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From the Desk of the CEO Jill Raycroft

We had perfect weather to welcome Santa in to town on Sunday - and it seems he's here to stay with all the upcoming events over the next few weeks!  Starting tonight, you should stop in to Quinte Floral for our first "cash mob" (that's a good thing) - where we have a little bit of time to show a lot of support for our fellow member AND local business!!!  From 4-6 pm - take advantage of pre-order specials and get your shopping started! Tonight only!

And next Wednesday, we hope you'll be coming to our "Meet the New Council" breakfast!  We only host this one every 4 years so it's not to be missed...  you'll have ample time to mingle before breakfast but it's also an opportunity to go on record with your needs from our municipal leaders.  After attending the Prime Minister's town hall here 2 years ago, I was struck by how many people wanted to share stories, concerns and maybe even accolades - and that was cut in half by his need to answer everyone's comment.  It seemed we could have had double the input if there hadn't been any output so that's how we'll finish off the morning.  Each councilor will have a brief opportunity to introduce themselves and provide their vision but then we'll turn it over to you.  We won't ask the new councilors to respond to your input or make any commitments on Wednesday but we will be making notes and this will give us some ideas how the Chamber can help support initiatives that support growth and prosperity in Belleville. 

We're on a roll right now - we want to capture that momentum and keep it going!  Come prepared with your "best/worst/keep it up or stop" recommendations and this will help us be your voice at City Hall.

I've also just finished my monthly Ontario Chamber network conference call and we're ramping up already for our AGM in May - where we deliberate the direction we want the OCC to take on behalf of business at Queen's Park.  While we have a government ready to say Ontario is "open for business" we also know they are facing a deficit they want to clean up and aren't likely going to be cutting revenue streams (aka taxes) anytime soon.  That said, we hope some of the initiatives repealed from Bill 148 with the third reading of Bill 47 today will help stabilize the forecast for business here and across the province and position everyone for healthy growth.  More on that soon with opportunities for you to share your needs from a provincial level with the deadline in February for policy resolutions.

There's always more to share but I appreciate your time to read this far - as always, the door to the Cabin is always open - come in and see me anytime!