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The London Chamber of Commerce is proud to have worked hard throughout 2022 to develop policy and host events to further bolster the business communities position in the city. Not only do these efforts help the business community, they help London as a whole become a more sustainable, more welcoming and more efficient place to work and live. The following are just a few of the projects that we worked on in 2022.
Over the course of the year, the Chamber authored several policy papers and letters advocating on behalf of the business community. The London Chamber is a member of both the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and each year at their respective AGMs, chambers of commerce from across the network put forward policy papers for debate - which, if accepted, are then advocated for at the appropriate level of government.
The London Chamber of Commerce has always been a strong policy chamber in the network, and 2022 was no different. On the provincial front we put forward and passed 2 papers including one called “Supporting Ontario’s Achievement of 2030 emissions reduction target” and another entitled “Adopting principles in employment programs to assist the unskilled workforce.” On the federal level, we put forward and passed a paper entitled, “Making the green transition accessible for SMEs.”
In addition to these formal papers submitted to the chamber network, the London Chamber also engaged in several other more dynamic and local policy initiatives including a letter to Mayor and Council with recommendations for the municipal budget, a letter to Minister Freeland and campaign urging the government to pause the Excise Escalator Tax on alcohol in order to prevent unnecessary burden on our already-stressed tourism sector, and provided recommendations to the Ontario Government concerning portable benefits.
In early 2022, the Chamber worked alongside Green Economy London in order to develop an Emission Reduction Guide for London Businesses using information gathered from the Climate Emergency Action Plan created by the City. The Chamber also urged the City to pass the Plan through the draft phase, bringing it into effect in April of 2022. While the city has made progress to reduce its emissions, if the current plan is followed, we hope to see net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Our guideline not only shows how we will achieve this, but also the financial and environmental benefits that come with this effort.
Throughout 2022, the Chamber held a series of all candidates forums in order to give candidates a platform to share their views ahead of both the municipal and provincial elections. These events not only allowed the public to interact with their candidates, it also allowed the business community to directly ask questions to their potential representatives. Along with the all candidate forums, the Chamber also put together an election survey in order to gather information used to better understand the needs of businesses in London.
In partnership with The Achievement Center, the Chamber was also able to secure a grant through the City of London Community Recovery Network in order to offer a program designed to help businesses recover post-pandemic. Propel: Moving Business Forward, launched in July of 2022 as a series of workshops as well as coaching opportunities for small and medium businesses. The program was able to help over 40 businesses in the London area respond to economic hardships brought about by the pandemic.
The London Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all of the organizations that both took part in, and helped to offer these programs throughout the past year. We will reflect and build on the work that we have done throughout 2022 and we look forward to an equally productive 2023 with more events and advocacy in the near future.