Author: Trevor McPherson MBOT President and CEO
This past year, the Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) celebrated 60 years of serving the business community in Canada’s sixth largest city. Throughout this time, our programs and services have continued to evolve to meet changing member needs and adapt to new delivery models. Never has this been truer than the experience of the past 21 months. While it has been an incredibly tough time for many businesses, I believe we have learned some important lessons that will serve us well going forward. The role of remote work, the importance of adaptability and contingency planning, and the how technology will continue to influence how we interact and achieve our business objectives- to name just a few.
Throughout much of 2020 and all of 2021, our number one priority was to make sure that MBOT did everything it could to assist our members and the broader business community with practical supports and critical advocacy efforts related to the impacts of the pandemic on businesses. To help keep workplaces both safe and open for business, we distributed over 220,000 rapid antigen screening kits to small and medium-sized businesses. We continue to provide this important service. An extensive Shop Local Mississauga campaign delivered in partnership with local BIAs and made possible with funding received from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce highlighted the importance of supporting local, as many restaurants, retailers, and tourism operators struggled to stay afloat. As the cover of this edition of CONNECT suggests, we are also facing a massive talent gap. MBOT is working with several partner organizations and over 50 CEOs that form the Mississauga Economic Recovery Group (MERG), to develop long-term solutions and policy recommendations that can help to address this unprecedented shortage of available labour.
As we begin a new year, the leadership at MBOT is focused on the renewal of the organization’s Strategic Plan. This will be an incredibly important endeavour at a time when change is constant, and uncertainty is the new normal. I am personally excited about the opportunity to engage with our members, future members, program partners, and diverse community stakeholders about what keeps them up at night and how MBOT can deliver optimum value. Success will mean that we have listened carefully to our diverse membership and produced a plan that is reflective of your needs. To be successful, we require your feedback and ideas. Join us as we embark on an exciting journey that builds on the contributions of so many individuals over our 60-year history and lays a foundation of business and economic leadership for years to come.