GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – There was another boost in business in Grand Falls-Windsor this year, with a total of 44 new business permits issued in 2017.
Seven businesses closed within the same time frame.
The new businesses are a mix of commercial and home-based ventures that are mainly locally owned and operated, while some owners are from outside the area with businesses both independently operated and franchised, said Mark Whiffen, chairman of council’s economic development, tourism and heritage committee.
“In total, we have about 560 business permits issued, which is about 100 more than our nearest competitor in in central Newfoundland,” Whiffen told the Advertiser. “We hope to see that trend continue over the year.”
This influx of new businesses seems to be typical for Grand Falls-Windsor, he said.
“The town averages 40 new permits issued per year over four years,” said Whiffen. “On the other side, the town loses just under 20 per year, albeit, only seven this year, which certainly plays to the Canadian statistic that 50 per cent of business fail within the first five years of operation.
“But as long as there are net gains in business survival, our economy will continue to grow,” Whiffen said.
He believes a number of factors could be driving this influx of businesses.
According to the last census, the population of Grand Falls-Windsor has increased, which would require more business to service the population.
There is greater confidence in the economy than there was two years ago, which has resulted in people spending more money, Whiffen said.
“This also includes our catchment areas – we’ve had a successful tourism season in central Newfoundland, aquaculture on the south coast is strong, and there is an increase in mining activity – and those people come to Grand Falls-Windsor to shop and use our services.”
The town also relies on turn-around jobs, and the economy is slowly picking up in places like Saskatchewan, Alberta and Labrador, “and that benefits us,” said Whiffen.
Grand Falls-Windsor also includes permits issued in its business count, which includes change of ownership and change in location for existing businesses.
“As a development officer in my profession outside of council, what we see in these types of ‘new businesses’ is businesses being sold to younger or new entrepreneurs, which demonstrates confidence on the economy,” said Whiffen.
Changing location often means a business is expanding to larger space, such as Hyundai, Merl’s, Home Hardware and Notre Dame Home Furniture.
“While they aren’t new business, they have moved to larger locations to accommodate market demand,” said Whiffen. “There are some positive indicators here, for sure. We hope to sustain this and grow even further in 2017 and 2018.”
The Advertiser reached out to some new business owners to ask why they chose to operate in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Here is what they had to say.
Jeff Pope, Third Place Café
“I chose Grand Falls-Windsor because I wanted to be a part of this community – this community has given so much to me and I wanted to give back.”
Kendra Payne, Totally Nailed & Esthetics
“When I was looking to open the rent (in Grand Falls-Windsor) was ridiculous so I figured I would try a smaller area outside of town. So, I tried Bishop’s Falls and then I didn’t like the drive down there – I’d rather be closer to home, and I live in Grand Falls-Windsor. I found a space up so I’m just going to try it here now.”
James Clarke, BubblePixie Soap Co.
“It was a number of factors. It’s my hometown – I grew up here. We wanted to be close to family again and I felt like there was a niche that we could fill here that wasn’t being filled, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to try it out this way.”
Sarah McDonald, Sarah’s Furniture Artworks & Repurposing
“I wanted to give back to the community I grew up in. I wanted to provide them with something new in a way where I could raise awareness for mental health and addictions.”
A list of the 44 new businesses that have opened in Grand Falls-Windsor so far in 2017:
Eco Chic Boutique
C&S Unique Gifts
Valard Construction Ltd.
BSB Enterprises Ltd.
CNLW Holdings Ltd.
Big Ed’s Second Hand Store
FMI Atlantic Inc (KFC)
Tailor Made Technology
Ivany’s Plumbing Service
Dr. James Coffey
Curl Me Crazy
Sarah’s Furniture Artworks & Repurposing
The Third Place
The Nail Box
Manhattan and More
My Favorite Place
ICU Security Plus
Merle’s Parts and Recreation
Newco Metals & Auto Recycling
Parkland Fuel Corporation/Ultramar
CN Stretch Eat in – Take Out
Pardy Property Works
Tony’s Diesel Repairs
Wiggles n Wags
Totally Nailed & Esthetics
Bubblepixie Soap Co.
M. Strong Holdings Inc.
Exploits Extreme Cheerleading
Keith Abbott CPA Professional Corp.
Dee Dee’s Day Care
Little Kings and Queens Days Care
Maple Tree Designs