to improve access to volunteer opportunities and
                            identify needs and opportunities
                            4.5 Support / Participate in 3 specific labour market initiatives
                            75% overall positive results from Client Data (satisfaction surveys)
↓                           ↓
           Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                 Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                         Page 22



Key Performance          4.1 Status of Milestone 4 (Year 1) S-HGA Milestone 4 of Partners For Climate Protection
Indicators               4.2 Number of inquiries received (percentage addressed) related to sector-based
                         information (Ocean, Tourism, Heritage, Culture, Minerals, Forestry, Information
                         Technology and Agriculture)
                         4.3 Number of community organizations by responding to information requests and
                         referrals.
                         4.4 Status of “State of the Region” economic outlook / Number of pilot documents
                         published
                         4.4 Status of database of CEs, CDOs & CEDOs to improve access to volunteer
                         opportunities and identify needs and opportunities (and number of times used)
                         4.5 Number of specific labour market initiatives supported
                         All outputs measured by Client Data (satisfaction surveys) results
↓                        ↓
Short-term Outcomes      4.1 Increase awareness of the Strait-Highlands Region as a “Green” Region with a growing
                         Green economy.
                         4.2 Increase opportunities for development of various sectors (Ocean, Tourism, Heritage,
                         Culture, Minerals, Forestry, Information Technology and Agriculture)
                         4.3 S-HRDA continued to be perceived as a growth enabler and information source at the
                         community level
                         4.4 Stakeholders familiarized with economic conditions and the factors influencing the
                         direction and change in various sectors
                         4.4 S-HRDA continues to foster interest at the community level in CED activity / Increase
                         capacity of CEDOs and CEs in the region
                         4.5 Increase in the ability to meet labour market needs in the region
↓                        ↓
Long-term Outcomes       S-HRDA will support actions to develop and diversify the green energy, resource based,
                         tourism, culture & heritage, information technology and ocean industries sectors
            Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                             Page 23


5. Infrastructure, Sites & Premises

     Outcome: S-HRDA will support actions to improve infrastructure in the Strait-
     Highlands region (supporting the Infrastructure priorities of Municipal Partners).

Several priorities have been discussed with Municipal Units. Of course, the following
objectives are dependent on funding resources, the actions of the municipal units and the
particular role the S-HRDA is asked to play. Activities from the past fiscal year have focused
on support for infrastructure issues. In 2010 – 2011 S-HRDA will:

Implementation Objectives   5.1 Assist with Transportation Planning, Airport Upgrades, Port Development
                            5.2.Facilitate Community Core and Waterfront Development
↓                           ↓
Target Population           Municipal Partners
↓                           ↓
Outputs                     5.1 Assist in the expansion of a sustainable transit service across the Strait-Highlands
                            Region
                            5.1 Assist in enhancing local airport infrastructure and promotions
                            5.1 Assist with Strait SuperPort and Gateway Initiatives
                            5.2 Support three (3) waterfront development partnerships and infrastructure
                            5.2 Two (2) façade/streetscape improvement programs facilitated by S-HRDA
                            75% overall positive results from Client Data (satisfaction surveys)
↓                           ↓
Key Performance             5.1 Status of an expanded transit plan serving the Strait-Highlands Region
Indicators                  5.1 Membership on one (1) airport committee
                            5.1 Number of times support provided for the Strait Superport and Gateway Initiatives
                            5.2 Number of waterfront development partnerships and infrastructure supported /
                            facilitated
                            5.2 Number of façade/streetscape programs facilitated (from conceptual plan to
                            streetscape improvement)
                            All outputs measured by Client Data (satisfaction surveys) results
↓                           ↓
Short-term Outcomes         5.1 Increase/maintain transportation, airport, and port developments
                            5.2 Increase/maintain community core and waterfront developments
↓                           ↓
Long-term Outcomes          S-HRDA will support actions to improve infrastructure in the Strait-Highlands region
                            (supporting the Infrastructure priorities of Municipal Partners)
            Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                             Page 24


6. Marketing & Communications

     Outcome: Effectively market the Strait-Highlands Region and effectively communicate
     the activities of the Strait-Highlands RDA.

