Category: Press Release
A membership survey conducted by the Campbell River and District Chamber of Commerce reveals that “creating a business friendly environment” is the most pressing priority in the business community.
Chamber Executive Director Colleen Evans says: “More than 90 per cent of our members identified having a business friendly environment in Campbell River that is responsive to business needs and supportive of business success as their top priority.
“As well, the vast majority of our members tell us that the Chamber’s efforts supporting business retention are strongly approved as a priority and that economic investment is a priority for them” she says.
“Ensuring the views of our members and the local business community are made known to government and other appropriate stakeholders and lobbying in a constructive, independent manner on behalf of our members is an important role in the Chamber’s mandate. We will be taking a progressive leadership role in the coming weeks to address the issues they have raised and to influence decision-makers.,” Evans says.
Chamber members were asked to measure the level of business friendliness in the city. Here is a sample of their responses:
* Campbell River is proactive about offering tax increment financing packages or other incentives to attract investment: 86 per cent disagreed
* Campbell River has strong economic development strategies and a streamlined development process: 82 per cent disagreed
* Campbell River elected municipal leaders and city staff are willing to assist with pre-permitting of development sites and time efficient processes for licensing and permitting: 70 per cent disagreed
“Our members have spoken,” Evans says. “Now the Chamber will be a catalyst on behalf of our members to work cooperatively with the city and other stakeholders to retain the businesses we have and create a healthy environment for business growth.”
On the plus side, the Executive Director says, the survey also indicates that 60 per cent of members agree that the city has “an available skilled work force” to meet their needs and 66 per cent agree that municipal services “are up to par and affordable.”
“It is important that we build on these positives and grow the “agree” side of the business friendly environment ledger,” Evans says.
As a first step in its engagement strategy the Chamber will further analyse the key issues identified in the survey and develop policy positions that will become “an advocacy platform.”
Chamber Board of Directors Chair Gary Thulin says: “Through Chamber led efforts we will progressively advocate to secure a more business friendly environment for a competitive edge while balancing sustainable growth and ongoing development.”
An upcoming all-candidates business forum on Oct. 26 ahead of the November civic election will be an opportunity to put these business priorities forward to all candidates.
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