Cape Breton Partnership hires new development officer

PORT HAWKESBURY: The Cape Breton Partnership has hired Megan Watt to be their new economic development officer for the Port Hawkesbury and Richmond County areas.

Currently a resident of St. Peter’s and a former resident of Guysborough County – with experience working in planning and development and as a development officer, both with the City of Cold Lake from 2014 to 2019 – Watt started on the job September 1.

“It’s nice to be in the Atlantic provinces again,” Watt told The Reporter. “This position is really exciting because I actually get to work with business owners to help grow their business, to help new businesses come to the area and just help all the way around.”

“This will entail a host of different things including working with businesses and entrepreneurs, working on investment attraction, supporting any investment opportunities to the area, and other things as they come up,” Cape Breton Partnership president and CEO Carla Arsenault explained. “Obviously for the Strait area, there’s keen interest in the Strait of Canso and Point Tupper specifically, and trying to both work with the businesses in the park and look for new opportunity for the region as a whole.”

Arsenault said the position is through the Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network, and Watt’s duties will be similar to other economic development officers in Cape Breton like those in Inverness County, Victoria County and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

“We have a host of services that we support, and so Megan will be on the ground working with individuals and connecting them to other supports and resources that are available to them,” Arsenault noted. “We get involved in a host of other things, immigration, to specific supports for entrepreneurs, provide support for business plans, support for tourism operators.”

Carla Arsenault

Watt will be working from Cape Breton Partnership offices in Arichat at the municipal building and at the Professional Development Centre in Port Hawkesbury, but said she will also be travelling throughout Richmond County and Port Hawkesbury.

Due to public health restrictions, Watt said she is conducting a lot of work via Zoom at the moment, but in the coming days, Watt and other Cape Breton Partnership staff will be meeting with municipal councils and staff, as well as local businesses, keeping in mind COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

“I’m available to work basically anywhere there’s Internet; I have a work phone, and a laptop,” Watt said. “A lot of it is research, and trying to network, and meet a lot of different people right now.”