© Yvon Latreille
Carl St-Onge, at the Rendez-vous économique on May 1.
According to Carl St-Onge, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Châteauguay (CCGC), the regional economy should start to flourish.
Already, with the completion of highway 30 planned for December this year, and the shopping centre project by Westcliff, the economic results should be felt starting in 2013.
“For the last two or three years, I would say that business has been stable in the region. The economy’s not been doing badly, but it hasn’t been good either. I am, however, convinced that when projects are completed by the end of the year, a new economic élan will be felt in the region”, Mr. St-Onge explained.
The CCGC president has already observed increased volume in businesses located on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Boulevard. “In the last years, we’ve been seeing more and more businesses opening shops on this boulevard and traffic is good. Moreover, with the opening of the Jean-Leman portion of highway 30 in November last year, the boulevard has become more accessible to consumers”, Mr. St-Onge pointed out. “We’re starting to believe in it again. We know that the end of the 30 towards Valleyfield will bring about a better economy.”Back to Rendez-vous économique
The CCGC represents more than 500 members, and the president believes that the Rendez-vous économique organised by the City and which was held on May 1 was very much welcomed by the region’s business owners. “I love the fact that our municipal officials asked our opinion and took our views about the City into consideration. In addition, I feel they’re going to take our opinions into account when they complete their mandate and priorities”, said Mr. St-Onge.
To no surprise, he said that the priorities of the CCGC in terms of the City’s economic development is to optimise the industrial park and to revitalise the downtown area.
“In downtown, we must create a buying experience, something like Quartier Dix30 in Brossard. People must come not only to shop but also to linger for coffee, eat at a restaurant, or go see a show at night, etc.” Mr. St-Onge continues to promote his “buy local” campaign which to him constitutes the basis of a flourishing economy in the region. “Not only should consumers buy local goods and products, but companies should also consider if they can do business with distributors here. Synergy must be created, and the habit of buying locally must be developed. That will help counteract the phenomenon of businesses fleeing the region.”
These business departures are estimated to be about $90 million per year, according to the Centre local de développement (CLD) of Roussillon. “This is an enormous amount of money lost every year which can otherwise be redistributed by companies to organisations, associations and other businesses in the area”, explained Mr. St-Onge.