March 23, 2004

The BBI and the GHP sign Memorandum of Understanding and announce first official undertaking under MOU

Halifax, NS – March 23, 2004 - The Black Business Initiative (BBI) and the Greater Halifax Partnership (GHP) are stronger today, signing a Memorandum of Understanding that will further enhance business growth and opportunity in our community.

The Memorandum of Understanding highlights the BBI and the GHP’s partnership in future business development opportunities.

"One of the ways we fulfill our mandate is by creating and nurturing partnerships," said Stephen Dempsey, President and CEO, Greater Halifax Partnership.

He added, "BBI is important to our business community - now, with our MOU, we can further our efforts to leverage the strengths of each organization for greater growth and prosperity for our community."

Michael Wyse, Chair of BBI had this to say: “We hear about emerging partnerships everyday. What makes our connection with the GHP so important is our shared work and commitment towards growing and retaining business in this city.”

Mr. Wyse continued to say, “The health and long-term viability of our city is more than important. It’s essential. It’s what drives every activity and initiative we take on.”

One of the first formal initiatives the Black Business Initiative and the Greater Halifax Partnership will be working on is a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program targeted at the black business community. It will be a component of a larger, general BRE program being developed by the Partnership for official launch in early spring.

“One of our most important objectives at BBI is to focus on the specific issues and challenges that impact businesses in our Black Business Community,” says Rustum Southwell, Executive Director BBI. “The BRE model further strengthens our ability to help them survive and grow.”

A BRE program is a comprehensive, face-to-face approach that encourages the growth and stability of local business. BRE programs are successful in identifying employer issues and challenges, understanding and anticipating circumstances of employer business, and identifying business bottlenecks.

“Studies have shown that up to 80 percent of new jobs in a community come from existing business,” said Stephen Dempsey. He added, “ This underscores the importance of using a BRE program to support local companies.”

The Minister of Economic Development, Ernest L. Fage was also on hand today to offer comments from the Province.

The Black Business Initiative is a province-wide business development initiative created to develop businesses and job opportunities among Black Nova Scotians. BBI has been supporting the growth and prosperity of Nova Scotia Black-owned businesses since 1996.

The Greater Halifax Partnership is the economic growth organization for Greater Halifax focused on retaining, expanding and attracting business. It is among the most innovative and successful economic development partnerships in North America.

« Back