Co-ops performing well in suspect economy

| Business |

TRURO – Nova Scotia’s co-op businesses are reporting significant growth
at a time when the economy is suspected to be slowing down.

Speaking at the 59th annual meeting for the Nova Scotia Co-operative
council in Truro, council CEO Dianne Kelderman announced a business
growth of 5.6 per cent. This equates to an increase of $80 million
since this time last year.

Kelderman attributed the growth to a number of factors and initiatives, which have been implemented over the last few years.

For instance the small business loan guarantee program provided $23
million in investment and capital to 343 businesses last year. The
council has also launched a youth strategy, which delivers hands-on
experience to young people.

Deputy minister of economic development Paul Taylor also said a few words at the banquet.
Taylor said the co-op council’s programs, "helped to create and maintain
2,300 new jobs, which is equivalent to two brand new Michelin Tire
plants."

There are 402 co-ops and credit unions in Nova Scotia. They employ more
than 7,000 people and generate revenues in excess of $5 billion
annually.