Bouncing back

Janine Davidge
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The economy's chugging along quite nicely in Grand Falls-Windsor, officials say

The pulp and paper mill may have closed in Grand Falls-Windsor last year, but it's not all doom and gloom.

In fact, business is good, says the woman who chairs the town's economic development committee.

"There's been no slowdown in business that we have been made aware of that would really make us change focus," said Coun. Amy Coady-Davis.

Coun. Amy Coady-Davis, who chairs Grand Falls-Windsor's economic development committee, says economic indicators suggest the town is doing well. - Photo by Janine Davidge/The Advertiser

Grand Falls-Windsor -

The pulp and paper mill may have closed in Grand Falls-Windsor last year, but it's not all doom and gloom.

In fact, business is good, says the woman who chairs the town's economic development committee.

"There's been no slowdown in business that we have been made aware of that would really make us change focus," said Coun. Amy Coady-Davis.

"I mean, things are good, things are positive."

Coady-Davis said some businesses are expanding, there's been increased retail spending as well as an upswing in real estate, auto and recreational vehicle sales.

"(If it was contrary to what businesses are reporting) you would see it in job losses, you would see it in lack of inventory," she said.

"The turnover is there - it is right in front of your face. You can't fudge those numbers. Sales are up, they have said they're up, you can see that they are up."

She also said there's colloquial evidence the economy is doing well, such as high traffic to the area, full parking lots, crowded hockey games and full houses at arts and entertainment events.

"That's one of first things really that people tend to pull back on - entertainment expenses, and (yet) the cinema is back up and running, which it wasn't for quite a long time, and that's successful since it reopened," Coady-Davis said.

"You take hockey games - the stadium is full whenever the Cats are at home. Figure skating shows (and) minor hockey registrations are up, the Arts and Culture Centre has had some wonderful shows in the last few months with full houses, so obviously it's not all doom and gloom, because people are still out there enjoying their extracurricular activities and taking advantage of the things that are going on here."

According to the economic development office in Grand Falls-Windsor, housing starts are down 50 per cent from 2008 - there were 118 units built then as compared to 53 units in 2009. However, the economic development committee says developers are suggesting that housing starts will rebound this year.

Gerald Thompson, president of the Chamber of Commerce - which represents 209 businesses in Grand Falls-Windsor - tends to agree with the town's positive outlook.

He said they are getting far more positive feedback from members than negative.

"... Although there's been a number of small businesses that have closed in the last year, we still know that the people that have done business here in this valley, their percentages over last year are up."

Thompson expects good things for the town's future.

"We feel very confident, from the cross-section from the automobile sector and the housing sector, the service sector, the construction sector, we're very positive and feel very confident," he said.

"Plus, when you look at the commitment that the three levels of government have made for this region, then that, too, gives us very good reason to be optimistic about the prospects for 2010.

"We believe there is a future in this valley for us and we believe that if we continue to work together as business people and continue to work with our stakeholders, our agencies, with government, then we're going to forge ahead and we're going to be all right."

Organizations: Culture Centre, Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor, Grand Falls

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Recent comments

  • Manny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Your economy will not recover unless some industry is producing a product for export i.e bringing in new money. It sounds like old money is just being turned over. Having said that I wish the people of Grand Falls-Windsor nothing but the best in their endeavour to recover from the mill closure.

  • david
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Housing starts down from 118 to 53,a drop of 55 percent. Small business closure, dissaperance of help wanted, hiring signs in most store windows, still a 55 percent or more unemployed of the 650 exmill workers. I understand councillors and MHA'S are susspose to try and make things seem great, but be realistic, GFW IS NOT HUMMING ALONG. Attendance of hockey games, lots of vehicles in parking lots, a hundred or so people attending a movie. Yup, we're doing just fine Mr. Williams, thanks for the help, we won't bother you anymore, don't worry about all that HYDRO MONEY, we do'nt need any of that either. I gotta go now, the Cataracts are playin the weekend. If you are in town some time Mr. Premier, and the CATS are playing, how's about contributing a little more revenue here and attending, if they're playing C.Brook, we won't mind who you cheer for...