There are two purposes for communication and marketing: First to attract business and people
to the Strait-Highlands Region and second, to ensure the activities of the S-HRDA are
communicated to partners, investors and stakeholders. To accomplish this S-HRDA will:
Implementation Objectives   6.1 Deliver a Consistent Message and Brand (both for the Region and S-HRDA), and
                            Increase the Profile of S-HRDA in the Strait-Highlands Region
                            6.2 Highlight and Market the Strait-Highlands Region as both a Preferred Business and
                            Residential Location
                            6.3. Deliver Effective Communication to S-HRDA Investors
                            6.4 Continually improve internal communications to align with reporting requirements and
                            distributive workplaces
↓                           ↓
Target Population           S-HRDA Stakeholders & Partners; Potential Businesses & Residents; S-HRDA Staff
↓                           ↓
Outputs                     6.1 S-HRDA website updated monthly
                            6.1 Refresh all content on S-HRDA website
                            6.1 Eighteen (18) to 20 communication / media releases with S-HRDA branding (including
                            website cues)
                            6.1 Fifteen (15) media hits per month (print, radio, etc)
                            6.2 Assist partners (NSBI) with the development of an investment portal
                            6.3 Provide 5 action reports to S-HRDA Board and all other required reports to funders
                            6.3 Maintain or exceed minimum reporting requirements as per funding contracts
                            6.4 Deploy a new web statistics tracking system
                            6.4 Activity Tracker and other Lotus Notes collaboration applications incorporate all
                            applicable ISO and Performance Evaluation Framework requirements
                            6.4 Six (6) to twelve (12) training sessions with staff in the use of e-tools
                            75% overall positive results from Client Data (satisfaction surveys)
↓                           ↓
Key Performance             6.1 Frequency of website updates (analysis of website traffic statistics)
Indicators                  6.1 Currency of content on S-HRDA website
                            6.1 Number of media releases with S-HRDA branding (driving traffic to website)
                            6.1 Number of media hits per month (print, radio, etc)
                            6.2 Consultation provided to partners for development of a new investment portal
                            6.3 Number and frequency of reports provided to partners (using a variety of tools
                            including meetings, email, etc)
                            6.3 Minimum reporting requirements as per funding contracts maintained or exceeded
                            6.4 Status of new web statistics tracking system on S-HRDA website
                            6.4 Continued improvement of incorporation of ISO requirements in Activity Tracker and
                            other Lotus Notes collaboration applications
                            6.4 Number of training sessions with staff in the use of e-tools
                            All outputs measured by Client Data (satisfaction surveys) results
↓                           ↓
Short-term Outcomes         6.1 Increase the profile of S-HRDA in the Strait-Highlands region
                            6.2 Increase/maintain business and residential attraction tools
                            6.3 Increase/maintain S-HRDA investor and partner support
                            6.4 Improve organizational effectiveness by implementing e-tools and ISO procedures
                            that fit with S-HRDA reporting requirements and workplaces and by conducting
                            professional development on communications and reporting tools
↓                           ↓
Long-term Outcomes          Effectively market the Strait-Highlands Region and effectively communicate the activities
                            of the Strait-Highlands RDA
       Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                  Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                      Page 25


5.0   OPERATING BUDGET
      See next page for Operating Budget for April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011.
    Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency   Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                Appendix A
                                                     Organization Overview


Appendix “A” – Organizational Overview




                              Appendix “A”

                   Organizational Overview
       Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                      Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                      Appendix A
                                                                           Organization Overview


                                                      Appendix “A” Organization Overview



Mission for S-HRDA

The Mandate of the Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency is to “Foster the
generation of prosperity in Communities, Enterprises, and Businesses throughout the Strait-
Highlands Region.”

