We need to make it simple and straightforward to start, scale-up, and grow a business in Calgary. We also need an ecosystem that facilitates business-to-business and business-to-consumer connections and collaborations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to encourage and enable businesses to compete in Calgary. City processes can be a burden for businesses, which stifles their ability to focus on the things core to their success.
When starting, scaling-up, and growing a business, we need to create an environment that stems from smart regulation to foster competitiveness and innovation. We must meet businesses where they are at, to enable access to and evolve our regulatory environment and prioritize safety, quality, fairness, and efficiency.
We need to identify policy overlaps, inconsistencies, and gaps, simplify language and process and ensure policy is responsive to scientific and technological developments. This will enable a regulatory structure that helps, rather than hinders, businesses ability to compete and win here.
How we move forward
1. Maintain the creative and agile approach adopted by the City during the pandemic.
Engagement from business owners detailing the challenges and opportunities they have faced during the pandemic has resulted in quick thinking, rapid action, and successful initiatives such as ShopHERE, the City’s Business Perspectives Panel Research, and the 2020 and 2021 Patio Program.
Examine and dismantle structural and procedural barriers where applicable to ensure timely decision-making and action.
2. Facilitate direct communication between businesses and the City, creating a more customer-centric model.
One of the most significant challenges cited by business is navigating City systems and processes. In addition to initiatives like the Business Advisory Committee, we need wider engagement from businesses of all sizes, from all industries and in all quadrants of Calgary.