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Today, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has added its voice to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's, who released its electoral platform this morning in Ottawa. This document outlines a list of recommendations the Canadian business community has for the federal political parties as they prepare for the upcoming fall election.
Amongst the four key areas outlined in the Canadian Chamber's platform is one that is especially important to the members of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce: access to technology and innovation.
Specifically, we are requesting that the federal parties commit to the following:
Three other key areas that are critical to enabling Canadian businesses to compete and win in the global economy were identified by the Canadian Chamber in its platform today: access to a powerful workforce, access to capital and access to markets.
"We look forward to hearing from both the national parties and their local candidates on how we can address the issue of access to capital and we are, of course, open to meeting with our local political representatives," said Carmichael.
To download a copy of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's electoral platform, please click here
Kelowna is home to world-renowned, nationally recognized, and
otherwise excellent businesses. With each year that passes, more and more
developers, entrepreneurs, corporations and the commerce-savvy are
recognizing the economic viability and feasibility of Kelowna as a place for
the past 27 years, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has been celebrating
business excellence during small business week (3rd week of October) and has
handed out nearly 200 awards to well-deserving businesses at the Annual
Business Excellence Awards Ceremony. With the ongoing support of key sponsors
such as Farris and the Business Development Bank of Canada, we have
been able to carry on this tradition and host this prestigious event.
This year's Business
Excellence Awards have been enhanced with the addition of two new categories,
refinement of others, and the introduction of the 1st Annual Nominee Reception &
Judging Kick-Off Party!
After a review of our
annual awards process, categories and ceremony, the Kelowna Chamber of
Commerce determined that this year's awards needed to develop in order to
reflect the changing business environment in the Valley.
It is common knowledge
that 95% of the Okanagan's businesses employ fewer than 20 employees. 85% of
those businesses fit into our "Small Business of the Year" category
(which was defined as employing 1-10 individuals). Upon further research, we
realized that 73% of those
businesses, actually employed 4 or less individuals!1 Thus the
creation of the Micro-
Business category. This new category is for businesses with 1-3
employees, and the Small
Business category has been revised to recognize businesses
employing 4-15 employees.
During our review we
also recognized the need to include a trending business model which has had a
major impact on BC over the past couple of years. Social Enterprises -
organizations committed to a social mission that direct their revenue to
drive social change - have generated over $60 million in revenue
and provided services to over 700,000 people.2 We agreed that
this year's awards wouldn't be complete without a social enterprise aspect
and as a result, the Social
Entrepreneurship category was born.
These two new awards will round out the categories for a
total of 12 awards. For more information on the awards, categories, criteria
and ceremony please visit our website at kelownachamber.org/news-events/Business_Excellence_Awards.aspx
The call for
nominations is open until June 12th!
To nominate a
further information contact:
Chamber of Commerce
line 250 469-7355
on the 2015 Okanagan Valley Economic Profile
on a 2012 Survey from the Canadian Social Enterprise Sector Survey Project
With the tabling of the federal budget, the curtain falls on the best spectacle we’ve seen for a while–the government’s fight to rescue its carefully orchestrated plan to balance the budget in time for the election. This pledge has been the long-standing centerpiece of the Conservative economic platform. Last year’s estimates even gave them a $1.9 billion in surplus to play with, even with huge promises on income splitting and family benefits.
But, you know, stuff happens. Specifically, that lovely surplus disappeared as oil prices tumbled more than 50%. The first quarter of 2015 would be “atrocious” according to the Governor of the Bank of Canada. Suddenly, a party running on fiscal prudence might have to face the voters without a single balanced budget in its nine-year record.
In the end, they pulled it off, of course. The budget was delayed, the government’s shares of GM stock were sold, the contingency reserve was emptied. The government will go into the election with its image of sound economics intact.
The whole show raises the important question: “Do balanced budgets matter?” And if they do, is it always appropriate to cut your way to them?
Spending cuts are painful, but the IMF showed that economic impacts are usually modest. A spending cut of 1% of GDP typically shrinks the economy (GDP) by about 0.5% within two years–short-term pain for long-term gain.
But what if the economy is already in recession? This is very different because “automatic stabilizers” kick in. A recession causes tax collections to fall because business revenues plummet and people buy fewer things while government spending rises because more folks are dependent on employment insurance and social assistance programs. Deficits soar, and it becomes difficult to cut spending in the midst of a downturn. If government and the private sector are both in cut-back mode at the same time, then unemployment can soar in a manner that is terribly damaging.
The two-year recession in Europe is the best example of self-defeating austerity. In a follow-up report, the IMF said that for economies in recession, the hit to GDP from spending cuts can be up to four times greater, resulting in a much more severe hit to the economy that actually increases debt levels. This means a tough recession can result in years of deficits no matter what the government does.
And that’s why surpluses are important, so that governments have room to maneuver in a downturn and don’t have to layer public cuts on top of private sector cuts à la Greece and Spain, which are struggling with 25% unemployment.
Canada’s debt levels are certainly manageable, and the provinces can borrow 10-year money at an interest cost of 2-2.5% per year–which is just above “zero-risk” U.S. treasuries, so clearly markets aren’t worried.
Let’s remember that a $1.4 billion surplus on a $280 billion budget is 0.5%, barely a rounding error from a business perspective. More important is to have responsible spending and the type of investments in infrastructure and skills that will generate future prosperity. Surpluses make us much more comfortable so that we can cope with a storm, but let’s also build a speed boat so that we can race ahead.
-Handrik Brakel, CCC
May is upon us- signifying flowers, a day for "mom" and the end of tax season (insert sigh of relief here).
This month also holds meaning for some associations. All week, Mental Health awareness has been campaigned across the nation. A subject that used to be kept mum in the past is gaining a much needed voice. #GetLoud
Additionally, in an effort to recognize the significant impact of a trending business model, the province proclaimed May 2015 asSocial Enterprise Month. Social Enterprises are organizations committed to a social mission that direct their revenue to drive social change. Based on a 2012 survey, B.C. social enterprises provided services to nearly 700,000 people and generated at least $60 million in revenues. #Impact4BC
To do our part in recognizing these big-hearted businesses, we've added Social Entrepreneur of the Year to our Annual Business Excellence Awards. To nominate a social enterprise, click here.
Finally, let's not forget one of the Okanagan's favourite things about May - great golf! If you haven't signed up for this year's tournament,act fast! We've got your Friday May 29th planned down to a "tee". Over $50,000 worth of prizes will be up for grabs. Have a prize to donate? Great! Please contact Sarah at 250.469.7350 or email.
Want to sponsor a hole? We've got a few opportunities left. Call 250.469.7358 or email Caroline Miller.
Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP
Pushor Mitchell LLP
GreenStep Solutions Inc.
Touchstone Law Group
SW Audio Visual
Okanagan Film Commision
Business Development Bank of Canada
Orchard Park Shopping Centre
Executive Committee Mandate
Board of Directors Mandate