A new commercial development in Eskasoni, N.S., will create 60 construction jobs.
The expansion of the current Foodland strip mall will welcome three new businesses with the aim of creating more employment in the community.
The project is expected to cost $1.5 million, with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency funding $500,000.
During the sod-turning ceremony, Eskasoni Chief Leroy Denny highlighted the importance of welcoming new businesses to the area.
"In order to create jobs, we need to create business opportunities," he said. "Many people want to invest in our community."
He said the jobs for the construction component and the subsequent jobs within the strip mall will help address some of the socio-economic concerns that exist in Eskasoni.
"Our community invests a lot into the economy of Cape Breton and we're a growing community; we're reaching 5,000 really soon," Denny said. "We need more job opportunities for our young people."
Sydney-Victoria MP Jaime Battiste said the area has used its culture and location to encourage development.
"It's excellent to see what this community is becoming and what this community has the potential to become," Battiste said.
Development is also underway to create a long-term care facility in the community.
Denny could not confirm what stores would be in the building due to ongoing negotiations, but he said there will be an announcement in the coming weeks.
He's hopeful that construction will end early in 2021.
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