March 20, 2020 – Abbotsford, BC
Two New Words…
If you have been following these messages or heard me speak at our Chamber events, you will likely know by now that there are two words I have been emphasizing during my term as Chamber President: relevancy and vibrancy. Topics and events should be relevant to our community’s and members’ needs, and we need an increased level of vibrancy demonstrated in our communication and engagement with our businesses.
I have been reflecting more than usual these past few days, as I’m sure many of you have, as we watch the world spiraling around us. I have been heart broken as I have witnessed and watched many businesses in our community struggling or closing indefinitely. The world that many thought they knew and somewhat controlled is now unsettled. So how do I incorporate these words at a time such as this? They hardly seem appropriate given our situation. Although these words will not depart from our goals and strategic plan for the Chamber, there are two new words I feel compelled to share…they are courage and encouragement.
It is often said, “with risk comes reward”. This can be true. Our business leaders have taken risks. But their risks and rewards are much greater. They create jobs, support families, and provide to social systems through taxes. They breed creativity and innovation. Right now, they are being asked to dig deeper than anyone on your behalf. To continue to have courage in these unsettling times.
Then there is encouragement – Our businesses need our support. They’ve had to face employees to tell them their hours are being reduced, are temporarily out of work, or maybe even no longer have jobs, all while facing their own personal financial jeopardies. They need our encouragement. They need to hear from us that when, and not if, this is over, we are going to go to and support their businesses more than ever before. We are going to use this time to be in touch with the businesses in our community and research their needs, so if that we haven’t already, we can be there for them when they re-open.
To all Abbotsford businesses, we applaud you. Our Chamber is encouraging and cheering you on. Keep the course, we are here with you. We will continue to be your voice for business. We encourage you to share your concerns and questions via http://www.bcchamber.org/bcmindreader and reach out to our office by email email@example.com or phone 604-859-9651.
Melinda Friesen, President
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce