Thinking back over my nearly full year so far as president of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, I can’t help but reflect on how this past year will probably go down in infamy for so many of us.
While the unexpected challenges of this past year have put many of us into unfortunate positions including regrettable scenarios where some folks have had to close, many of us have also had the privilege of using the pressure as a catalyst for growth. This has led to some incredible experiences for us all in terms of meeting new people, challenging old ways of thinking and operating, and the way we collaborate as a community and network of Chamber members.
There is one thing I’ve really, really missed, though.
For nearly one hundred years now, live events have been a cornerstone of how the Chamber creates value for its members, and the past couple of years have created a significant gap in that space. Quarantine measures have diminished our ability to produce live events, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that absence. As much as we’re all business people, we are people first and above all, and we value opportunities to connect in person and in real-time.
That’s why I’m so excited that the Oshawa Chamber is taking a leading stance in bringing back a roster of scheduled live events, starting with our November 16th breakfast meet-up, The New Workplace – Moving Beyond COVID and including our much-anticipated Business Excellence Awards on December 2nd. (You can register for both events now on our website.)
As a board of directors, we’ve discussed at length the safety and public health elements of getting back to live events. Here’s where we’ve landed in our discussions: Given how the Province has provided sufficient guidelines and infrastructure for these venues to get back to business as close to normal as possible, we are compelled as peers and business leaders to be among the first to encourage all of you to occupy these spaces and support these businesses.
It’s clear that we may never fully return to “normal,” but we can all agree to make the best of what we’ve got and make an effort to get together in person again. As members of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, we are all each other’s greatest resources and allies in the business world.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to start seeing you all in person as the Chamber gets back to creating more opportunities for you to grow and thrive.