Monday, we were joined by the CEO and president of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of commerce, Rakesh Naidu! During his virtual visit, Rakesh explained what's happening surrounding Windsor's business community and how the Windsor-Regional Chamber of Commerce supports its members.

In the early days, no one really understood what the impact would be on the global economy. To date, the global economy has lost around 3.9 trillion dollars – that's 5x more than what was predicted.

There are currently three areas of concern for the global economy.

  1. Global recession
  2. Wide-scale business failure
  3. Solvency

The big question for Windsorites and chamber members alike is what are we experiencing in Ontario, Windsor-Essex and Sarnia?

A survey indicated that Windsor residents still have a lot of confidence in the future of Windsor! The majority of business owners believe they're in the right place and have hope for the future here.

Next, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce reached out to their members to see how they managed the pandemic and how the Chamber could offer support. They learned that 83% of businesses have reopened and many members feel supported and satisfied with their membership.

Advocacy is most important to the membership – the Chamber takes great pride in being the business community's voice and knows the importance of businesses being heard locally, provincially and federally.

Networking is one benefit of joining the Chamber. However, since covid, they have adapted to virtual events but are exploring other options. Additionally, the Chamber has been involved in discussions and round tables about different financial relief initiatives, including assistance for students, CEBA, rent relief and many more.  

Nationally and locally, many programs have been introduced to show support for small and medium businesses, including a national Support Local Campaign called Canada United. Through this program, over 12 million dollars was offered to small businesses. Grants up to $5,000 were made available to small businesses to meet local health and safety.

Locally the SHOPYQG initiative gained momentum and seen over 12,000 entries for a weekly giveaway to support local business. The Chamber has incorporated new affinity programs and member to member deals.

Looking ahead, there's a sense of optimism in terms of what we see globally and locally. There is light at the end of the tunnel, with billions of dollars being invested in Windsor and Oakville that will help to bring in more employees and sustain businesses.

During the Monday meeting, past president Gord Faas also presented the first Peace Chain award to Bob Cameron for his commitment to improve and strengthen the local community! Congratulations Bob!