Trade Fair allays fears of Manitoulin talent drain

Concerns about Manitoulin “brain” and talent drain should be somewhat alleviated after last weekend’s Manitoulin Trade Fair.

A significant number of booth holders and participants were young, Manitoulin Island people who were on hand to show off their businesses, skills and trades.

Lest anyone be concerned that the economy of Manitoulin is going to heck in a hand basket (as they say), a new generation of entrepreneurial souls is clearly taking advantage of business opportunities they see around them.

Some of these new businesspeople are the current generation of established family-owned business and this is a particularly noteworthy group as young people, brought up in a particular business, assume their parents’ roles and become the second, third, fourth, fifth or even sixth generation of the same family in the same business.

Manitoulin has an exceptionally large number of these multi-generational businesses and this is a noteworthy aspect of our commercial landscape.

The other large group, likely the largest one, is made up of young people who have begun their own businesses here, or who have taken their parents’ businesses in a new and modern direction.

This was the cadre that was so well showcased at the Manitoulin Trade Fair and while the trade fair is a great event for Manitoulin every other year in its own right, it is a particularly useful place for these young people to bring their ideas and products to the public.

The Manitoulin Trade Fair was, as always, well organized and well attended with some noteworthy additions this year such as the “chef’s challenge,” organized in conjunction with the launch of the Taste of Manitoulin Festival.

There’s always lots new at the Manitoulin Trade Fair and this year was no exception.