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Remove barriers to drive business growth, Edmonton and Calgary Chambers advise next Alberta government

Calgary Edmonton Chamber of Commerce    Lake Superior News
#LSN_Econ  Calgary Edmonton Chamber

CALGARY, ALBERTA  -  March 22, 2019  (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)  (LSN)  Alberta’s next government must act immediately to reduce business costs and regulatory burdens that are limiting economic growth and community prosperity, say Chambers of Commerce representing the province’s two largest cities.

The Calgary and Edmonton Chambers are aligning advocacy efforts during the 2019 Alberta Election and urging all parties to spell out how they will establish trust with the business community and build a business environment that will support market and job growth.

“Both cities offer what should be among the greatest places in North America to operate a thriving business,” said Sandip Lalli, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber. “Businesses want to grow, however our competitive advantages continue to be challenged by layered costs from increased taxes, fees and expensive new regulations from all levels of government.”

Edmonton Chamber President and CEO Janet Riopel said the impacts of the rushed increase to the minimum wage, higher corporate taxes, the introduction of a carbon tax and new employment standards and labour code changes have impacted competitiveness and resulted in business closures and job losses.

“Many Edmonton businesses have been pushed to the breaking point,” said Riopel. “While economic forecasters and politicians keep saying the economic downturn is behind us, sadly that is not what we are hearing from our members. We talk to business owners and operators every day and they tell us that the struggle continues.”

As a result, households are struggling to find work, pay rent and mortgages, and maintain a quality of life they have worked hard to achieve, said Lalli.

“Once known as a province where risks were often rewarded, many investors now see Alberta as too risky,” said Lalli. “As a result, companies are investing outside of Alberta, capital budgets are shrinking and sadly, businesses are closing, and people are losing their jobs.

“But there is a path forward, there are opportunities to invest in Alberta, and with a more certain and competitive cost and policy environment both cities are ready to get moving and get moving quickly.”

“The business community is watching and analyzing the platform positions of each party. We need to understand how the next government will boost our competitiveness and grow our economy,” added Riopel.



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