Campaign week one is done, and what a week!
When I was the CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, my mission was to represent all businesses and all communities – but to always lift the voices that sometimes get drowned out.
That’s why I wanted to send a signal in the first week of this campaign by focussing on women, my friends in northern BC, and business owners in the hospitality and visitor economy sectors.
This week at The Forum we locked-in an exciting strategic plan for the year ahead so we can continue to deliver above-and-beyond in our mission to “leave no woman behind”. We know this pandemic has had a disproportional hit on women and women-led businesses, and our programs this year will support women in creating and growing a thriving path forward, with a goal of reaching over 45,000 across Canada.
Northern BC and our interior often get left behind even though they drive an outsized part of our provincial GDP with their low-carbon-advantage natural resources. Spending time with mayors in the northeast reminds me of the urgent attention BC must pay to their healthcare and transportation needs. But we also need to rethink how we engaged and listen to our northern communities.
If you love visiting friends + family across BC then you are a part of the Visitor Economy. An undervalued economic powerhouse that is diverse as the 87 ridings in this beautiful place we call home. Great roundtable this morning, thank you! #BCTourismCounts pic.twitter.com/CZgPe8KSFR— Val Litwin (@vlitwin) June 24, 2021
The tourism and hospitality were first and hardest hit during this pandemic – and while I know those sectors will thrive when visitors return, BC must ensure they survive until then. BC’s tourism attractions aren’t just for international visitors – locals love going to their Global Geo Park in Tumbler Ridge or their Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish. These businesses are often the hearts and souls of our communities – and this sector also drives over $6B in wages annually here in BC.
It was an honour to crisscross the province this week – I’m looking forward to getting out there in person next.