Municipality of the County of Inverness

Key Industries

Inverness County’s unique geography makes it the perfect location for agriculture sector-based businesses and those looking to take advantage of the region’s strong fishing and tourism industry. Perhaps the greatest strength is the community’s entrepreneurial spirit. Over half of all the businesses in the county are small business operators. Any new business looking to establish itself in the county will find itself in good company.

Inverness is also home to Cabot Links and the recently opened Cabot Cliffs golf courses. The two courses are rated amongst the top golf courses in the world according to Golf Digest Magazine attracting golfers from around the world in their first year of operation. The private sector investment in the sports tourism sector has generated over 330 jobs and spurred local business development in the county.


Inverness County is home to a robust and historic fishing industry with more than 200 fishing operations. Exceeding $1.6 billion in seafood exports in Nova Scotia for 2015, Inverness County is a vital component of the province’s fishing industry. Shellfish is the dominant species, including lobster, snow crab, scallops, and northern shrimp. Together, they comprise over 80% of the landed value of seafood in Nova Scotia.

Located within Inverness County, the Margaree River is one of the world’s most famous fishing rivers. Fishing is a long standing tradition within Inverness County and is a significant part of the heritage and culture of the region. The local fishing industry is supported by businesses and associations like the Inverness South Fisherman’s Association, that are committed to both the economic success of fishing and the conservation of fishing stocks for future generations.

Labour demand in 2015 for Cape Breton Island for fishing highlights the growing demand for the following occupations:

  • Fish and seafood plant workers
  • Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • Conservation and fishery officers
  • Managers in aquaculture

Agriculture & Forestry

Inverness County is home to several agriculture production activities such as cattle ranching and other animal production, fruit and tree nut, vegetable and melon, and other crop farming. Inverness is also home to a growing forestry industry with operations in logging, timber tract operations as well as a range of support activities.

As the agriculture industry continues to expand, there are increasing opportunities for Agri-tourism in the region such as farm markets, on farm accommodations, value-added agricultural products, and wineries. Like the rest of Cape Breton Island, the County has an abundant mix of softwood and hardwood resources. Investments in new value-added products from forestry by-products as well as the potential for biomass development are just some of the opportunities available in Inverness County.

Labour demand in 2015 for Cape Breton Island for agriculture and forestry highlights the growing demand for the following occupations:

  • General farm workers
  • Forestry technologists and technicians
  • Logging machinery operators
  • Labourers in wood, pulp, and paper processing
  • Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • Nursery and greenhouse workers

Aquaculture and Seafood Processing

Cape Breton is known for their strong seafood resources, particularly lobster and crab. Nova Scotia lobster has a strong brand in the marketplace for being safe, clean, and well managed. Hardshell lobster is fished from May through July with product available year-round at large, state-of-the-art lobster pounds and is a significant contributor to the Inverness economy. The sector-wide Marine Stewardship Council certification for shrimp and crab provides local fisherman with a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Inverness County plays an important role in Cape Breton’s long history in the seafood and aquaculture sectors. With strong infrastructure that includes wharves, pounds, processing plants, and a transportation network that connects local industry to national and global markets the region is well positioned for future growth. Labour demand in 2015 for the aquaculture and seafood processing sector in Cape Breton highlights the growing demand for the following occupations:

  • Fish and seafood plant workers
  • Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • Conservation and fishery officers
  • Managers in aquaculture

Arts, Culture, and Tourism

Arts, culture, and tourism is big business in Cape Breton as evidenced by the 600 arts, culture, and tourism businesses operate on the Island.

With an expanding clientele attracted to the region’s golf courses, new opportunities for experiential tourism operations are in demand in Inverness County. Businesses such as artisan studios, guided kayak tours, interactive dinner theatres, and boutique accommodations have achieved tremendous success in recent years. Turn-key business investment opportunities in arts, culture, and tourism are market ready and located in tourism destinations with established clientele.

Cape Breton is home to several living and vibrant cultures including one of the few living Celtic cultures outside of Europe, five Mi’kmaq First Nations communities, and two regions dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Acadian culture.

Parks Canada operates five National Historic Sites and one National Park in Cape Breton, including the Fortress of Louisbourg, Alexander Graham Bell Museum, and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Cape Breton also features the Bras d’Or Lakes, an amazing inland saltwater sea.

Labour demand in 2015 for the arts, culture, and tourism sector in Cape Breton highlights the growing demand for the following occupations:

  • Hotel front desk clerks
  • Accommodation service managers
  • Travel counsellors
  • Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers
  • Conservators and curators
  • Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries
  • Artisans and craft persons
  • Tour and travel guide