New economic development official starts work in MODC

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>PHOTO COURTESY MUNICIPALITY OF CHESTER</p><p>Erin Lowe began working for the MODC on July 31.</p>

First order of business for the Municipality of the District of Chester's new economic development officer is figuring out how to best market and boost the profile of Lunenburg County.

Erin Lowe hopes to establish the region as a model for business growth while retaining its cornerstone commerce.

The Prince Edward Island native is barely two weeks into the job. Eager to work in the community she lives in, she joins the municipality's workforce after seven years working for an international engineering firm in business development and strategic planning.

Lowe, 34, a married mother of two, currently resides in Hubbards, a community that shares a border between the Municipality of Chester and Halifax Regional Municipality.

She relishes the new challenge.

"I'm in a position where I can help cultivate an environment where commerce and tourism flourish as well as support our existing community of local businesses and organizations," she said in a statement released by the municipality. Lowe, a business administration grad from an Antigonish university, is a leadership studies major.

Lowe's primary focus with the municipality includes creating what's called a sector development strategy, considered a blueprint that analyzes, for example, fisheries, renewable energy and agriculture areas to see which job categories are spiking in interest and whether or not chances exist for the establishment of new businesses.

She's also tasked with starting a program aimed at keeping what commerce the municipality already has, with an eye to helping growth in that area.

An economic development group in Bridgewater, the South Shore's largest town, went through a similar exercise in recent years. That group identified problems and tried to find answers to the best way toward creating a viable business environment while influencing future government policy.

The process includes interviews and data collection. The Bridgewater Development Association credits its 2006 results as a catalyst for securing money toward establishing a marina and the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre.

Lowe told LighthouseNOW work on the business retention and expansion program involves connecting with a regional economic group as research is carried out.

Her job also extends to working with tourism agencies to market the municipality as a visitor destination.

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