The GBCC has accomplished much during this past year, and we recognize that addressing the evolving demographic changes in our region is fundamental to the growth and sustainability of our Members. Creating an environment that engages members strengths to support the wide spectrum of expertise in our region. Strengthening our organization is a key factor in the prosperity of the Chaleur region. One of these key initiatives is the Business Immigrant Mentorship Program.
The first round of the program proved very successful, aiding to foster the creation of new businesses in our region. I am also happy to report that at least 10 business-oriented new arrivals have eagerly signed up to take part in the second round of the program. BIMP is Provincial Government funded initiative and managed by our Chamber of Commerce.
This past year we have facilitated and jointly organized numerous Business Breakfasts, Lunch and Learn events, and several 5 to 7 business networking events. The purpose of these activities is; to facilitate business and social contact among members of the Chamber; and to communicate topical information on subjects of interest. These are our objectives.
As a result of these events, we are able to stay informed of what changes are taking place and to plan for the future. Change is upon us, the closure of Brunswick Mine will have a tremendous impact on our communities but we have the ability to guide that change.
It is now paramount to set sustainable initiatives; to establish a multi-year strategic plan to advance our region's ability to attract, retain, and grow jobs; to bolster economic growth through initiatives that support a competitive business climate.
The Greater Bathurst area has the ability and expertise to create self-sustainability through diversification. Tap into your resources and your business neighbours. Promote the mind set of buying local; shopping local and hiring local - we will prosper in doing so.
If by chance you can’t find the product or service you are looking for locally, you may want to entertain the idea of diversifying your own enterprise. What any community needs to be sustainable is export, whether it be export of a product or services, it means new money coming into the community. It has been proven by some of our members that they can expand their business out into other regions and still maintain their base of operations here. The region is rich in expertise in a great number of areas, we have the history that proves we can supply to industry with exacting standards, we need to capitalize on this expertise and reach out more to other regions for customers.
The message is clear we must work together; the time for action is upon us. This mindset will advance and promote the economic, industrial, commercial, professional, cultural and civic welfare of our region. It is sure to improve the business climate and make this community more prosperous, more ecologically attractive and more desirable as a place to work, live, and shop.
The Greater Bathurst Chamber of Commerce will strive to uphold its Mission and work to achieve its Vision throughout the year ahead; but you, our business community are the foundation upon which we guide our initiatives – your achievements are our success and with perseverance we WILL continue to succeed.
Our membership has once again grown this year, and as our numbers get stronger so will our influence; so I encourage you to spread the word ask a colleague to join the GBCC.
Your President, Bernie Cormier