<strong>Local merchants open for worldwide business </strong>

Chamber Champions, by Alan Johnson

Published on June 23, 2014

Chamber’s www.shopcentralns.ca is just the start

If you haven’t paid a visit to the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Truro Partnership’s new online shopping site, now is a good time to take a look. It gives you the best of both worlds, since you can shop from the comfort of your living room and have the goods you order delivered straight to your local postal box or front door.

And you thought Amazon.com was the best way to do that? No way - now you can also choose www.shopcentralns.ca

The best part of this site is that it allows you to shop at a dozen retailers in the Truro-Colchester area with even more to be added to the website as we go into the fall and your credit card tab is all calculated into a single invoice for you. How’s that for convenience?

Oh, and did I mention if you order something that turns out not to be to your liking, you can take it back to the store right here in Truro-Colchester, where the owner who is responsible for the sale will be happy to discuss an exchange or refund. That’s something you can’t do when you order from Amazon.com or any of the other long-distance shipping websites.

It means local retailers here in the Truro-Colchester area who thought they couldn’t afford the expense of running their own shopping sites can now do that, and shoppers here and in other parts of Atlantic Canada or anywhere across Canada the U.S. can now order unique items from here they can’t find elsewhere. 

Make sure you tell your friends and relatives in the states and around the world about it for that matter. It’s a great way for them to buy you a gift and pay for it from their end, and then have it shipped to you from a merchant right here in central Nova Scotia.

The best is yet to come. As we monitor the site for any issues that might crop up and get them solved quickly, we’ll be ready to add a full-scale selection of merchants from Tatamagouche to Bass River and from Bible Hill to Stewiacke. It’s going to mean big things for retailers here in central Nova Scotia. We’re working hard to make sure the online shopping craze, which is growing by a whopping 13 per cent a year, becomes a major part of the local business cycle.

Did you know online shopping is predicted to be worth more than $300 billion to the North American economy by 2017? That’s something we have to get in on, so we’re extremely happy to be part of this new site. Watch for regular updates from us as we begin to add new retailers this fall.

On another note, there’s good news recently from RBC. The country’s largest bank says Deep Panuke natural gas, the Maritime Link between here and Labrador and increased food and tire shipments from Nova Scotia to the rest of the world are very good news in 2014. RBC’s number crunchers say those factors are going to make Nova Scotia the third-fastest-growing economy in Canada this year. 

That’s quite a turnaround from the past few years, and it’s another reason this chamber of commerce is dealing with issues and announcing projects to take advantage of that growth.

Local numbers look even better. A chamber survey of realtors in the Truro-area during the past 60 days shows home sales are up by between 15 and 25 per cent over this time last year.

Watch my monthly Truro Daily News columns here during the summer and fall as we unveil more good news to propel this economy forward.

Among them, a new private-sector loan program to help small business. Until next time, enjoy the start of summer.

Alan Johnson is the executive director of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce. You can reach him by e-mail.  ed@tcchamber.ca or 895-6328.