Chamber meets with MP Kim Rudd

to discuss Federal Budget, recent MP activities and Hastings bridge closure… more

Members of the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce Government Relations and Advocacy Committee met with MP Kim Rudd recently to discuss the Federal Budget, the MP’s activities in the past few months and discuss the impact that the closure of the Hastings Bridge has had on the business community. Below is a letter we submitted identifying areas where the MP may be able to lend her advocacy support.

Kim Rudd, MP, Northumberland-Peterborough South
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources
12 Elgin Street East Unit No. 4

Dear MP Rudd:

We appreciate the opportunity to meet to discuss the Hastings Bridge closure. We recognize that the replacement of the bridge was necessary and that there would be an impact to the local economy. Unfortunately, that impact is much greater than the businesses anticipated.

We have recently launched a contest to generate business for the merchants that have been directly impacted by the closure. There are many businesses in Trent Hills that immediately stepped up to support Hastings through prize donations. We appreciate the prize contribution that Parks Canada has also provided.

We feel there is more we can do to support these businesses. In our role as the Voice of Business, we are turning to you to seek your support to advocate on behalf of the businesses of Hastings regarding the following points:

  1. Advance Notice of Opening: Make arrangements with the contractor to provide advance notice of the anticipated opening date. When the bridge is re-opened, it is imperative that the businesses are ready to respond to the customers. For some businesses this requires three weeks of planning to re-stock. Customer service is the number one priority for small business. If the business is not ready to meet the consumer demand, that customer may go elsewhere. This would result in long-term impacts to the business, and the Hastings community-at-large.
  2. Marketing Signage Program: Commit to invest in a signage marketing program that extends several months to convey that the bridge is open and promote the businesses in Hastings. As this type of signage is not directional or traffic-related, we request your support to encourage a design that is effective from a marketing perspective. A signage program like this would also benefit the other businesses in Trent Hills that have seen a negative impact from the closure.
  3. Sponsorship Support: Provide sponsorship support to assist the Celebrate Hastings event to recognize the re-opening of the bridge.
  4. Business Impact Survey: The Hastings Revitalization Association has been surveying the businesses to measure the impact. If you would share this information with your colleagues, perhaps there is a solution to be found to mitigate the impact. Or, maybe this information will assist you in making your case to respond to some of the requests that we have identified above.

We know you recognize that it has been a challenge for the businesses. As a former entrepreneur, you can understand the demands that these businesses must be under. If there are other ways you can assist, and need our support, please let us know.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this request to lend your voice to advocate on behalf of the business community of Hastings.

Jeff Hamilton, Chair of the Board
Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce