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OCC Membership is worth the price

June 11, 2014 - All News

During our last AGM, our members asked about our relationship with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce – OCC. I agreed to report on this and decided to provide this report after our 2014 OCC AGM. If you haven’t visited OCC’s web site found at http://www.occ.ca   then spend some time as you read my article.

 
On May 1 – 4 this year, we met in Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario. And you bet, there still was snow on the ground and the weather was daunting. None the less, most Ontario Boards of Trade and Chambers of Commerce met for 3 days; within an environment of warmth and positivity.
 
Already, OCC’s web site is talking about our 2015 AGM to be held in Cornwall, Ontario   http://www.occ.ca/event/agm-convention/
 
OCC CEO, Mr. Allan O’Dette and team reported on OCC’s ‘Emerging Stronger 2014 document’ and presented our ‘2013 – 2014 Policy Report Card’. These can be found at: http://www.occ.ca/emergingstronger/    and http://www.occ.ca/policy/from-our-perspective-ontario-business-policies-2011-2012/
 
It’s important that you have a look at other OCC advocacy efforts found at http://www.occ.ca/advocacy/ because I am going to answer the question many ask; ‘is BBoT’s OCC membership worth the cost and how does it provide value to our members’?
 
Let’s begin with policy and advocacy; one of BBoT’s key pillars. This year, Ontario Chambers and Boards of Trade brought 35 resolutions to the floor to debate and vote.
 
Resolution # 29, was ours; ‘Developing a Single Transportation Authority in the GTHA’. BBoT resubmitted this sunsetting resolution and in doing so, I proudly explained, defended and solicited support. We argued that a single Transit Authority can better deliver and manage public transportation because it will consider local and provincial priorities.
 
Our resolution received a unanimous vote result and accordingly, OCC will continue to bring this forward to local and provincial governments for action. Future economic development depends on efficient planning and use of quality, multimodal transportations services. A business consideration in which BBoT has recently been involved. You will recall that BBoT’s policy effort has created a policy concerning the ‘Hurontario-Main LRT Project’. 
 
Many would say that OCC’s policy activities, focused on driving our economy forward, is the most important role that OCC has. And that our absence would mean BBoT’s voice would be limited to our local geography. I agree.
 
However, while a full day is dedicated to policy at every AGM, there are a number of other essential benefits to being a member of the OCC. There are work shops with subjects that range from ‘driving local membership’ to ‘what is working in your region that we all can learn from.’
 
CEO’s have quiet one- on-one meetings to explore the best way to solve business challenges. As well, I spent time with MBoT to discuss potential benefits of crafting a ‘regional relationship’ that would allow both organizations to deliver on common objectives while exploring operational efficiencies resulting in potential cost take outs.
 
To be sure, our BBoT is an essential organization that is about ideas that helps to shape our local economy and grow our member businesses. BBoT’s AGM last week thanked the countless number of past Presidents and Business People of the Year; who contributed their time to helping our BBoT accomplish our objectives.
 
BBoT business goals and objectives are grown at the Board of Director level and executed by the CEO – who further shapes them in ways that provide results.
 
Membership in OCC provides a window to BBoT in ways that allows us to measure, compare and contribute to parallel efforts of all Chambers of Commerce and Board of Trade. In this regard, OCC has prepared a number of research papers and taken positions that our BBoT feels is essential and correct.
 
The value proposition for OCC is identical to ours. Until you are a member and you show up to participate and volunteer in areas important to your business, your business will stand alone and may not be aware of what is happening in other Ontario cities.
 
BBoT does receive value from our OCC membership and I submit, it is an activity that I thoroughly enjoy.
 
Take some time and check out OCC’s web site — have a look at Resolution #29 –BBoT in action.

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