Welcome to the July/August issue of Business Voice

My fingers rest on the keyboard as I ponder a world upended in the blink of an eye. We stand in a time when history is being written. This global pandemic with its comprehensive catastrophic reach is being studied with vigour; vulnerabilities intensely addressed at policy tables, and emerging opportunities stealthily pursued. A time of great change is upon us.

Disruption is significant, and competition will be fierce. Resources will increasingly be challenged, and difficult decisions rendered.  Facts will demand critical analysis, and meaningful collaboration will be highly valued. Courage is paramount. Principled leadership essential.

“Through recovery to thriving” is not idealistic thinking at our Chamber. It is a call to action to re-imagine, regroup and revitalize with integrity, ingenuity and courage. It will be more easily embraced within cultures replete with shared values, a clear vision and a strong drive to purpose and success. This is the commitment of YOUR Chamber. It exists because of you, and for you.

The stories of heroism are born in such times as these. Leadership has never been more important, and at our Chamber I see it in action daily – in our dedicated and engaged Board of Directors; our talented, competent staff driven by purpose to serve you; through our many intelligent business and community leaders, and from our passionate government officials who work tirelessly with us to ensure a stable foundation from which economic recovery is not only possible, but probable. And, within you, our valued members who demonstrate courage, generosity, ingenuity, determination, resilience and, unquestionably, a purpose to serve, I thank you. Our members, through this harrowing time, epitomize that which we know to be true:  Business Community is Community!

The Saskatoon Chamber is this city’s official Board of Trade, since 1903. For the Chambers of Commerce, this means we represent all businesses, and not just one sector. We work together as Chambers of Commerce to build capacity for advocacy on issues critical for your success municipally, provincially, nationally and internationally.  In Saskatoon, we work with our valued and respected NSBA, WESK, business improvement districts and other organizations and industry associations toward matters important to all our business community, appreciating that in our respective uniqueness we are stronger together. We exist to build for and with you a strong, responsible, accountable and healthy business environment from which our community can prosper.

Resilience is an essential character trait of the business community, and we walk this journey together with you. This issue of Business Voice embraces the essence of “pivot”. Amongst other changes you have and will experience with us, this one is a clear message that your safety is paramount, as we deliver to you valued information for your reflection and success. We hope you enjoy our very first full on-line issue. This does not preclude a future printed version; just not now. As we transition to our Chamber office, watch for our upcoming hybrid events, being designed to ensure your safety, engagement and enjoyment. We are excited to work with our new Operational Committees as we engage with members and message:  “Keep safe. Live life!”

I hope you will find, as I did, within the pages of this magazine that which inspires you to reflect, and build renewed resolve. Our featured stories affirm that success is being realized.

I encourage you to value and cultivate diverse intelligence, cultures and opinions; embrace discomfort, but not to get paralyzed by it; nurture a culture of critical and innovative thinking, and explore opportunities, perhaps even when it seems counter-intuitive.

The world has changed. We walk it with you.

Silvia Martini,

Interim CEO,

Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce