We’re proud to point out that one of our core services at the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce is “community and government advocacy”. But what are we advocating for, who are we advocating to, and what are the outcomes and benefits for businesses and the community?
Sometimes it can be as simple as solving a licensing or permit problem by working with an individual member on a specific issue. More often than not, it is at a higher strategic level, more proactive and less visible. There is significant community value in what your Chamber does at each level of government, and the voice it expresses for the community.
In the past year we have helped host several senior federal government cabinet ministers visiting our community. Our communications goal is to create awareness around infrastructure needs for our community and impress upon them the essential importance of Nanaimo to the mid and north Vancouver Island communities. Between the Airport, Port Authority and VIU we have identified the need for over $150 million of funding to help grow our economy in the next two decades. If we didn’t bring these Ministers to town, they’d never understand the importance of the mid-Island’s projects or have enough familiarity with our community to being to motivate their future support. Our latest Ministerial visits included Ministers of State Michelle Rempel and John Duncan as keynote speakers at the Nanaimo Chamber luncheon on April 8, 2015.
We’ve also hosted numerous senior provincial cabinet ministers to seek their support for projects and give Nanaimo’s business community a bit of an advantage in Victoria. In the past few weeks we’ve hosted the Minister of Transportation, Minister of Advanced Education and Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation to Chamber events and closed-door meetings with civic and community leaders.
Meanwhile at City Hall, we are promoting conversation around a freeze on commercial tax increases, have started high level work on our ‘Green Tape’ Policy Review Committee with its goal of cutting bureaucratic barriers (and needless expense) for business, and finally talking on the issue of Food Trucks in our community.
Our members support this work through their annual membership dues. Stay tuned and see what else the Chamber is doing with government to make it easier for the business community to prosper and build a better community through better business.