Ahead of City budget decisions, businesses weigh in on spending priorities
Calgary, August 2, 2022 – Gearing up for Growth, a report released today by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, highlights key priorities and recommendations ahead of upcoming Council decisions on the City of Calgary’s 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets.
“City spending is an important lever that can spur action among stakeholders with a vested interest in the success of our city,” says Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “When we are aligned on priorities, the gears can work smoothly. If the City can create alignment in its next four-year budget, it can be an effective catalyst to a more resilient, diversified, and prosperous place for Calgarians – and businesses – to grow and thrive.”
Priorities were identified by a survey of businesses and several roundtable discussions with members of Council, Administration, and Chamber members representing key sectors and industries including tourism, arts, retail, non-profit, technology, and natural resources.
Priorities and recommendations
1. Develop Calgary’s narrative nationally and internationally
Develop a unified vision and narrative for Calgary, working with business and other partners to promote Calgary’s story nationally and internationally
Build lasting communication partnerships between the City and businesses undefined
2. Attract, retain, and invest in talent
Invest in upskilling and reskilling programs to match employers’ talent needs and the talent pool
Facilitate partnerships between businesses and educational institutions to showcase Calgary’s employment opportunities and streamline hiring
Fully engage underrepresented segments of Calgary’s workforce undefined
3. Build a safe and secure Calgary
Prioritize and fund safety through the Calgary Transit Relaunch Strategy
Work with businesses to identify gaps in public transit schedules impacting the ability of Calgarians to safely commute to and from work
Collaborate with businesses, social services, and community security partners to address systemic issues impacting the safety and security of Calgary’s downtown
Develop and invest in modern, user friendly methods of alerting security partners to safety issues in real-time
4. Reduce barriers and costs of doing business
Facilitate direct communication between businesses and the City
Identify opportunities to reduce administrative burdens and costs to businesses
The City’s 2023 – 2026 Service Plans and budget is expected to be finalized later this year with the next phase of public engagement beginning September 1. The engagement is an important opportunity for the public, including Calgary businesses, to weigh into the decisions that shape Council’s future investment decisions.
About the Calgary Chamber
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, we build on our 131-year history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and across the city.