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Dear Members,

Happy Thanksgiving!  I wish for you, your family and our community, health and prosperity. This holiday will be different than usual. I commend you for your resilience and thank you for your dedication to our community. The staff and volunteer team at the Ottawa Board of Trade remain steadfast in our commitment to you. It is because of you that we all reap the benefits of a strong voice for business in Ottawa. We are grateful for your continued support and trust, now more than ever.

Last week we hosted a virtual annual general meeting. I am very impressed by the work we have done since consolidating the Ottawa Chambers two years ago. And I am excited for the year ahead as we step fully into our role as the advocate for our business community. We have a new board of directors who have all declared their commitment to our community prosperity. Together, we will build on our agenda to help businesses grow, to advocate for a competitive business environment and to promote our Nation’s Capital as the best place to live, work and invest.

The theme of our event was a call to action and a plea to stay focused and work together in this time of challenge and change. We are facing extreme fatigue from the last seven months of dealing with COVID. However, our economic recovery – its scale and sustainability, is dependent on each of us doing our part, and more if able. We encourage you to;

  • Prioritize your personal mental and physical well-being – and that of our community by being COVID Wise and encouraging others to do the same. Most cases are being traced to settings of people not in our household and not maintaining physical distance or wearing a mask. This includes work mates in businesses during breaks and socializing after work.
  • Support our local economy; buy local, promote local, be a hometown tourist and hire local whenever possible. Now is the time to think global and act local. Our small, main street businesses have been innovative and resilient but they are facing a challenging season. Do whatever it takes to support them during this time. We need them for our community, our culture and our economy to thrive.
  • Contribute to community – your time, your talent and your treasure. We are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat. This pandemic has placed a disportionate burden and risk on certain areas of our population. We encourage you to actively seek out opportunities to support those not working, those with young children, those who are alone and the list goes on. Our local charities struggle to maintain services to those most in need and may be a great place to start.

We are asking business leaders to spread this message to your employees and among your network. Every action, every decision, counts.

I remain grateful for the health of my community, focused on what I can do to better our future and hopeful that this too shall pass. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Yours truly, Sueling

Sueling Ching
President & CEO | Ottawa Board of Trade
o: 613.236.3631 x125 c: 613.349.5757