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NSCC-Weather Data May Be Key To Business Growth

Development agencies in Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties have been working with scientists at the Applied Geomatics Research Group at the Centre of Geographic Sciences in Lawrencetown to measure temperature and sunshine in southwest Nova Scotia. A year’s worth of data has been collected and analyzed and the second year of data, from January to December 2012, is being gathered now.

According to the heads of the community business development corporations in Shelburne and Yarmouth, the project has sparked calls of interest from overseas and Western Canada and at least one agricultural producer has an eye on Yarmouth County as a location for commercial grape production.

David Colville, a research scientist at the Applied Geomatics Research Group, is leading the project. Like Lewis, he is upbeat about the results.

“The Annapolis Valley has been a hot bed for growing and one of the key reasons for that has been the climate conditions,” said Colville. “From last year’s interim (results), it appeared it was not the only place that has high temperatures to work with.”

Next week, Colville and the other partners will meet to map out their directions for the future and figure out how to share the data so it can, in his words, “translate into economic development opportunities.”

Opportunities for small businesses do not usually grow on trees, but they might, over next few years — and on bushes and vines as well.

Small Smarts is a monthly column about small business. Freelance journalist Rachel Brighton also writes a column for The Sunday Herald business pages and the new Herald Magazine.