CORNER BROOK There is a renewed buzz around the downtown of Corner Brook, according to the chair of its business association.
Christina Tulk said it is an exciting time to be a business owner in the downtown area.
‚ÄúWe have certainly seen a lot more engagement in the businesses than the last couple of years,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúPeople are excited. People are seeing differences in their sales numbers. There is a bit of a buzz that hasn‚Äôt been there in the last three-to-five years.‚ÄĚ
That was not particularly the case in recent years, especially with such a consumer shift toward big box stores. That hasn‚Äôt been totally eliminated by any means, but Tulk said there is a noticeable difference as people are getting back to a focus on supporting the local business owner.
‚ÄúFrom my experience, with the event we had on West Street, I‚Äąheard from the people in the community that attended the event that we need to do more of this as a city,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚Äú... Sometimes it is easier to go to the bigger retailers for our shopping needs, but we have a very strong and very vital business district in the downtown as well.‚ÄĚ
It has taken a conscious effort from business owners to see such a change. Last year, a number of events were held in an attempt to increase traffic in the downtown. Tulk feels Downtown Day, Back to Broadway, The Christmas Shopping Experience, and the Parade of Lights were effective attractions.
‚ÄúJust by bringing people into the downtown, it serves as a reminder that there is not just local retailers, but there are service retailers as well,‚ÄĚ she said.
While the Downtown Business Association partnered with the city to install lighting around lamp posts, discussions had started on a more significant revitalization. A sub-committee has been established, and more details are expected in the coming months.
Tulk compared it to the bricks and mortar project of the past, saying there will be some infrastructure changes in the downtown.
The association held its annual general meeting Wednesday. High on its priority list for the upcoming year will be the update and development of a new Strategic Management Plan for downtown.