I think we must all be asking ourselves the same question – where did this summer go? It’s hard to believe that September is upon us! With this busy season ahead, I hope you all had a chance to unwind with your families and enjoy what was a beautiful summer here in the Maritimes.

I wanted to give you an update on what Family Business Atlantic has been up to these past few months and what exciting plans we have on the go. With so much uncertainty around what the future will bring, our committee chairs and our Board of Directors regrouped to make some strategic decisions around our upcoming calendar year. Here is a quick overview.

We’re looking forward to our first face to face event in over six months on September 25th at our annual John Abbass Sr. Memorial Golf Tournament at the Links at Montague. I think many of you are looking forward to enjoying this event, knowing that we can safely undertake a round of golf.  Registrations are coming in quickly so if you, your staff and your family are planning on attending please register here soon. There’s a limit of 72 golfers, and we have over 50 people already registered! This is always a fun event and it helps to raise funds for the $3,000 John Abbass Sr. Memorial Scholarship we disburse each year to a student undertaking their first post-secondary pursuit.

We still have our Awards of Excellence Lunch scheduled at the Brightwood Golf and Country Club on October 15 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, with our Annual General Meeting to follow. To get a sense of how our members are feeling about attending outside events, we recently sent out a poll to gauge comfort levels. We were surprised to see that over 68% of the 25 who responded were indeed comfortable going to events if COVID-19 numbers remain low. As of today, we are planning on holding our event with reduced numbers to comply with indoor social distancing. We are also exploring virtual opportunities so that others can join in this celebration. Please stay tuned for more details on this, and rest assured we will be monitoring the situation to ensure that we can safely run this event in compliance with our provincial COVID-19 guidelines.

Although the pandemic has separated us physically, I am delighted with the opportunity that this “virtual presence” has given us. This summer we brought our members closer together than ever before. I had the chance to not only welcome new members to the association, but to connect with them on a deeper and more personal level. It’s also been a pleasure for us to connect with long-time members through our webinars and support each other as we are all facing similar challenges at this time. Family Business Atlantic’s goal is to continue to build on this virtual model and we are confirming a calendar of our Staying Connected Webinar Series. We are excited to launch our fall program next Tuesday with a conversation with Nevell Provo of Smooth Meal Prep.  Please register for this and other Coffee Chats – stay tuned and stay connected.

With the overwhelming amount of support needed within our business community, we are happy to create our 7th peer group – a forum where family members can learn from each other, work on family business opportunities and challenges and have the security of confidential discussions in a trusting and inviting environment. If you’re interested in learning more about this unique FBA program, please reach out to us.

Lastly, I will close with an overview of a brand-new initiative we are working on and would invite you to support. Our Association has also been hit financially with the postponement of our signature event and fundraiser, the Peter Wilson Dinner. We have moved this event to June 4, 2021 and will be launching our very first online Family Business Holiday Gift Auction to help raise funds our association. We will be promoting a “Support Local Business” theme and hope that many of our members, and other local businesses, will contribute items that can be purchased as a gift for loved ones this holiday season. We will also be promoting these donors both on our website and through our social media channels – and encourage others to buy local from these companies. It will be a great way to pick up some holiday gifts with ease and help to support our local family business community and our Association! There will be more details to follow on this event, but if your business would like to donate any items to the auction please reach out to Michelle LaVigne, our Executive Director.

Thank you to our Board of Directors, our many volunteers, and Michelle and Sarah who continue to work hard on behalf of Family Business Atlantic and help to connect our membership. Let’s make this a September to Remember!

Amanée Mousavi

Amanée Mousavi

FBA President

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