Committee Corner: A new plan
Boards of Trade (and Chambers of Commerce) are known throughout the world as the primary representatives of their business community and a key part of their community’s economic eco-system. When the City of Ottawa amalgamated with the surrounding municipalities in 2001, many of the municipalities’ Chambers remained active for years. This provided some benefit to the members in those areas but fragmented the message to the key audience, the City.
In 2018, the Chambers of Commerce in Ottawa made a legacy move by consolidating into one organization. The purpose was to strengthen the voice of business in the Nation’s Capital. In late 2019, the board of the new organization began planning for a new chief executive, the first elected directors, and a strategic plan that would realize the vision of becoming a best-in-class business advocate.
The year 2020 challenged our businesses, our communities and our governments as we worked together to keep our citizens safe and our economy alive. At the Board of Trade, our focus was on constant and complex advocacy work at every level of government to ensure businesses had the policies and programs needed to survive and thrive in our COVID world. During this time we engaged a new CEO, elected a new board and we are pleased to share that we will be launching a new strategic plan in early fall 2021. Special thanks to our OBoT executive committee led by board chair, Ian Sherman and strategy lead, Brendan McGuinty as well as the team at Stratford Group for your commitment to “getting it right” for the Ottawa business community.
This strategic plan will level up our board of trade as an advocate and economic partner focused on the current needs and future opportunities in our community.
It has been exciting to contemplate how business and community leaders can work together for the future of Ottawa. It is imperative we create an environment in which our private sector can drive the growth we need for our recovery and rebound.
The unexpected and unprecedented challenge of the last year has further amplified the need for a strong voice for business. In many ways it has accelerated our plan and created new opportunities for our community. The level of collaboration we are experiencing at every level of government and among economic partners provides a solid foundation for moving forward together.
We intend to hone our focus on the most impactful opportunities for economic growth and we invite every Ottawa business to add their voice and help shape their future.