There’s an unmistakable energy that is growing in Calgary, gaining momentum in our business community as we emerge from the pandemic, and seven years of low energy prices. Like you, we at the Chamber, are eager to reengage with our community and seize opportunities that will benefit our city’s economic future. We’ve taken time to reflect on what’s worked for Calgary, what hasn’t, and where we’re headed – and we’re excited about the Chamber’s role in our collective future.
And while recent months have underscored both optimism and energy for what the future holds close to home, the conflict in Ukraine casts a long shadow. The exodus of more than three and a half million Ukrainians fleeing the conflict, the impact of economic sanctions that has surfaced very real issues regarding both energy and food security has implications for all of us that we are still working to understand. I would like to thank the many businesses across our city stepping up to help: matching donations, offering pro-bono services to refugees and donating proceeds of product sales to relief efforts. Our community knows how to roll up its sleeves to build a business and to help out whenever and wherever it is needed. Thank you, Calgary.
No matter your journey, we’re with you every step of the way to build a better city for all. One that provides opportunities, and draws talent to Calgary. We’ve brought our business community together through roundtables with government, keynote addresses, and one of the first, in-person, large-scale conferences in Calgary in nearly two years – the Transform: Energy Summit.
Through the pandemic, we have kept our ear to the ground on what business leaders, entrepreneurs, and Calgarians need, advocating for measures that support certainty, stability, and prosperity, distributing over 50,000 rapid tests to our business community, and bringing solutions to decision makers at every table to voice concerns we’re hearing on the ground. We were vocal in advocating for Alberta to join the federal government’s day care plan, ensuring that all families have access to affordable and reliable daycare.
We’re actively working on the issues keeping you up at night: attracting and retaining great people, keeping the lights on amidst rising costs, stocking shelves despite shortages and supply chain issues, and prioritizing mental health. The pandemic has inspired a refreshed focused on economic inclusion and we continue to amplify these important discussions, most recently on International Women’s Day as we brought together female tech leaders to challenge the status quo.
This quarter, we convened businesses to speak with our federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship to discuss labour challenges and policy solutions. We brought our provincial Minister of Finance to Calgary to gather input from businesses on Budget 2022. Our advocacy shaped key initiatives such as the Alberta at Work program and associated investment of $264 million to address the labour shortage and skill gaps. We connected businesses and government for solutions-focused conversations related to rising costs of inputs, energy and food security, supply chains, property taxes, mental health, and community vibrancy.
Despite the hardship of the past two years, businesses across this city are continuing to transform our biggest challenges to opportunities. They are leading our energy sector transformation. They are the nearly 1,800 Calgary tech companies, driving digital revolution and economic diversification and more than 50,000 small businesses that have hustled, pivoted and reinvented the way they do business.
At the Chamber, we are channelling that same creativity, continuously evolving to deliver value to our members. In the coming months, we look forward to earning and keeping your support by delivering valuable member benefits, advocating for what you need to be successful, and being your source for meaningful connections. Thank you for choosing the Calgary Chamber as the place where your business thrives.
President and CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce