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“Our organization’s biggest goal is supporting businesses, advocating on their behalf and lending our voice to various initiatives that make it easier to do business”

Julie Lawlor

Based on what we hear from our members, we find it challenging that efforts are often not joined up in Canada. For example, even from a regulatory lens, what the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments do sometimes doesn’t align with the same goals. This then impacts businesses and makes it more challenging to do business.

As a result, coordinating and streamlining efforts is a vital strategy to build vibrant businesses in our region. We know our region can do that. We saw a lot of this collaboration during COVID-19 in terms of being able to work together. However, we’re not doing it as effectively as we could. With too many challenges and a lack of collaborative efforts, I think the death by 1000 cuts risk is real for business.

I’ve reflected a lot on this recently. In general, people will ask, “What do these transformations have to do with business?” and I’ll answer, “Everything.”

In 20 years, we are much more Indigenous-led than we are now. I want everyone to have a home, family doctor, access to education and child care where they need it, and a transit system working for all. We will be much denser in population than we are now. All of the things that we need to make our society fully function helps businesses thrive as well. 

We will have to be doing this against a backdrop of environmental responsibility. We will be in the throes of climate change much more than now. We’re continuing to be adaptable and flexible, and I sincerely hope that we’ve achieved an economy that is truly inclusive in every sense of the word.

Find out more about the organization’s work at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce website.