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New president looking to further bring business community together

It may have come sooner than he expected, but Chris Noseworthy had hoped to serve as head of the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade.

Chris Noseworthy

The chair position was turned over to Transcontinental Media’s regional digital advertising specialist this year after he served two years as treasurer on the executive. He had hoped to progress into a vice-president position this year, but was unchallenged as he fast-tracked to the helm due to some vacancies.

He doesn’t mind the progression though, anxious to bring some of his multi-media expertise to networking and sales experience to market and promote the board’s membership.

Noseworthy said this year will be about bringing the business community together in the greater Corner Brook area, which starts internally with membership but also includes external agencies such as municipalities and provincial or regional business-related organizations and agencies.

He has yet to bring it forward to the board for consideration, but he is hoping to create a comprehensive business directory for the region. He said there are lists within certain agencies or groups — that have many inaccuracies or are incomplete — but that it is critical to the region to put together one publication. He also hopes it can be developed as an app. He believes an area business directory does not exist already because there has never been funding specifically allocated to creating it, but hopes a collaborative project can be created by those with a vested interest.

The business landscape, specifically within in Corner Brook, has been heavily scrutinized in recent years. Red tape and receptiveness of entrepreneurs has been called into question within the City of Corner Brook, but Noseworthy said new business owners have been reporting of very different experiences recently. Even in areas of particular challenges or unique circumstances, he said it appears city staff and council have been going above and beyond to help spur development.

Noseworthy said economic development is a collaborative challenge and, while not wanting to totally rely on the oil and gas industry, he recognizes it as the primary saviour of western Newfoundland and rural communities.

The main contention within the industry right now is hydraulic fracturing — a method the board of trade has been supportive of allowing. Noseworthy said that support should not change under new guidance, but realizes the importance of balanced discussions and information on the topic.

He said there appears to be a lot of two extremes in this debate.

“Some are saying their grandchildren will never be able to live in a place because it is too polluted to live in,” he said. “The other side of the coin is, their grandchildren may never be able to live there because there is no reason for them to live there.”

Somewhere in between is a balance, according to Noseworthy. He said the same balance needs to be struck with regard to the science of fracking.

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