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Message from President and CEO

Dear Members,Good morning! Happy Monday. I hope you, and your family and your employees are well. Thank you for your ongoing support as members, volunteers, and promoters of the Ottawa Board of Trade. Thank you for getting involved. The strength of our economy and our ability to maintain a competitive business environment directly correlates to the willingness of our local leaders to work together. To support our elected officials and each other in shaping the future of our city. After all, that is how our city got built in the first place!We celebrated small business month in October. We all know they are the heart and soul of our community and our economy. Many small businesses were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic - especially in certain sectors like hospitality and tourism and in certain areas like our downtown. And many continue to face barriers. This is why we are focused on advocating for small business at all levels of government; municipal, provincial and federal.During the pandemic we worked with our economic partners to create a campaign called Buy Local Ottawa. As we continue to face uncertain times and with the holiday season approaching, we encourage you to treat every month as a celebration of small business. Visit our for lists of local businesses through the BIA directories and our OBOT member marketplace powered by local start up FANSAVES. Buy, promote, and refer to local businesses first as a matter of your personal and professional policy. Let’s trend using #BuyLocalOttawa.Recently, I had the honour of serving on a panel along with the amazing Sir Terry Matthews, as well as Minister Jenna Sudds, Michael Tremblay of Invest Ottawa, and Amanda Gordon of Kanata North Business Association. I am grateful to Michael Curran and EY for inviting me to promote our strong tech ecosystem. The key takeaway was that we have many strengths to build on in Ottawa. And a big part of our ability to realize our full potential is to tell the Ottawa story. There are several online resources available to you as an Ottawa ambassador including the Ottawa brand toolkits at at Ottawa Tourism, Why Ottawa at Invest Ottawa, and created by the City, OBOT, Ottawa Tourism and Invest Ottawa. As well as publications like Techopia and our Capital Magazine. New Capital edition dropping this week! Tell our story and share our opportunities as a way of building up Ottawa, today and for the next generation. Let’s trend using #myottawa and #monottawa. We also recently hosted CEO Talk featuring the new CEO of our Ottawa Senators. There was so much excitement in the room. The vision is clear - get the cup - and Cyril shared their plan which includes all of us supporting the team as raving fans. We were thrilled to host the event at the new Kinaxis building and their CEO, John Sicard shared his thoughts as a top business leader on workplace wellness and city building through sports, entertainment, arts, and culture.As you know we work closely with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to advocate for policy and priorities. To support this work, we conduct an annual Ontario Economic Report Survey. The Ontario agenda and policy setting is critically important to Ottawa, and we use this data to advocate at Queen’s Park throughout the year. The Ottawa response is lagging so please take a few minutes to complete it. Deadline extended to November 21, 2023. Not that it's a competition, but if it were, we'd like to win! Lastly, we continue to host events to inform and inspire you. We still have several coming up to finish 2023 strong including our Best Ottawa Business Awards GalaOttawa Economic Outlook LuncheonWomen, Wit & Wisdom DinnerMayor’s Breakfast, and the annual Holiday Cocktail at Oakwood. Many thanks to our event partner the Ottawa Business Journal and our many sponsors for making it possible for us to get together. Please join us!For our part, the Ottawa Board of Trade continues to advocate on your behalf at every level of government. In addition, we remain focused on the top priorities of our economic growth agenda, and we are getting ready to host our downtown summit to deliberate the early findings of our downtown Ottawa action plan. Over the last few months, our OBOT economic development committee led by Hugh Gorman has been working with many key partners including the city, Ottawa Tourism, Invest Ottawa, OCOBIA, BOMA and the NCC, and have engaged the services of urban experts at the Canadian Urban institute. We have been convening with elected officials and staff at the federal government and local business leaders to discuss areas of collaboration and opportunity. We look forward to launching a campaign later this month and finalizing our action plan early next year. Meanwhile, we encourage you to keep supporting the downtown core as we transform it into a more diverse, resilient, and vibrant area.This work and other key advocacy and economic development work could not be done without the OBOT Pillar Partners. Thank you to our inaugural partners - Enbridge GasBDOMeridian Credit UnionColonnade Bridgeport, the National Capital Commission,  QuadReal Property GroupSunlife Financial Centre, and CF Rideau Centre for your leadership in our business community. We welcome new partners as we expand our efforts to create a competitive business environment and finetune our attention to key objectives like small business support, advancing high growth sectors and downtown transformation.Policy matters. The Ottawa Board of Trade was created to be the voice of business. Together, there is much we can do. Please join us as a member or pillar partner as we build up Ottawa today and for the next generation.Yours truly, SuelingSueling Ching | President & CEO | Ottawa Board of Trade