Interpretation of the Mandate for the “R” “D” “A”

     “R”     =    RESEARCH
                  a) Opportunity Identification
                  b) Strategic Planning
                  c) Evaluation of Activities and Direction

     “D”     =    DEVELOPMENT
                  a) Partnership Development
                  b) Community Development
                  c) Enterprise Development
                  d) Innovation Development

     “A”     =    ACTION
                  a) Concept Development
                  b) Concept Advancement
                  c) Project Preparation
                  d) Project Implementation
                  e) Project Management
                  f) Project Evaluation

Board Composition:

The Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency (S-HRDA) is formed of three (3)
Municipalities:
                      1.    Richmond County
                      2.    Inverness County
                      3.    Town of Port Hawkesbury

There are nine (9) Board Members, three from each municipality. Each Board Member
represents one of three (3) categories:
       Business Representatives (3 – one from each municipality)
       Community Representatives (3 – one from each municipality)
       Municipal Council Representative (3 – one from each municipality)
There are also a number of ex officio representatives on the S-HRDA Board.
       Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                        Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                        Appendix A
                                                                             Organization Overview



Qualifications of Board Members:

Any person shall be qualified who satisfies the requirements as set forth in Bill No. 10, An
Act to Encourage and Facilitate Community-based Planning for Economic, Social and
Institutional Change, also known as the Regional Community Development Act.
http://www.gov.ns.ca/legi/legc/statutes/regioncd.htm

Approval to the Board

Each Municipal Council is responsible for locating and approving members to the
S-HRDA Board.

Term of Office

The S-HRDA Board Member term of office shall be for a three-year term.

Committees of the Board

There are three (3) Board Committees:
               1.     Executive
               2.     Policy & Procedures
               3.     Human Resources
Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency
                       Organizational Structure
                                                     Board of Directors
Nine Voting Board Members                       3 Members – Inverness County
  3 Elected Municipal Reps.
     3 Community Reps.        →              3 Members – Town of Port Hawkesbury
                                                3 Members – Richmond County
       3 Business Reps.                        Several ex-officio Board Members

                                                            ↓
                                                   Executive Committee
                                                           Chair
                                                        Vice Chair
                                                         Past Chair
                                                         Treasurer
                                                         Secretary

                                                            ↓

                                                          Chair


                                                            ↓

                                                  Chief Executive Officer


                                                                       Information &
                               Office Manager/                        Communications
                              Assistant Facilitator                       (Vacant)




   Senior Community                  Senior                       Senior
     Development                    Business                  Innovations &
       Facilitator                 Facilitator               Skills Facilitator




                                  Project Staff
    Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency        Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                       Appendix B
                                                   Communications Plan Framework


Appendix “B” – Communications Plan




                               Appendix “B”

                        Communication Plan
Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency        Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                   Appendix B
                                               Communications Plan Framework
2010 - 2011
      Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                     Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                      Appendix B
                                                                  Communications Plan Framework


                   Communications Plan Framework
                           2010 – 2011
1.0   Introduction:

      The 2010-2011 Communications Plan Framework, for the most part, will be a
      continuation of last year’s process. Most communication plans cover a variety of
      communication needs. Besides communicating to the public, the Strait-Highlands
      Regional Development Agency (S-HRDA) wishes to effectively communicate with its
      staff, Board members and funding partners. S-HRDA must place greater emphasis on
      media relations and S-HRDA`s image building opportunities in the future. The Strait-
      Region has already branded itself in Nova Scotia and in national and international market
      places. The branding of the Strait-Highlands Region position will need to be continually
      encouraged with other local partners (i.e., Chamber of Commerce, Municipalities, etc.).

      S-HRDA will improve the foundation for increased efforts in community relations
      through the Strait-Highlands Region. In 2010-2011 communication initiatives will be:
          • Improve internal communications to align with new reporting requirements
              (INTERNAL), and
          • Deliver effective communication to S-HRDA partners, investors and the public
              (EXTERNAL).

2.0   Target Audiences

      →   Staff
      →   Board Members
      →   Partners (Municipality, Provincial, Federal)
      →   Private sector companies (existing and new)
      →   Development Groups (locally and provincially)
      →   Associations (i.e., Destination Cape Breton, etc.)
      →   Chambers of Commerce
      →   New employee and new residents of the Strait-Highlands Region
      →   General public(s)
      Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                 Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                  Appendix B
                                                              Communications Plan Framework


3.0   Messages

      The Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency plays a critical role in
      strategic regional leadership in the economic development and growth of
      business, individuals and communities’ capacities.

      3.1    S-HRDA, in partnership, develops initiatives, programs and projects that
      respond to community and business economic needs.