  • gerard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Smoke and mirrors, and rose colored glasses. How can a town be down by over 50 percent in housing starts and thier councillors not consider it a bad economic indicator. Politicans, wether municipal or provincial like to play down factual indicators, such as housing starts, closed businesses and unemployment rates, and instead count how many people went to a hockey game or movie. GrandFallsWindsor is not humming along, we are tredding water. The loss of the papermill can never be replaced, if government thinks they are going to wash thier hands and walk away from a mess that they played such a major role in making, they should think again.

    St John's is adjacent to a major harbor and offshore oilfields, they benefit immensely from both, it is what brought ST. John's into existence, and allows them to continue into a bountifull future. NL's major airport is located in this city, the head of goverment, and all the jobs and spin offs which come with that industry are located there. St. John's, basically have been blessed because of thier geographical adjacency.

    GrandFallsWindsor, once had so much in common with St, John's. We were born and existed nicely because of our adjacency to a body of water also, the EXPLOITS RIVER. The never ending flow of water was harnessed and forest harvested and a prosperest town was born, it was so prosperest and actually self sufficent that government tended to become accustomed to overlooking it while handing out goodies.Over 100 years later, our original industry which thrived because of our geographical adjacency, has moved on, but unlike St. John's, we are not given the benefit of continuing to be permitted to use our geographical adjacency, and continue to thrive and prosper. Premier Williams was praised immensely when he expropriated Abitbi assets, because most people honestly were under the impression that he was honourable enough to allow GFW to continue using all assets available to continue prosperring for another 100 years. The Premier, however, had other plans for the expropriated HYDRO, and municipal politicians as well as provincial MHA's have got to make things seem like everything is fine in THE VALLEY, and that we don't need the hydro anyways. Well, i guess if we can now survive without the Exploits and the benifits it once supplied to us then St. John's should have no trouble surviving and prospering without all the benifits they recieve because of thier adjacency to THIER ST. JOHN'S HARBOUR...

  • GFW Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    This story was the same one printed in The Grand Falls Advertiser, only with a different headline being Optism order of the day last week. Why is it that The Telegram wants to do a double double on this story as everyone in this province knows the triple effect this town has endured? The only bouncing back is the people who lost their jobs that are going back and forth to the mainland to get work and returning home to their families. It's time for Ms. Coady Davis to take off her blinders and stop dwelling on Senior Hockey. We all don't live in La La Land like her and can see what an impact from both the past and present council is doing for our town. It's no wonder why local people have to travel to Gander to get the things they cannot purchase here as we have little shopping for the population. Try getting some fresh vegetables or fruit on a weekend or a piece of meat. I'd rather see Ms. Coady Davis put her money where her mouth is and come up with a plan that involves the growth of business development than read about her past time of a game of hockey. A council member needs to address more important matters than fun and games. When I see you Ms. Coady Davis, I always think of the song - Don't Worry Be Happy. Take off your straight jacket and do a job that people voted you in for.

  • GFW Townie(Ted)
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Why is it that you guys can print comments from other Nouns except a GFW Taxpayer? This story has been bounced from The Advertiser (The Grand Falls Winsdor Advertiser) to The Telegram. Ms. Coady Davis needs to take off her blindfolds and get some bifocals if she believes this town is bouncing back. The only bouncing are those who leave the province to go to work and return on their days off. Economic Development is important in this community as you have no choice but to shop in nearby Gander because of the lack of supplies/food and clothing. It's only those who are wealthy can afford some shopping and you don't see those stores lined off with many cars either. Ms. Coady Davis, it is fine that you enjoy our West Coast Senior Hockey, but you two jobs besides being a parent. Why don't you do the job you were elected to do and help develop our town? Nuff said.

  • Manny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Your economy will not recover unless some industry is producing a product for export i.e bringing in new money. It sounds like old money is just being turned over. Having said that I wish the people of Grand Falls-Windsor nothing but the best in their endeavour to recover from the mill closure.

