Local businesses coping with the loonie’s swan dive

By Samantha Mills, with files from Dan Rankin
With the Canadian dollar worth 70 cents American, the lowest it’s been since 2003, adjustments have had to be made by local businesses to cope with the strain. Whether it means price alterations or just striving to maintain a positive attitude, representatives from Fawcett Tractor Supply, McIntosh Power and Leisure and the Towne & Country Cheese Shoppe and Deli said they’re prepared for whatever hardships lie ahead.
Located on Road 120 on the east edge of St. Marys, Fawcett Tractor Supply has dealt with these sorts of situations before and they’ll deal with them again, owner Jeff Fawcett said.
He explained that their trick is to stay on their toes while paying attention to the market and continuing to fluctuate their prices accordingly. “It’s sort of like a two-edged sword,” Fawcett said. “International trade is where we see the impact of the loonie’s decline the most, with buying from the USA proving a little pricier and selling to them being more to our advantage.”
Downtown at the Towne & Country Cheese Shoppe & Deli, owner Lori Black commented on how the low dollar and rising cost of produce has affected her business. “The big standing joke was that cauliflower had become so expensive, but now it seems to be everything,” she said. “We’re trying to correct for the astronomical increase in produce. It has affected us in terms of our costs, bringing things in. The low dollar has affected us too. We were pushing hard to buy local before the dollar crash, but we’re really pushing hard now.”
Meanwhile, northwest of town, the owner of recreational vehicle dealer Mclntosh Power and Leisure, said, as he works purely within Canada, he thinks that this drop in the Canadian dollar could prove excellent for business.
“A lower Canadian dollar makes for more advantageous shopping,” Doug Mclntosh explained. “Hopefully we’ll be seeing more customers coming here from across the boarder to do their purchasing.”
Beyond imports from the USA proving a little pricier, Mclntosh said they’ve yet to see a significant fluctuation in prices, so business has carried on as usual. That seems to be the key for local businesses during the loonie’s dip: stay calm and carry on… business as usual.
How has the loonie’s decline affected your business? We want to know! Send us your letters to info@stmarysindependent.com.