      3.2     S-HRDA plays a lead role in economic research in generating prosperity
      in our communities (i.e., audit, interviews, surveys, focus groups, reports, data
      sources, etc.)

      3.3    S-HRDA provides strategic leadership in economic planning,
      implementation and operation of regional economic generators in the Strait-
      Highlands Region.

4.0   External Communication Plan (Mini Communication Project Plan)

      Knowing how much to communicate and when to communicate comes through a
      structured action plan. This Communication Plan is a means to prepare a process
      or framework (see Appendix A, Strait –Highlands RDA’s Communication Plan
      2010-2011, Proposed Activity Framework) for the communication efforts
      required for an undertaking or project. Although there will be some general
      awareness communication requirements for S-HRDA, each undertaking or project
      may require a mini communications project plan (see Appendix B, Mini
      Communications Project Plan Guide).
     Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                  Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                  Appendix B
                                                              Communications Plan Framework
                                    Guide to
                          Mini Communication Project Plan

Purpose of Communication         Communications are formulated during the project
                                 initiation stage to ensure that all the people that are
                                 involved in, or affected by the project are considered.

What is in the Mini Plan?        The mini plan contains details of all the formal
                                 communications activities that will occur throughout the
                                 project. As a matter of course, informal communications
                                 do occur and should be encouraged by knowledgeable
                                 staff.

How is the Plan prepared?        Each project plan should be prepared with the following
                                 considerations in mind:
                                    • What is the purpose of the communication?
                                        (Why do you want to communicate?)
                                    • What is the message to be communicated? (What
                                        do you want to say?)
                                    • Who is the audience? (It may be all staff
                                        members or specific groups or individuals.)
                                    • What type of communications vehicle(s)is most
                                        suitable for the audience? (Press release, e-mail,
                                        T.V., website, radio, etc.) (see Appendix D)
                                    • Who should the message come from?
                                    • Who is the best person to prepare the
                                        communication?
                                    • When should the communication occur?

                                 It is very important that communication is timed to
                                 coincide with various project activities. Therefore, the
                                 Communication Project Plan must be developed in
                                 conjunction with the Project Plan. The communication
                                 may be a “once off” such as a lunch meeting or occur at
                                 regular intervals such as a newsletter.

Remember!                        STICK TO YOUR MINI PLAN…but be flexible.
                                 Strive for excellence and only then settle for reality.
                                 Never forget about Distribution!



    (See Appendix B, “Mini Communication Project Plan” implementation form)
Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency        Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                   Appendix B
                                               Communications Plan Framework




          Communication Plan Framework

                             Appendices
Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                                                     Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                                                Appendix B
                                                                                                            Communications Plan Framework
                                                     Communications Plan Appendix A
                                               Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency

                                        Proposed Annual Activity Framework

                                                Communications Activity                               Frequency


                                       Advertising- radio & newspaper (A)                     As required (project-basis)
                                          Client Feedback Surveys(CF)                          Monthly (or as required)
         April 2010                 Community & Service Groups on request (TR)                 As required /requested
             to                                    E-News (E)                                          Monthly
         March 2011                         Partners & Funders (M)                             As required /requested
                                          Project Announcements (RP)                          As required (project-basis)
                                           Special Events Advertising                         As required (project-basis)
                                               Web Up-dates (W)                                        Monthly
                                           Workshops & Events (EA)                            As required (project-basis)
    Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                                                                     Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                                                    Appendix B
                                                                                                                Communications Plan Framework
                                                         Communications Plan Appendix B
                                                   Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency

                                       Mini Communications Project Plan Guide
                                                              (Form used if required)


        Type of                        Purpose of            Target            Message of         Delivered   Prepared    Media
      Communicati                    Communication          Audience         Communication
#                       Budget                                                                       By         By        Used     When
          on
                 Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                               Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                                           Appendix B
                                                                                       Communications Plan Framework


                                            Communications Plan Appendix C
                                      Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency

