The business community in Sudbury is optimistic the city's economy will shine in the year ahead — despite concerns that are circulating about the national and global economy.
The Sudbury Chamber of Commerce expects 2012 will be a popular year for new businesses opening their doors, according to Debbie Nicholson, president and CEO.
"We already see there is a healthy growth in that," she said.
"We are a founding partner of the regional business centre and there are 10s and 10s of new businesses opening every month in this community."
The owners of Hardrock 42 Gastropub — an upscale pub that opened last year in Sudbury's downtown — are starting the year off by investing in a kitchen renovation.
Dave Temmerman and Jason Heaton think the outlay will pay off.
"I think so, especially with what is happening downtown with the school of architecture ... it's coming next door," Temmerman said. "There's some big apartments being built downtown — some big high rises. That's going to fill up with people."
Counting on disposable income
West of Sudbury, a worker at Duhamel and Dewer's boat store in Whitefish puts the finishing touches on a new Legend boat.
With top-of-the line models going for upwards of $20,000, the company is hoping Sudburians have some disposable income this year.
"We know that people like to have toys and we're selling toys, basically expensive toys," said Paul Berney, director of marketing. "But we also have product at the low end."
Berney says the Legend boat line is now a national business, which helps during any choppy economic years the business may encounter in Sudbury.
But city economist David Robinson says it should be relatively smooth sailing for local sales in 2012.
"I'm expecting employment to grow in Sudbury and area," he said. "As a result, there will be people taking those jobs that pay pretty well. And some of them are going to blow a lot more money than they should on boats and snowmobiles, like they always do."
Robinson said he expects Sudbury will be one of the standout economies in Ontario this year — as it will be largely driven by global demand in the mining sector.
Economic indicators also show strength in Sudbury. The most recent numbers show the city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.