News Release Archive

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/TOURISM-Colchester Businesses Gain Advantage
Small businesses in Colchester County will soon have the big
business advantage thanks to two high-tech projects.  

The Smart Rural Community Development Initiative will provide
business owners and community members access to the Internet
through a number of public computer kiosks at locations
throughout Tatamagouche. The Colchester Interactive Multi-Media
Business Resource Centre will give community members in the
region access to a number of computer self-help programs and

Funding for both projects, totalling $410,132, was announced
today by Senator Al Graham on behalf of Fred Mifflin, Secretary
of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and
Premier Russell MacLellan at the Balmoral Motel in Tatamagouche.

A commitment of $385,500 was made to the Smart Rural Community
Development Initiative, and the new Colchester Interactive 
Multi-Media Business Resource Centre received $24,632 under the
Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement on Economic

"Encouraging businesses to take advantage of the many
opportunities provided by the information highway is the main
goal of both projects," said Senator Graham. "Local businesses
will gain expertise and support that big businesses have in their
own backyard."

"The project will expand the information technology
infrastructure and capacity for the north shore area in order to
build business and educate local residents," said Premier
MacLellan. "This area will also be a test site for small isolated
rural communities accessing government services electronically."

Partners in the Smart Rural Community Development Initiative are
the Colchester Regional Development Agency, DalTech, the
Integrated Wide Area Network project staff, MT&T, the community
of Tatamagouche and three levels of government.  

Under the Smart Rural Community Development Initiative, staff
members with computing and business expertise will be hired to
help develop, maintain the community electronic information
network, and to train people to use it. Community members will
also have access to long-distance education through upgraded
computers at the local high school and telemedicine through the
local hospital.  

"We are demonstrating that small rural communities don't have to
wait several years to have the same urban advantages of big
cities," said Dan Uberoi, executive director of the Colchester
Regional Development Agency. "Big business transactions can be
done by many of our small businesses in Tatamagouche, especially
with all of these new resources."

The Interactive Multi-Media Business Resource Centre in Truro
will provide customized information tailored directly to the
market needs of Colchester's small businesses. The centre will
help businesses strengthen and improve their competitiveness with
self-help material on how to conduct market surveys and create a
business plan, for instance.

Both projects are expected to create a number of small-business
opportunities, attract new customers to the area and secure
employment and training opportunities for youth.

The Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement on Economic
Diversification is managed by ACOA and Enterprise Cape Breton
Corp. on behalf of the federal government and Economic
Development and Tourism on behalf of Nova Scotia.


Contact: Lara Ryan
         Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

         Dan Uberoi
         Colchester Regional Development Agency

         Renee Field
         Economic Development and Tourism

ngr                Oct. 21, 1997               4:30 pm