City budget on right track; needs further focus on talent and ease of doing business
Calgary, September 20, 2022 – City administration previewed its 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budget, providing a behind-the-curtain look at what may be coming down the pipe later this year. Noting household expenditures have increased 7.4% for the average Albertan this year, Administration is focused on maintaining affordability, while continuing to invest in Calgary’s future, including an additional $4.4 billion in capital projects.
“With a focus on safety, vibrancy, and continuing to reimagine Calgary's downtown, we are encouraged by the progress the City has made to date,” said Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “However, to ensure we reach our potential as a City, it’s critical to approach initiatives through a lens of economic growth and productivity to ensure industry sectors, businesses and employees are able to weather the inevitable headwinds of economic uncertainty."
The Calgary Chamber is particularly encouraged by the following investments and initiatives proposed by Administration:
Investing in safety, including in the downtown core to create a neighborhood and center for commerce, and through the transit system to reduce social disorder.
Focusing on vibrancy, funding activations and events downtown, and continuing the office-to-residential conversion program.
Developing a marketing strategy to attract investment and talent to Calgary, helping support businesses in addressing the labour shortage, and hard-hit sectors such as tourism.
Supporting economic participation for historically underrepresented groups, including through commitments towards economic reconciliation such as developing procurement strategies and resources.
Investing in the transit system, helping staff and customers reach their destinations more easily and efficiently.
Collaborating with industry to advance our low-carbon economy, in line with industry’s ongoing commitment to decarbonization through innovation.
As the City continues to develop its budget and strategy, and hears from businesses and residents through their consultation period, the Calgary Chamber urges further focus and investment in the following areas:
Commit to a ratio of 2.8:1for non-residential to residential property taxes, alleviating the cost burden faced by businesses and cementing Calgary as the most attractive place to start and grow a business.
Provide further supports for businesses looking to attract, retain and develop talent, including investments in upskilling, reskilling, and micro-credentialing programs, and work with post-secondary institutions locally and nationally to move, open or expand campuses and residences within the downtown core.
Reduce employment barriers and create meaningful employment opportunities for newcomers, through collaboration with all orders of government.
Simplify processes and provide clear and consistent channels for contacting Administration to facilitate access to timely, accurate, and reliable information.
Please refer to the Calgary Chamber’s budget recommendation document, Gearing up for Growth, to learn more about what matters to business.
The Calgary Chamber exists to help businesses thrive. As the convenor and catalyst for a vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous business community, the Chamber works to build strength and resilience among its members and position Calgary as a magnet for talent, diversification, and opportunity. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization founded and funded by our members, we build on our 131-year history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, across the city.