The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce had two key policies passed at the B.C. Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting, with both having implications for business in this province and across Canada.
Nanaimo hosted the AGM May 23-25.
The first policy, written by Wally Wells, past chairman of the Nanaimo chamber, considered how infrastructure funding will play a critical role as much of the country’s infrastructure is nearing its lifespan. Wells’s report focused on how provincial and federal governments need to ensure funding is in place for future infrastructure improvements.
The second policy was based on succession planning for businesses. According to B.C. Chamber of Commerce statistics, 66 per cent of small and medium business owners are planing to retire in the next 10 years, yet only about 10 per cent have a succession plan in place. The Nanaimo chamber recommended that government expands its existing finance programs so that business owners can access funds for succession planning, and offer succession planning tax credits.
John Winter, president and CEO of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, said the Nanaimo chamber is taking a leadership role in bringing important issues to a provincial audience.
“Our efforts to ensure government acts on Nanaimo’s recommendations will be well served by the clear arguments and achievable recommendations it has presented and we look forward to continuing to work on these issues to ensure governments act quickly to address these important issues,” said Winter.
Susan Allen, CEO of the Nanaimo chamber, said passing the policies is a positive step but there is still a lot of work to do, especially with respect to succession planning, which will require the establishment of educational and awareness campaigns, training templates and a program to match students, immigrants, unemployed and local prospects to business owners who want to retire.
Chamber of commerce representatives from across the province took part in the AGM, working in several breakout groups to introduce and improve new policies that affect business and communities.