Cash incentives offered to Nova Scotia businesses that promote the ‘Gaelic brand’ – Halifax

The next time you order a meal in Nova Scotia, you could get a discount on your bill — if you know some Gaelic.

Under a pilot program, the Nova Scotia government is offering up to $1,000 to small- and mid-sized businesses that promote the Gaelic language and culture, which are deeply ingrained in the province’s history.

Among other things, the Gaelic Business Initiative encourages businesses to hire Gaelic-speaking employees and incorporate the ancient language into their marketing, advertising, events and daily routines.

“Gaels worldwide represent a distinct and significant economic presence,” says the non-profit Scotland-Nova Scotia Business Association, which is administering the program. “Nova Scotia … has a unique opportunity to promote its ‘Gaelic brand.’”

One suggestion for applicants is to provide customers with bilingual menus and offer markdowns for those who attempt to place their order in Gaelic.

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“Businesses can benefit by offering their customers a unique experience,” said program spokesman Nick Nickerson, who helped start the program in January. “That’s going to attract customers and create loyalty.”

The provincial government’s Gaelic Affairs division says that among the one million people who call Nova Scotia home, about 230,000 are descendants of Gaelic settlers who started arriving from the Highlands and islands of Scotland in the 1700s. Most of them settled in the eastern mainland of the province and in Cape Breton.

Several communities in the area have Scottish names, including Arisaig, Eigg Mountain, Bornish and Keppoch. In the early 1900s, as many as 50,000 Nova Scotians spoke Gaelic as their first language.

“About a third of Nova Scotians have Gaelic heritage,” said Nickerson, who added that similar programs have been launched to preserve the Gaelic language in Scotland and Ireland. “And Nova Scotia is the only place outside of Scotland where Gaelic is still spoken on a daily basis.”

Gaelic-related businesses and events contribute $23 million annually to Nova Scotia’s economy, the provincial government says.

In Cape Breton, the Celtic Colours International Festival has become a popular tradition, particularly when it comes to traditional music. English-Gaelic road signs are common in the eastern districts, and Gaelic studies are offered in 15 public schools. As well, the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, N.S., known as Colaisde

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N.S. business owner furious, calls planned 4-day power outage ‘ludicrous’ – Halifax

A small business owner says she is “steamed” that a planned Nova Scotia Power maintenance outage will leave her business in the dark for four workdays.

On Outram and Esplanade Streets in Truro, a planned outage for system upgrading is set to last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Sarah Coleman says her store Calling Corner New Age Boutique is located right on the corner of the two streets.

It will be one of three business among 12 customers hit with the seven-hour outages for four-straight days.

“This is ludicrous. There’s no way that should be a four-day event,” said Coleman.

Calling Corners is a tarot and crystal shop in Truro, N.S.

Submitted by Sarah Coleman

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Coleman has shut down her store for Monday, as she initially thought the outage would last just the one day.

She said she was not informed of the four-day-long outages by Nova Scotia Power, but found out from a Facebook post made by another business owner in the area.

Calling for communication, empathy

Coleman said that on March 8, one of her staff texted her that Nova Scotia Power came in and informed them that power would be out on Monday.

When receiving the information, Coleman contacted customer support, who she said confirmed they saw a planned outage for Monday — nothing else.

Notice of the outages on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday came as a shock.

“Monday would have been an inconvenience,” Coleman said. “The majority of the week… takes away our entire staff’s paychecks. This is my only form of livelihood at the moment.

“There was no regard that I could see… I don’t know, It just didn’t seem like they cared.”

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Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Jacqueline Foster said in an email statement their team has been working with the town of Truro on the planned outage.

“This is for a capital project on Outram Street where we are rebuilding the power line. The planned outage is needed so our crews can complete the work safely,” Foster wrote.

“We appreciate outages are inconvenient for customers even when they’re planned. We have done as much work ahead of time as possible, including digging

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