While the Canadian dollar saw an upswing in the market yesterday, its impact of falling below 70 cents last week is being felt by Windsor businesses both positively and negatively.
The dollar fell to 69.89 cents U.S. before noon Jan. 12, the first time it fell below 70 cents since April 2003, causing concern about how it would impact business across the country.
In Windsor and Essex county, a border city, the result has had mixed results.
Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce president Matt Marchand said while it can be pricier for Canadians to shop abroad, the decreasing dollar means more Americans can come over the border for discounts.
“Some of our members have reported additional dollars being spent and more visitors coming over to their particular businesses here in the Windsor-Essex area,” said Marchand.
“It’s more financially viable for Americans to come over to Windsor to participate in our activities.”
But for some businesses which purchase material abroad, such as Bob Reaume Sports, it can be more expensive to buy product.
Owner Bob Reaume said although this year’s incoming stock was purchased early last year. When the order is made for 2017, his product providers have informed him the cost will be higher.
“We try and keep it fair with our pricing and what not, especially if we can average it out with stuff we had before the price increase and after the price increase,” said Reaume.
Given the special types of products Reaume sells, such as sports jerseys, he said his store has benefitted from the change because the price they offer for a Detroit Lions jersey, for example, is about the same price as what you find at the game. The only difference is the currency.
“If you go to a (Detroit) Lions game and you want to buy Lions apparel it’s the same price as what we sell, only it’s U.S. dollars. So if you want to pay 45 per cent more for a Lions hoodie, knock yourself out.”
Marchand adds the benefits or deficiencies of the drop in the dollar last week depend on each type of business.
“If you’re in the business of marketing to Detroit and get a lot of your business from the U.S., now’s a great time. If some of your cost inputs are from the U.S., it’s a little bit more of a difficult time.”
The Canadian dollar raised 0.64 of a U.S. cent to 70.67 cents yesterday due to strengthening oil prices in North American markets.