                            Media List (Communication Vehicles):
                                                     Updated January 2010
   NEWSPAPER              ISSUED         PHONE          FAX                     EMAIL                       CONTACT
Reporter                  Weekly        625-3300      625-1701    the.reporter@ns.sympatico.ca (News)
                                                                  jake@porthawkesburyreporter.com
                                                                  advert.reporter@ns.sympatico.ca
                                                                  (Ads)
Inverness Oran            Weekly        258-2253      258-2632    oran@ns.aliantzinc.ca                 Rankin MacDonald
                                                                                                        Ads-Eleanor MacD.
Victoria Standard         Bi-Wkly       295-1144      295-1143    victoriastandard@ns.sympatico.ca      James Morrow
Cape Breton Post          Daily         564-5451      562-7077    news@cbpost.com                       N.Side Vic.Pg
                                                      794-1934    jcollins@cbpost.com                   Julie Collins
                                                                  kquirk@cbpost.com                     Ads-Kathleen Q.
Participaper              Quarterly     224-1759      224-1759    m.aucoin@ns.sympatico.ca              Marie Aucoin
Guysborough Journal       Weekly        533-2851      533-2750    news@guysboroughjournal.ca            Allan Murphy
The Casket (Ant.Co.)      Weekly        863-4370      863-1943    editor@thecasket.ca                   Cory LeBlanc
                                                                  darlenehalfpenny@thecasket            Ads-D.Halfpenny
Daily News                Daily         421-5810      468-2645    letters@hfxnews.southam.ca            Steven Bornais
N.S. Business Journal     Monthly       468-8027      468-2425    shiggins@hfxnews.ca                   Scott Higgins, Editor

                                                                  peter.coleman@transcontinental        Advertising
Chronicle Herald          Daily         426-2811      426-1158    newsroom@herald.ca
                                        *426-1154     *426-3382   tpeters@herald.ca                     *Tom Peters (w)
                                                                  tomapeters@eastlink.ca                 Tom Peters (h)
                                                                  brau@eastlink.ca                      Ads-Brian Rau
Globe & Mail              Daily         1-800-387-    416-585-    news@globeandmail.ca
                                        5400          5102

       RADIO
The Hawk (P.Hawkes.)                    625-1220      625-2664    news@1015thehawk.com                  B MacEachern,Mgr
                                                                  karen@1015thehawk.com (Ads)
CJFX (Antigonish)                       863-4580      863-6300    cjfx@cjfx.ca                          Dave MacLean Mgr.
CBC Sydney                              563-4100      539-1562    radionews@sydney.cbc.ca               Jill Spelliscey, Mgr.

Radio Cheticamp                         224-1242      224-1770    ginette@ckjm.ca (news)
                                                                  pamela@ckjm.ca (advertisement)
                                                                  info@ckjm.ca (general)


     TELEVISION
SAERC-TV                                625-2810      625-1868    saerc-tv@ns.sympatico.ca              John Stubb
Cheticamp TV                            224-2268      224-3000    linus_aucoin@ns.aliantzinc.ca         Linus Aucoin
CTV Atlantic Sydney                     562-5511      562-9714    atvnews@ctv.ca                        Glen McLanders,
                                                                                                        General Manager
CBC TV Sydney                           539-5050      563-4170    news@sydney.cbc.ca
Telile TV, Isle Mad.                    226-1928      226-1331    telile@telile.tv                      Gloria Hill
JUMP Comm.Cable                         787-3050      787-2377    development@porthood.ca
Pepperrell Street                       535-3045      535-2886    channel10ads@hotmail.com              Gerry Gibson
Production (St.Peter’s)
    Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency            Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                          Appendix C
                                                   Summary of Major Accomplishments


Appendix “C” – Summary of Major Accomplishments




                               Appendix “C”

       Summary of Major Accomplishments
                     (Performance Based Model
                     Mid-Year Review Highlights
                       to September 30, 2009)
       Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                    Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                     Appendix C
                                                              Summary of Major Accomplishments


Summary of Major Accomplishments

The following information is taken from S-HRDA’s Mid-Year Review Report to September
30, 2009 (more detailed information can be found in the actual report). S-HRDA’s 2009-2010
Annual Report will provide an update on achievements to March 31, 2010. The information
below relates to S-HRDA’s demonstration of Objectives, Prioritization, and Achievement for
the first six months of the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Demonstrating Objectives

S-HRDA’s 2009-2010 Business Plan is structured based on six (6) Service Areas and 28
Implementation Objectives with 44 specific output targets to advance those objectives. The six
Service Areas detailed in this report are: Strategic Planning, Business Retention Expansion &
Recruitment, Skills Learning & People Development, Information & Research, Infrastructure
Sites & Premises, and Marketing & Communications. The Service Areas of Innovation &
Productivity and Program & Project Management are underlying elements throughout most of
the Business Plan Implementation Objectives, and so are not reported on separately.

