Niagara Gazette

Bob Confer

June 30, 2014

CONFER: Looking north to those living the Canadian dream

Niagara Gazette — Wikipedia defines the American Dream as “a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work.” 

Its potential is fully realized through entrepreneurship, the art of starting up and/or growing a business entity while managing and assuming the risk and reward associated with it.

Since the start of the Great Recession, the American Dream has been on the rocks. Although entrepreneurship continues to drive our economy, the development of start-ups and small businesses is moving at a tepid pace; it’s nothing like the explosive growth that our economy saw in 2006 and before. Risks aren’t being taken as they once were for various reasons.

Some folks, though, are taking big risks and making good on them on our soil or with our assets. But, they are not of our nationality. Our neighbors to the north are fulfilling their version of the American Dream, maybe a Canadian Dream or a North American Dream, and reaping the rewards.

Over the past few years, after many more trying to crack the Canadian market with only moderate success, Confer Plastics Inc. has seen many clients and interested parties from across the border come to the factory to develop new products and business lines. Now, our largest client is from Canada and we have a few more that now rank among our biggest customers. They are making the investments in the entire product life cycle that Americans once did with vigor and some are taking on even greater entrepreneurial endeavors than most Americans would dare.

Our observations about the Canadians are not anecdotal in nature. We are not alone in such experiences.

There are reasons that the Niagara County Center for Economic Development is focusing its marketing and business attraction efforts to the north. That’s where the money is. That’s where the movers and shakers are. NCCED understands that Canadian money will lead to American money.

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