The prediction from Finance Minister Dwight Duncan of a rosier fiscal third-quarter may only be cold comfort for many Goderich businesses as winter approaches.
Huron Chamber of Commerce CEO Judy Crawford tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the aftermath of the August tornado continues to be felt deeply throughout the local business community.
She says the second-quarter decrease in manufacturing output is just one of many challenges.
Manufacturing dropped by 2.3 per-cent in the second quarter while automakers reported an 8.4 per-cent decrease in output.
Crawford says while the numbers are discouraging in the broad sense, businesses here at home are just trying to hang onto what they have.
Downtown merchants are feeling the pinch not just from the after-effects of the storm but also from a general lack of consumer confidence.
The Conference Board says consumer confidence nationwide is at its lowest point since the economic recovery started to take hold two years ago.
Crawford says local merchants are not seeing the traffic they used to -- even though local shoppers are trying to support them.
Crawford is especially nervous about the impending holiday shopping season.
She reminds us that most stores do the bulk of their annual sales in November and December.
Crawford hopes for added support from local and out-of-town shoppers this Christmas season to bring sales numbers up to what would be normal in most holiday seasons.