Strategic Planning Service Area: S-HRDA has advanced three objectives related to regional
planning (and planning frameworks) as well as community strategic and project planning.
Regional planning continues to be a focus and concern for S-HRDA, particularly in the wake
of the de-population of our rural communities and opportunities for increasing our global
competitiveness. Having a planning framework which is responsive to situational changes and
issues in our operating environment is key to the success and sustainability of our
communities. In conjunction with this regional approach, S-HRDA continues to build capacity
in our community organizations by providing strategic and project planning services.
Municipal partners in particular agree that this type of service is critical to advancing
grassroots projects that have a short- to medium-term impact at the community level.

Business Retention Expansion & Recruitment: The eight objectives under this Service Area
are advanced from four perspectives: One-on-one business counselling, sector-based
initiatives, community enterprise development, and regional business support projects.
Supporting the region's SMEs and fostering projects that capitalize on the rich resources in the
region are critical to diversifying and sustaining our rural economy. Activity under S-HRDA’s
Business Retention and Expansion project has been extremely positive. Internally, a goal to
contact 60 businesses was set as a target with an expectation that 40 businesses would be
visited over a twelve month period. To date, 61 businesses have been contacted and 37 visits
have been conducted (14 Inverness County, 13 Richmond County & 10 Town of Port
Hawkesbury). There is a 71% referral rate of the businesses visited. Of the referrals generated
to assist businesses with specific challenges and opportunities, 62% are already successfully
closed. The BRE Action Team meets monthly to address business needs and works to develop
customized solutions.

Skills Learning & People Development: There are three objectives advanced under this
Service Area focusing on community organizations, newcomers, and youth. S-HRDA’s close
relationship with the business community and with business partner organizations (i.e. local
       Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                     Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                      Appendix C
                                                               Summary of Major Accomplishments


Chamber of Commerce) has resulted in a greater understanding of the pressing shortage of
skills in the region. From a business perspective, youth and newcomer attraction and retention
present an excellent opportunity for addressing these skills gaps. From a community
perspective, developing skills in volunteers is critical to the ability to advance community-
based and business-based projects effectively.

Information & Research: S-HRDA has advanced seven objectives in the area of Information
and Research. S-HRDA has positioned itself in the community and with stakeholders as a
source for accessing information related to the local economy, communities, and the region.
This type of activity is a core element of S-HRDA's business plan.

Infrastructure Sites & Premises: There are just two objectives articulated in S-HRDA's 2009-
2010 Business Plan in this Service Area. However, several of S-HRDA's most intensive
initiatives are identified as outputs under these objectives, including streetscape improvements,
waterfront developments, transit systems and business facade programs. Several of these
projects have received support from multiple levels of government and are having a significant
and tangible impact at the community level.

Marketing & Communications: S-HRDA is advancing five objectives related to Marketing
and Communications. These objectives range from public awareness and business attraction to
partner and internal communications. A strong commitment to communication has resulted in
a monthly e-Newsletter and website updates more than once each week, including a high
number of information alerts regarding community meetings and service availability of high
speed internet in the region.

