The Town of Grand Bank can attribute much of its past and present growth and prosperity to its
proximity to the fishing grounds and its ice-free harbour. Original settlers thrived on trade with the
French and a vigorous inshore fishing industry. When the offshore bank fishery became the focus of
their attention, settlers built and bought their own 30 to 100 ton schooners.
Grand Bank became the nucleus of the bank fishing industry for Newfoundland and a service center for Fortune Bay. With the decline of the salt fish industry, the town's emphasis quickly shifted to fresh fish production. Enterprising businessmen and town planners prepared the way for a fresh fish plant (present day Grand Bank Seafood’s Inc.) and a fleet of trawlers.
The Burin Peninsula Highway connects the town with all points on the peninsula and its 23,700 people. In addition, it provides easy access to the Winterland airport. St. John's, Clarenville, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor and the Bonavista Peninsula are all within four or five hours drive. St. Pierre and Miquelon, a tourist haven, is within a few minutes by air from Winterland or ninety minutes by sea from nearby Fortune.
Although Grand Bank is far away from the major industrial centers of Canada and the United States, it is one of the nearest points in North America to Europe (approximately 3000 miles). Changing world trade patterns, emerging democracies, and more readily available resources will prove to be an asset to Newfoundland.
The increasing tourism trade bolsters expansion in the town. In recent years Grand Bank has seen a tripling of visitors interested in the Queen Anne architecture in the older homes, the traditions of a seafaring people and the heritage still evident in the older businesses, stores, halls and museums. Heritage Canada's Main Street program has been a great success, as evident in the face-lift of many storefront properties. This program was designed to assist in the revitalization of the downtown of Grand Bank using its four components - organization, marketing, design and economic development.
Still untapped is the unlimited potential for tourism - accommodations, camping, dining, catering, road and boat tours, crafts and specialized products related to heritage and the sea. Sports and recreational facilities such as an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, hockey arena, soccer and softball fields and the golf course located at Frenchman's Cove just a few kilometers away, increase Grand Bank's tourist potential. The skilled labour of the fish plant - electrical, mechanical, marine engineering, pipe fitting, carpentry and clerical support the strong local economy.