Chamber gives city a thumbs down on economic progress - Metro US

Chamber gives city a thumbs down on economic progress

It wasn’t exactly a glowing review.

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce handed the municipality a rather dismal report on the city’s economic progress yesterday, declaring HRM is simply not meeting expectations in many important categories.

HRM earned an overall score of “one red light” based on the Chamber’s traffic-light-based ranking system.

Each year, the organization measures HRM’s progress in 28 different economic categories, and awards red, yellow, or green lights based on how the municipality is measuring up to expectations.

This year, the worst grades came in areas like community satisfaction, economic development, and Halifax’s struggling container port.

Average income was also a big disappointment, according to the chamber. The category earned the lowest possible score of two red lights.

Some of the negative grades were for things that have been affected by the recession and are beyond the city’s control — like passenger traffic through Halifax Stanfield International Airport, or room nights sold in local hotels.

In a statement published on the Chamber’s website, Chamber President Valerie Payn acknowledged 2009 was a tough year, “and while Halifax, with a diversified, service-based economy, fared relatively well, we are not immune to what happens globally.”

There were some bright spots, however.

HRM is still seeing a decline in overall crime rates, and is doing a good job promoting itself online and ensuring that every citizen has access to broadband internet.

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