Each year, S-HRDA core staff is heavily involved in the business planning process for the
Agency. The S-HRDA Board of Directors is provided with the opportunity to review a draft
business plan before the plan is finalized for the upcoming year. This ensures that all major
partners and staff are informed and have the opportunity to suggest adjustments to the Plan
based on priorities and local circumstances.
       Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                   Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                    Appendix C
                                                             Summary of Major Accomplishments


Demonstrating Prioritization

S-HRDA maintains strong and continuous communication with stakeholders and funding
partners as demonstrated by the Partners listings in the Strategic Initiatives and Evaluation
section. S-HRDA has created/maintained over 160 partnerships with 90 entities in order
to advance the Objectives and Outputs of its 2009-2010 Business Plan. This pertains to
public partnerships; S-HRDA also maintains approximately 70 private partnerships
through various projects (i.e. eBusiness, Façade programs, BRE, etc). This level of
partnership development has led to the development of a Business Plan that is responsive to the
priorities of partners and opportunities for growth in the region. In addition, S-HRDA remains
committed to advancing regional partnership frameworks with the goal of developing a long
term regional plan and focusing on targeted issues.

In the last six months, S-HRDA has advanced 29 new projects with a potential value of over
$4.5 million in both Community and Business Development areas (this is in addition to
projects carried over from last year). This demonstrates a strong commitment and buy-in on S-
HRDA projects from our stakeholders and partners.

The challenges of advancing the economic development agenda for such a geographically and
diverse rural region have led S-HRDA to develop more efficient methods of managing projects
and initiatives to allow for greater impact (and volume). This year, S-HRDA has faced a
reduction in core staff due to illness, but has still maintained a high level of productivity
and effectiveness in the region. The development of partnerships, staff competencies, and
streamlined reporting systems are key to our ability to meet and exceed client, stakeholder and
partner expectations.
         Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                       Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                          Appendix C
                                                                   Summary of Major Accomplishments


Demonstrating Achievement

S-HRDA has presented its Objectives/Outputs from the 2009-2010 Business Plan in the
general format of the Mid Year Review template provided. For the Mid-Year Review,
reporting on the first six months of S-HRDA’s 2009-2010 Business Plan, each output has
been assigned a status of Exceeded, Met, In Progress, Adjusted. The status was assigned
based on a comparison of the output’s current status to the original Business Plan target output.
S-HRDA has a total of 44 outputs and the status breakdown is as follows:

  1st Six Months of 2009-2010
Status               Number
Exceeded                 15
Met                       7
In Progress              17                Note: In the tables detailing each output, any with a
                                           status of Exceeded or Adjusted will have clarifying
Adjusted                  5                information in the Outcome / Notable Differences field.

Total                    44


At the six month period, S-HRDA has already exceeded the expected deliverables on fifteen
(15) outputs, demonstrating a high quality of service and commitment to the tasks contained
within the Business Plan. Exceeded outputs are briefly described below.

Exceeded Outputs Summary

Strategic          TARGET Output 1.2 Assist 10 community organizations in community strategic
Planning           or project planning
                   ACTUAL: S-HRDA has assisted more than 15 community organizations
                   with community strategic and/or project planning. Demand for S-HRDA
                   advice in community strategic and project planning exceeded the targets for
                   this year in part due to the promotion of existing RDA projects through
                   media and at the municipal council level.

Business           TARGET Output 2.1 Assist 30 firms by responding to information requests
Retention,         ACTUAL: S-HRDA assisted 46 firms by responding to information
Expansion &        requests, representing approximately 130 points of contact. The number of
Recruitment        businesses contacting S-HRDA with information requests (outside the BRE
                   process) has likely increased due to several factors (increased promotion of
                   S-HRDA activities within the region, municipal endorsements/referrals,
                   BRE activity, and an increase in interest in self-employment options due to
                   economic instability).
        Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                      Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                        Appendix C
                                                                 Summary of Major Accomplishments



Business           TARGET Output 2.2 Participate in 4-6 Innovation Networking Opportunities
Retention,         ACTUAL: S-HRDA participated in fourteen (14) innovation networking
Expansion &        opportunities.
Recruitment

                   TARGET 2.3 Contact all targeted business owners by visiting them at their
                   operation and implementing the BRE Pilot project
                   ACTUAL: S-HRDA has been successful in delivering the BRE program in
                   its region – 61 business contacts made and 37 visits already completed.

                   TARGET Output 2.4 Thirteen (13) businesses attend eBusiness training and/or
                   complete eBusiness Plans (Richmond Co. eBusiness Pilot project)
                   ACTUAL: A total of 43 businesses have attended workshops. A total of 14
                   businesses have completed eBusiness Audits and eBusiness Plans with 4
                   audits and 3 plans completed in the last six months. The uptake on this
                   project exceeded original estimates, resulting in a proposed expansion of the
                   pilot project.

