The start of a new year is an opportunity to reflect back and look ahead. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams has been speaking to media about some of the experiences, challenges and opportunities facing business right now.
For example, the winter weather that blitzed Greater Victoria right before the holidays caused havoc for travellers but shoppers still found a way to get their gift buying done in time. Retailers reported a better than expected experience at their cash registers, though part of that seems to be an ongoing shift in consumer habits.
“They’re spending a little bit more but buying less. In other words, going for quality over quantity,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told CHEK News.
As well, news that Canada set a record for immigration numbers was welcomed by businesses that continue to face challenges finding and keeping workers.
Black Press highlighted The Chamber's efforts to encourage more new Canadians to settle in Greater Victoria, as well as faster approvals for skilled workers.
“They bring their skills but another really important element is they bring their culture,” Williams told the Victoria News. “The more opportunities we have to learn more about other cultures, the better we are.”
Doctors, tradespeople and hospitality workers are needed and our economy will immediately benefit from approving people with internationally obtained skills to work in their areas of expertise.
“The lack of recognition of those credentials is kind of counterproductive to bringing someone here (because of) those credentials if they can’t work,” Williams said.