A change is as good as a rest. And after the last couple of years of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty, we are all in need of a rest. The recent election of a new mayor and city council bodes well for a fresh perspective on the opportunities that are before us as we contemplate affordable, inclusive, and sustainable city building.
In anticipation of this important election, the Ottawa Board of Trade launched the Build Up Ottawa initiative with the intention of curating critical conversations about what we were looking for in the next term of council. Key pillars included innovative investments in health care, housing and transit that would drive growth along with support for small business.
Above all, our economic partners and members were looking for a commitment to consensus building. The challenges before us are broad and complex. They demand future thinking and optimization of our expertise and resources from both the private and public sector. And that requires radical collaboration and transparency.
The Ottawa Board of Trade is dedicated to representing our business community as a key and equal partner with all levels of government and our economic stakeholders. The city we build to foster business success is the same city well positioned to make great strides in meeting our inclusivity and sustainability goals. One cannot be achieved without the other.
What is your next right step?
- Create space. Make it known that you understand and that your business supports a whole of community approach to building prosperity for all. Curate intentional conversations in your workplace about key issues and consider how your business contributes to the solutions. There is way for every executive, entrepreneur, and employee to shift their current work to be purpose driven. The minimum outcome will be a greater sense of belonging among your colleagues.
- Encourage others. Contemporary communication has changed business, political and social landscapes. Constant access to information, opinions and opportunities can be overwhelming, and even paralyze progress. Use your voice to promote the ideals that drive growth, including accountability, collaboration, inclusivity, innovation, and sustainability. Be a leader in deed and word, creating a path for those around you to do the same. Adaptable, inclusive, servant leadership will drive our future economy.
- Get involved. The third sector is a powerful tool for optimal city and community building. Associations, charities, and non-profits drive change alongside the private and public sector but in a unique way. They are mission focused, volunteer driven, and outcomes based. If there is one lesson we must leverage from the pandemic, it is that we are all connected and that working together is the path to prosperity. That prosperity will be found at the intersection of profit, governance, and community development.
An invitation to join
To all members of the Ottawa Board of Trade, thank you for ensuring Ottawa has a strong voice of business. Your commitment allows us to influence policies and programs that create a competitive environment in which all business can thrive by generating opportunities and reducing barriers. It is hard to think of what the pandemic would have been like without this mechanism to calibrate and communicate our priorities. And we look forward to continuing this work on your behalf as we contemplate the post pandemic economic recovery together.
To all future members, the Ottawa Board of Trade has many opportunities for members of our business community to contribute to business success and community prosperity in Ottawa – as ambassadors, teachers, learners and thought leaders. Every Ottawa business, every sector and size, is invited to be a member. Please reach out to learn more about leveraging the benefits, programs and volunteer opportunities that impact competitive business policy, workforce development, and your bottom line. We look forward to working with you soon.
Yours in prosperity, Sueling
President & CEO | Ottawa Board of Trade
The Ottawa Board of Trade is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan member driven business association. We are the voice of business and key advocate for economic growth in our Nation’s Capital. Our mission is to cultivate a thriving world class business community in Ottawa by influencing economic development through leadership and partnerships. We advocate key priorities at all three levels of government and support business growth through relevant benefits and programs. Join us today!