Summerside economic development officer, Nancy Quinn, outlines the benefits of the Skills Matcher Tool website launched by the city department. The program matches those looking for work with potential employers.
SUMMERSIDE – Confidence in the direction the City of Summerside is taking economically, has resulted in an 80% increase in business, says Nancy Quinn, economic development officer.
Total City permits have escalated this year when compared against last year’s numbers. Year to date Summerside issued permits totalling more than $7.8 million as compared to $4.3 million during the same time frame in 2013.
Quinn said driving the increase this year so far are Commercial and Industrial Permits, showing a significant 375 per cent increase over the same time period last year. Industrial and commercial permits totals for 2014 represent $3.9 million as compared to just over $800,000 during the same time period in 2013.
Residential activity has also trended upward in 2014, with an overall increase of just over 9.3 per cent. The City to date has issued in excess of $3.8 million worth of residential permits versus just over $3.5 in 2013, during the same time frame.
“Clearly it’s on the non-residential side,” Quinn said. “Residential is good and permits are still coming in. There aren’t a lot of new homes. It’s more on the renovation end of things. That’s good news to me because to me, that really talks of consumer confidence.
People are investing.”
Quinn said, there is new construction on Water Street at the site of the former Shell which is puts an investment of $500,000 into a new super-convenience centre with fully upgraded fuel station. Uptown, the APM development at the corner of Granville and Ryan will soon be completed with Starbucks and the Pita Pit. Tim Horton’s on Water Street is spending almost half a million in renovations. As well, upgrades to County Fair Mall with Sport Check and renovations in the Holman Building are providing additional expenditures; almost $1.5 million into our economy just in construction cost.
“We’re hoping to see this increase go right through (the rest of year),” she said. “It’s nice to see that big burst through the first quarter. It’s about confidence in the economy. It’s an early start in the confidence. It signals something to our commercial, industrial development.”
Quinn said there was new construction last year but not as early as what has happened in 2014.
“We’re seeing an increase of existing renovation projects, like Tim Horton’s or the big new office outfit going into the Holman building and Sport Check in commercial,” she said. “The new piece down on Water Street (the former Shell site), that’s a pretty big new piece and the new piece that APM is putting in. Getting those big new pieces out this early in the year is a good sign. It’s a really good early start and it has been trending up since the middle of the season last year.”