A letter from our president

Posted by: Alycia Lowdon on October 10, 2017

Calgary Chamber Members, 

I wanted to take a moment and sincerely thank you, the members of the Chamber, for investing in us, and trusting us with your hard-earned resources. Over the past few months we put these resources to work through various campaigns and advocacy efforts to help your business succeed, and I wanted to take this opportunity to report back to you.

If there is one thing I have heard from entrepreneurs and business leaders like you over the past number of months it has been “please stop making it so hard to run a business.” Between the layered increasing costs of corporate taxes, carbon tax, property taxes, minimum wage increases and now the threat of major small business tax increases, for many businesses it has pushed them too far. 

At the Chamber we focus our efforts under three pillars; Grow, Connect and Influence. 

Influence

Calgary’s municipal election is only 6 days away and we’ve been on a major campaign of policy recommendations to help grow your business. We call it “A Calgary that Works.” In the campaign we are recommending a strong and clear solutions-based platform to make Calgary more efficient, equitable, and entrepreneurial. These have become more than just recommendations with many candidates for both mayor and council jumping on board to support them. In particular, I am very optimistic that with the incoming council we’ll be able to make a difference on property taxes again in 2018, as we did in 2017, as I know this is a key issue for so many of you. 

Federally, we got active in a hurry and made sure the government was aware that plans to increase taxes on small businesses across the country are going to have a negative effect on your business. We sent letters, met with a minister, and set up an online platform for you, our members, to easily send letters to the government. And I have to congratulate you, as members of the Calgary Chamber you generated over 10,000 emails. This had a real impact, and this past week Minister Morneau took the first step, acknowledging that changes will need to be made. 

Connect

Next week is Small Business Week Calgary, and the highlight of the week is the Small Business Calgary Conference. Along with our partners ATB and BDC we have worked to create the largest and most valuable conference for entrepreneurs in the country. This is your opportunity to meet your next client, get inspired by a keynote from the CEO of Freshii, or learn a new skill you can apply to your business the next day. Best of all tickets start at $20!

Grow

We are invested in the long-term growth and innovation of your company and have created the Ignite Innovation Accelerator program to help make that happen. This program helps businesses like yours take an idea, product or new business line and get it market ready in 90 days. The success stories I am hearing from this program are immense, you can watch one here

You, the members of the chamber, are our shareholders — you own this organization. You are our customers, as you trust us with your resources to deliver value to you, and in many ways, your businesses are the product as well – when your business grows that’s a win for us. We could not complete any of these initiatives without you, our members, so Thank you. 

As we finish up the year and look forward to 2018 we look forward to continuing to advocate for your business and make Calgary the best place to start and grow a business in Canada. 

Thank you, 

Adam Legge

President and CEO 
Calgary Chamber