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July 4 2022

Quarterly update from the CEO

Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber

To our business community:

With public health restrictions lifting, the Calgary Chamber has wasted no time reconvening our business community while transforming the way we serve and engage our members.

Through Q2, we gathered over 1,000 people from our business community at more than a dozen events and roundtables, diving into conversations on topics ranging from agriculture and transportation, to talent gaps, the challenges facing women in business, and downtown revitalization. Just days after the federal budget was released, we brought Canada’s Associate Minister of Finance Randy Boissonnault to Calgary to discuss its implications for our business community.

We’ve also focused on making sure we are included in conversations important to the business community at the many events and conferences that are back in action – not only in Calgary – but across the country: Inventures, Collision, Global Energy Show, Canadian Hydrogen Convention, Alberta Relaunch. We believe if we want to attract investment and talent to our city – we have to tell our story at every possible opportunity. And that’s what we are doing.

As restrictions lift, foot traffic is returning, restaurant reservations are harder to come by, and hotel occupancy is on the rise. An exciting playoff run gave a needed boost to our hospitality sector. And as Calgary tops the charts as the third most liveable city in the world, we’ve heard a lot of excitement for the future.

The optimism, while a breath of fresh air, doesn’t come without caveats. Concern about important issues runs deep and threatens the speed and extent of recovery: labour shortages, the rising cost of doing business, supply chain disruptions, safety, and security. A recent Stats Canada survey showed 44 per cent of Calgary businesses are concerned labour challenges will limit business growth – a number that grows to 86 per cent among energy-related businesses.

Over the past three months, our advocacy has led to action at all levels of government. Among our successes:

As an advocacy organization founded and funded by members, we’ll continue to get in front of the issues – and decision-makers – to influence public policy on the things that matter most to business.

The pandemic has changed so much about the way we live and work. That means the Calgary Chamber is transforming how we help businesses thrive. At our AGM in April, we gave a preview of transformations we’re working on to add even more value for members:

Together, our team is passionate about making Calgary the best place in the world to build and grow a business and we continue to build our bench of top-notch talent to support this work. This quarter, we welcomed Director of Marketing Melanie McDonald and Senior Policy Analyst Mike Chick.

With a dedicated and talented team, we look forward to connecting with you, advocating for what you need most, and accelerating economic recovery to fully realize the many opportunities ahead.

Thank you for choosing the Calgary Chamber as the place where your business thrives.

Deborah Yedlin

President and CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce