This week, we got back to Chamber business with our first breakfast of the year. Hosted by BDC, their VP Research & Chief Economist, Pierre Cleroux, provided a clear explanation of what’s happening with the economy and that continued growth is something to look forward to over the next couple of years. He did caution that uneducated, unskilled workers will struggle to find jobs as businesses (slowly) migrate to more advanced technology but over all, the future continues to look bright!
Later that day, I joined about 40 others in Kingston invited to brief the Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, who is on a provincial tour asking community representatives to present their budget priorities. In less than my allowed three minutes (really!), I indicated additional funding for training of adults without high-school and post-secondary education should be on that list. Quick points on reducing both the corporate income tax rate to alleviate the increased costs to business this year and lowering personal income tax rates to attract migration to Ontario were also suggested. Infrastructure to improve cell and internet access was mentioned by a few, and I echoed this remains a challenge in our “suburban” community as well. The invitation was based on a random selection and I was pleased to see Mayor Christopher, VIQ’s Brenda Snider and Quinte West Chamber Manager Suzanne Andrews were also among the invitees that hailed from our region through Brockville.
By Thursday morning, many had responded to my “to-do list” message (thank you!) and purchased tickets for our Annual President’s Dinner and/or had completed the Employer One Survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/E1_2018_Belleville_Chamber (if you haven’t done either yet – today is the day!).
I also asked at the breakfast if anyone wanted to know who the recipients were for our inaugural Cornerstone Awards with one suggestion to keep it a surprise BUT if you are the kind of person that reads the ending first.
This year, the Board created four new awards we believe represent key attributes to the Lifetime Achievement award – and will acknowledge people, who through their business activity, have brought prosperity to our community.
Our recipients this year were selected by the gala committee from a long list of suggestions. As we prepare for next year’s awards, input from you and this year’s recipients will be sought and a more engaged process developed. There are so many worthy people due recognition, this will become an annual tradition at our President’s Dinner.
Tickets https://bellevilleanddistrict.chambermaster.com/eventregistration/register/2578 for February 9th are still available today at the early bird price if you would like to join us and show your support for the choices this year:
CITIZENSHIP Award: Kristin Crowe
FOUNDER Award: Ross McDougall
MENTORS Award: Mary & Mark Hanley and Janet & Ken Harnden
VISIONARY Award: Mark Rashotte