                   TARGET Output 2.7 Three (3) tourism partnerships maintained
                   ACTUAL: S-HRDA has partnered to support tourism projects with at least
                   seven (7) organizations.

                   TARGET Output 2.7 Support provided for two (2) Regional Tourism projects
                   (RV park, Heritage Coast project)
                   ACTUAL: S-HRDA supported six regional tourism projects

                   TARGET 2.8 Four (4) culture and/or heritage initiatives supported
                   ACTUAL: S-HRDA has supported five culture and heritage initiatives.

Skills, Learning   TARGET Output 3.1 Implementation of one (1) Regional Immigration Navigator
& People           project to provide services identified as necessary from the Cape Breton
Development        Newcomers Network Research project / 25 newcomers served under this project
                   ACTUAL: In partnership with ARDA and GCRDA, S-HRDA implemented
                   one Regional Immigration Navigator project to provide services to
                   newcomers. The project is a success with 73 newcomers served during this
                   period, representing almost 200 points of contact.

                   TARGET Output 3.1 Eighty percent (80%) of newcomers provided with a Letter
                   of Identification by S-HRDA for the Community Identified stream of the NSNP
                   proceed with provincial application
                   ACTUAL: Since the inception of the partnership between the NS Office of
                   Immigration (NSOOI) and RDAs, S-HRDA has noted that 91% of identified
                   applicants proceed with a provincial application.
        Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency                       Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                                         Appendix C
                                                                  Summary of Major Accomplishments



Skills, Learning   TARGET Output 3.3 Assist 10-15 community organizations by facilitating board
& People           development, operational planning, strategic planning, project
Development        development/management, providing best practices and other community
                   development tools
                   ACTUAL: S-HRDA has assisted more than 15 community organizations.

Information &      TARGET Output 4.7 Participate / Support 2 specific labour market initiatives
Research           ACTUAL: S-HRDA has participated in three (3) labour market initiatives

Infrastructure,    TARGET 5.2 Three (3) waterfront development partnerships and infrastructure
Sites, &           supported by S-HRDA
Premises           ACTUAL: S-HRDA is working with its community partners to advance
                   waterfront development projects in 5 communities.

Marketing &        TARGET Output 6.1 S-HRDA website updated at least monthly (10% increase
Communication      in website hits)
s                  ACTUAL: S-HRDA published 38 items to it’s website between April 1 and
                   September 30, 2009. The frequency of these updates averaged 1.5 updates
                   per week

                   TARGET Output 6.5 Six (6) broadband updates published to the S-HRDA
                   website
                   ACTUAL: S-HRDA has published eight broadband updates to the S-
                   HRDA website.


ISO Satisfaction Survey Results Summary

Further supporting S-HRDA’s quality of service, are the results of the Satisfaction Survey
results since April 1, 2009. S-HRDA opened 29 new projects since the beginning of this fiscal
year plus 18 projects carried over from 2008 with 17 satisfaction surveys returned since April
1, 2009. To encourage the public to provide feedback, a new link has been made available in
the Projects section of the S-HRDA website to access Client Satisfaction Surveys. In addition
to this link, in June 2009, S-HRDA began putting a Quality Assurance Commitment “story” at
the end of each newsletter. Surveys collect data on four critical areas: our understanding of
the clients’ requirements, our ability to provide required services, quality of service provided,
and responsiveness.
The output in each Service Area of the 2009-2010 Business Plan indicated a “75% overall
positive results” target from Client Data (satisfaction surveys). Approximately 98% of
respondents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with S-HRDA’s
performance in these areas. S-HRDA has clearly exceeded expectations in terms of client
feedback.

NOTE: See 2009-2010 Mid-Year Review Report for greater details.
     Strait-Highlands Regional Development Agency          Business Plan 2010 – 2011
                                                                         Appendix D
                                                       In-House Financial Statements


Appendix “D” – In-House Financial Statements as of January 31,
  2010




                                Appendix “D”


               In-House Financial Statements
                           (As of December 31, 2009)

								
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