Pic­tou wel­comes new busi­nesses to town

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SAM MAC­DON­ALD

The busi­ness com­mu­nity in the Town of Pic­tou is two counts more ac­tive as of Fri­day. The town of­fi­cially wel­comed two new busi­nesses, with Mayor Jim Ryan and Coun­cilor Mal­colm Houser vis­it­ing the lo­ca­tions of Riva CRM In­te­gra­tion’s new of­fice on Falk­land Street, and the Aphrodite bou­tique on Front Street.

As Ryan and Houser con­ducted their tour, they dis­cussed the growth of the town’s busi­ness com­mu­nity, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties that en­tails, with own­ers and em­ploy­ees. They were both were em­phatic in their ex­cite­ment over new the busi­nesses bring­ing jobs and visi­tors to the town.

Ryan said the re­cent busi­ness growth in Pic­tou is “the re­sult of rec­og­niz­ing the town is ready. We’re ready to be a des­ti­na­tion where peo­ple can shop, eat and roam the streets — a des­ti­na­tion where peo­ple can come and stay.”

The fact that the new busi­nesses are unique and dis­tinct from one an­other is a good thing, he said, not­ing it’s an ex­am­ple of what Pic­tou can and should as­pire to be, as a com­mu­nity. He said the new busi­nesses can pro­mote the town as a good place to do busi­ness, visit and live.

“That’s what drives the econ­omy. We def­i­nitely want that va­ri­ety, and when we look at Riva, it demon­strates we can have in­for­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy busi­nesses here in a ru­ral com­mu­nity,” said Ryan “There is an op­por­tu­nity for growth, for these busi­ness — and an op­por­tu­nity to at­tract other peo­ple to our com­mu­ni­ties.”

Riva CRM In­te­gra­tion has started busi­ness at its first At­lantic Cana­dian lo­ca­tion, pro­vid­ing a tech­ni­cal sup­port and suc­cess cen­ter to bet­ter serve its grow­ing base of global cus­tomers.

Riva sys­tems ar­chi­tect and de­vel­oper Derek Bond said the com­pany of­fers soft­ware that in­te­grates email and cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) sys­tems, pro­vid­ing data sync­ing and tech sup­port for cus­tomers around the globe, from the Prairies to the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to a me­dia re­lease from the com­pany, the Pic­tou lo­ca­tion will al­low it to take ad­van­tage of op­er­at­ing in two dif­fer­ent time zones, to bet­ter serve in­ter­na­tional clients, sup­port­ing cus­tomers 21 hours a day in to­tal.

Vic­to­ria Ge­orge, the suc­cess team man­ager with Riva, said the com­pany’s growth was what brought it to es­tab­lish a lo­ca­tion in Pic­tou, and that it was fan­tas­tic to get the sup­port of mayor and coun­cil.

“That growth is al­low­ing us to keep our sup­port within Canada. We were ad­vised there was a lot of amaz­ing tal­ent out here,” she said. “We def­i­nitely found that.”

In a me­dia re­lease, Riva CEO Aldo Zanoni said the de­ci­sion to open a Pic­tou

of­fice “seemed like a nat­u­ral fit. Two of our tal­ented em­ploy­ees, Derek Bond and Dara Wong, used to work re­motely from their home of­fice in Pic­tou. Given that Derek and Dare are long­time res­i­dents of Pic­tou, (it) was the log­i­cal lo­ca­tion for our ex­pan­sion.”

The Ed­mon­ton-based com­pany said it will hire more staff in the com­ing months, ex­pand­ing its op­er­a­tions in Pic­tou to sales, mar­ket­ing and dig­i­tal me­dia, as it con­tin­ues to grow.

On the move

Aphrodite owner Tiiu Poder said her de­ci­sion to move Aphrodite to Pic­tou fol­lowed the con­struc­tion of the new high­way near Antigo­nish, which by­passes the store’s for­mer lo­ca­tion in that town’s down­town area. Once the high­way was com­pleted, Poder found her busi­ness be­gan to suf­fer, with fewer peo­ple vis­it­ing.

“What I find so ap­peal­ing about Pic­tou is that you have peo­ple here whose job is to get the word out with mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tion,” said Poder. “That’s a strong ap­peal for me to be here.”

Aphrodite is a bou­tique store that sells women’s cloth­ing, jewelry and ac­ces­sories, sourc­ing much of what it sells from Canada. Poder also takes pride in own­ing a busi­ness that sells lo­cally crafted goods, as well.

“We want to have things that are largely Cana­dian-de­signed and higher qual­ity... We carry items that are made in fac­to­ries where em­ploy­ees are car­ried a fair wage,” said Poder. “I only buy three or four of one item, so (cus­tomers) will come here and al­ways find things that are unique and dif­fer­ent.”

Ryan said it’s im­por­tant to have an artis­tic lo­ca­tion like Aphrodite set up shop in Pic­tou, since “that’s one of the other things I talk to peo­ple about — we need to pro­mote the art com­mu­nity and the value of the art com­mu­nity here.”

SAM MAC­DON­ALD/THE NEWS

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