Hi, I'm Stu Harrison from the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
The current economic downturn means real challenges for many businesses and their employees. But at the same time there are significant expansions happening as many companies position themselves for the recovery. Look at the expansion of Lansdowne Place, Peterborough Volkswagen, and Flying Colours at the airport - a brand new hanger with another one in the planning stages, plus the new ethanol plant in Havelock. These projects will generate hundreds of new jobs. They say tough times are when progressive companies grow. For every business that is struggling, there are several who are making moves to increase their market share. Through it all we have to stay positive. In many ways the recessions of the early 80's and 90's were significantly worse. A year from now Peterborough City and County will still be a strong community with a strong economic base. I'd like to thank this radio station for carrying this message and ask you to visit www.peterboroughchamber.ca for more information
Here is the text from the Stories and Stats document:
The following stories and stats are designed to provide a sense of perspective regarding the local economy as it pertains to the current economic downturn. The Chamber certainly recognizes that there are many businesses and their employees who are experiencing a period of significant adjustment, but there are also many success stories in the business community.
So here are some signs that the apocalypse is not yet upon us....
Lansdowne Place - expansion of 40 new stores, estimated 400 new jobs
Peterborough Volkswagen - new dealership on Towerhill Rd
Flying Colours - new Hanger at the airport, with another one in the planning stages
Shoppers Drug Mart - new building on Chemong Road
Strandgaard Consulting - awarded contract to design and build a robotic painting arm
Kawartha Ethanol Inc. - new plant in Havelock
Canterbury Gardens - $30 million Retirement Residence on Sherbrooke Street
Phoenix Alternative Learning Centre - expansion of their building on Water Street
While there are certainly some pretty daunting economic numbers out there, it's important to look for perspective. Are there pockets of prosperity? How does this compare with previous downturns?
1. The current prediction is that Canada's 2009 GDP will shrink by up to 1.9%. In 1982 it fell by 3.2% and in 1991 by 1.8%. Even with the increased spending recently announced in the Federal Budget, Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio will rise to only 28%, the lowest level in the G7 group of industrialized countries.
2. TD Economics is predicting the 2009 national unemployment rate to range from 7.7% to 8.9%. In both 1983 and 1991 it was 11%.
3. Local Realtor John Bowes, who has been in the Real Estate business for 58 years, recently pointed out that while average home prices fell 14% in Canada last year, they increased 3% in Peterborough! As Mr. Bowes says "interest rates are low, there is no mortgage crisis in Canada, and Peterborough is well positioned for population growth".
4. The headlines said "December Retail Sales post largest drop in 15 years!" Fair enough, but it's also fair to point out that "retail sales figures" include automobile sales which accounted for 4.05% of the drop!
5. We are in a Recession, not a Depression - let alone a "Great Depression". Anyone who is talking about a Depression likely has a self-interest or is simply fear-mongering. The current US stock market drop is 50%. The two previous crashes in 2000 - 02 (42%) and 1973 - 74 (49%) both resulted in mild recessions. In the Great Depression GDP dropped 33 % (2008 4th quarter drop was 3.4%, 2009 prediction is a drop of 1.9%), Unemployment was 25% (2009 prediction 7.7 - 8.9%). We would have to experience another ten quarters of decline in order to earn the right to even use the word Depression.
Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
705-748-9771 ext 202
175 George Street