  • david
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Housing starts down from 118 to 53,a drop of 55 percent. Small business closure, dissaperance of help wanted, hiring signs in most store windows, still a 55 percent or more unemployed of the 650 exmill workers. I understand councillors and MHA'S are susspose to try and make things seem great, but be realistic, GFW IS NOT HUMMING ALONG. Attendance of hockey games, lots of vehicles in parking lots, a hundred or so people attending a movie. Yup, we're doing just fine Mr. Williams, thanks for the help, we won't bother you anymore, don't worry about all that HYDRO MONEY, we do'nt need any of that either. I gotta go now, the Cataracts are playin the weekend. If you are in town some time Mr. Premier, and the CATS are playing, how's about contributing a little more revenue here and attending, if they're playing C.Brook, we won't mind who you cheer for...

  • gerard
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Smoke and mirrors, and rose colored glasses. How can a town be down by over 50 percent in housing starts and thier councillors not consider it a bad economic indicator. Politicans, wether municipal or provincial like to play down factual indicators, such as housing starts, closed businesses and unemployment rates, and instead count how many people went to a hockey game or movie. GrandFallsWindsor is not humming along, we are tredding water. The loss of the papermill can never be replaced, if government thinks they are going to wash thier hands and walk away from a mess that they played such a major role in making, they should think again.

    St John's is adjacent to a major harbor and offshore oilfields, they benefit immensely from both, it is what brought ST. John's into existence, and allows them to continue into a bountifull future. NL's major airport is located in this city, the head of goverment, and all the jobs and spin offs which come with that industry are located there. St. John's, basically have been blessed because of thier geographical adjacency.

    GrandFallsWindsor, once had so much in common with St, John's. We were born and existed nicely because of our adjacency to a body of water also, the EXPLOITS RIVER. The never ending flow of water was harnessed and forest harvested and a prosperest town was born, it was so prosperest and actually self sufficent that government tended to become accustomed to overlooking it while handing out goodies.Over 100 years later, our original industry which thrived because of our geographical adjacency, has moved on, but unlike St. John's, we are not given the benefit of continuing to be permitted to use our geographical adjacency, and continue to thrive and prosper. Premier Williams was praised immensely when he expropriated Abitbi assets, because most people honestly were under the impression that he was honourable enough to allow GFW to continue using all assets available to continue prosperring for another 100 years. The Premier, however, had other plans for the expropriated HYDRO, and municipal politicians as well as provincial MHA's have got to make things seem like everything is fine in THE VALLEY, and that we don't need the hydro anyways. Well, i guess if we can now survive without the Exploits and the benifits it once supplied to us then St. John's should have no trouble surviving and prospering without all the benifits they recieve because of thier adjacency to THIER ST. JOHN'S HARBOUR...

  • GFW Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    This story was the same one printed in The Grand Falls Advertiser, only with a different headline being Optism order of the day last week. Why is it that The Telegram wants to do a double double on this story as everyone in this province knows the triple effect this town has endured? The only bouncing back is the people who lost their jobs that are going back and forth to the mainland to get work and returning home to their families. It's time for Ms. Coady Davis to take off her blinders and stop dwelling on Senior Hockey. We all don't live in La La Land like her and can see what an impact from both the past and present council is doing for our town. It's no wonder why local people have to travel to Gander to get the things they cannot purchase here as we have little shopping for the population. Try getting some fresh vegetables or fruit on a weekend or a piece of meat. I'd rather see Ms. Coady Davis put her money where her mouth is and come up with a plan that involves the growth of business development than read about her past time of a game of hockey. A council member needs to address more important matters than fun and games. When I see you Ms. Coady Davis, I always think of the song - Don't Worry Be Happy. Take off your straight jacket and do a job that people voted you in for.

  • GFW Townie(Ted)
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Why is it that you guys can print comments from other Nouns except a GFW Taxpayer? This story has been bounced from The Advertiser (The Grand Falls Winsdor Advertiser) to The Telegram. Ms. Coady Davis needs to take off her blindfolds and get some bifocals if she believes this town is bouncing back. The only bouncing are those who leave the province to go to work and return on their days off. Economic Development is important in this community as you have no choice but to shop in nearby Gander because of the lack of supplies/food and clothing. It's only those who are wealthy can afford some shopping and you don't see those stores lined off with many cars either. Ms. Coady Davis, it is fine that you enjoy our West Coast Senior Hockey, but you two jobs besides being a parent. Why don't you do the job you were elected to do and help develop our town? Nuff said.