By Sam Westcott | The Irish Loop Post, January 10 2019 (Vol. 12 No. 1)
Three major stores in the Goulds have closed, or are in the process of closing, something Ward 5 Councillor Wally Collins believes is a sign of the economic times in Newfoundland.
In the past few months, both the Goulds’ McDonald’s Restaurant and The Paint Shop have closed shop, though he company that owns the rights to The Paint Shop franchise is looking for a new franchisee. Later this month, the RONA building supplies store will close as well, one of five Rona stores on the Northeast Avalon that are being shuttered.
“It’s disappointing,” Collins says. “I hate to see businesses close, but times are bad for the next little while, and I guess they just couldn’t afford to stay open. Housing is down 20 per cent.
Although he says the economy finally seems to be picking up a bit, he thinks the decline in housing might be a good indicator as to why The Paint Shop, a long time occupant of its space in Bidgood’s Plaza closed up.
Jeff Marshall of Back Home Chiropractic is a local business owner whose practice was a neighbour of The Paint Shop at the plaza.
“I was surprised especially when the Paint Shop closed,” Marshall says. “I like the importance of supporting local businesses, and when shopping asking yourself, ‘Can I get this locally,’ because obviously that’s what happens if people go to different parts of town to shop, the local businesses disappear, and people miss them when they’re gone. It was a painful shock to all of us, for sure.”
However, Marshall doesn’t think the closures are cause to sound the alarm for other businesses in The Goulds.
“When I drive by, Mary Brown’s and Keith’s Take-Out they are always busy,” Marshall says. “I would like to think the rest of the restaurants around are busy as well. Everyone here in the plaza seems to be doing quite well, or at least holding their own during an overall downtime. Hopefully this is a moment where people can go, ‘Before I make that purchase, does McDonald’s Home Hardware have this? Is this service available in The Goulds?’ One of the real strong points of The Goulds is the fact most of the services and products you need on a day-to-day basis are all available right here within a couple minutes’ drive, and it’d be a shame if that changed.”
Councillor Collins echoes the same idea. “There’s not much anyone can do about it,” Collins says. “Except shop locally.”