Sum­mer­side is open for busi­ness

Mayor on path to cre­ate jobs, bet­ter busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

Sum­mer­side Mayor Martin has lofty goals Sum­mer­side in 2016.

Up first is inch­ing closer to his goal of 1,000 jobs by the end of his four-year term.

An­other is at­tract­ing new busi­nesses and growth to the city.

In 2015, there were 60 reg­is­tra­tions of new busi­nesses in Sum­mer­side.

“There are some­where be­tween 40 and 60 ac­tual star­tups in the last year,” said Martin, ex­plain­ing not all are store­fronts, vis­i­ble to the pub­lic. “They are all over the place. That’s what makes it dif­fi­cult.”

He pointed to the on­go­ing con­struc­tion of the new gas sta­tion on Granville Street, a busi­ness that will in­clude a Bill for Petro Canada and four restau­rants, bring­ing with it 40 new jobs.

Then there is the Prince Alex Re­sort, what Martin has re­peat­edly called “a game changer” for the City of Sum­mer­side. He said, when com­plete, the re­sort could em­ploy more than 200.

“You couldn’t say that you could give Bill Martin credit for it, but I think it is rea­son­able to say that I have a re­ally good re­la­tion­ship with Sean Liu, which has not hurt our cause at all.”

The an­nounced clo­sure of sev­eral busi­nesses in 2015, namely Wiebel Aero­space, Sears, the Hol­man Homestead and oth­ers, is wor­ri­some, ad­mit­ted the mayor, but he added “ev­ery­thing is cycli­cal.”

“The big­gest sin­gle in­dus­try, where there will be volatil­ity, that is very frag­ile is retail. That en­tire en­vi­ron­ment is in a state of tur­moil. It al­ways has been. It goes in cy­cles. It won’t sur­prise me if you see more retail busi­nesses close be­cause of the na­ture of the in­dus­try,” he said. “If any­body had pre­dicted five years ago that Hem­phill’s, Clark’s and Sum­mer­side Chrysler would have new own­ers... ev­ery­body would have said you’re crazy. That is the na­ture of busi­ness.”

Martin, with a suc­cess­ful busi­ness of his own, feels that his back­ground is an as­set when it comes to the city’s top job and help­ing at­tract new busi­ness to Sum­mer­side.

“The op­por­tu­nity that we are hope­fully go­ing to an­nounce to you within two or three weeks would not have hap­pened if the per­son had not been sit­ting where you are sit­ting and said th­ese are the cir­cum­stances but this is the chal­lenge, how are we go­ing to fix it,” he said.

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