GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – The Advertiser sat down with local Chamber of Commerce president Lou Alteen to discuss accomplishments the local business community made in 2017 and what they’re looking forward to in 2018.
If you had to list three highlights for 2017 for the local business community, what would they be?
Several of our local business –Home Hardware, Kivik and Meryl's – moved to bigger, more modern facilities, and several new businesses – Bumper to Bumper and OK Tire – came to town.
We have Nissan and Notre Dame Furniture constructing new buildings and Canadian Tire announced a new building.
These items show a growing confidence in our local economy.
If you had to name challenges facing local businesses in 2018, what would they be, and why?
Getting more people to shop locally and support our local businesses. Without the support of consumers, local businesses are not able to thrive and expand their products and services.
What are the top three priorities for the Chamber of Commerce for 2018?
In light of the break-ins in recent months, we would like to see if we can get more evening/night police patrols either through the RCMP or town police.
We’d like to see if we can help get some movement on the development of the old mill property and some development of the forest sector, which could benefit the region.
We would like to increase our chamber membership within the region. A strong chamber gives local business a stronger voice.
Also, with the government announcements on cleaner water, long-term beds and development, and hopefully some movement of the old mill property, 2018 should be a good year.