This past year has marked immense challenges for many job creators. Much of the year was defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdown and reopening of the economy. This added to the already challenging situation resulting from the impact of a global oil price war, blockades and disruptions at the start of the year. Nonetheless, there are many lessons to be learned from 2020 that need to be applied to the year to come. We can’t assume to know what this next year will bring, but resilience is key to recovery.
When other jurisdictions were locking down their economies, Alberta remained relatively open. While challenges persist, the continuity of “open” signs and responsible workplace re-openings mean that many businesses and the employees that depend on them are not facing the immense uncertainty seen in many other jurisdictions.
There is more than a glimmer of hope in recent Statistics Canada figures that more businesses are opening than closing in our province, putting Alberta among the highest in Canada with a net gain of over 400.
That’s promising, but there’s more work to do.
Its imperative that all stakeholders get productive. This includes all governments and opposition parties, as well as businesses and employees. For employees, this includes those who are unionized and those who are not, those who work in the public sector and those who are in the private.
If we are to bring more prosperity to Alberta, we need to constructively challenge each other with a goal of advancing our province and our place in the world. Competition is no longer local, and we need Alberta to be globally competitive.
This will take more than just government. We are competing globally and need all parties on the same page.
All stakeholders, and more importantly all Albertans, need to stop whining and fighting with each other and get productive. Like a family or a business, we have to do this so we can be stronger together.
It is up to all of us as individuals and business leaders to remain level-headed, focused on making things better and set an example. We should expect the same from all levels of government – remember, government is just one player in all of this.
We don’t expect this trend to end, and we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet. We need to continue to support Alberta businesses in the years to come, to ensure that they continue being part of our communities and can continue being local employers. It’s about more than procuring goods and services, it’s a vote of confidence in our local economy, and much-needed support for those who work there and the families that depend on them.
Businesses have been leaders in the past and coming out of 2020 we’re going to need to be leaders into the future.
Alberta’s can-do spirit, the entrepreneurial attitude that made this the envy of other provinces was a key driver of our success and resilience in the past. As we continue economic recovery and the adjustment to a world where coronavirus needs to be responsibly managed, that same can-do spirit is key to our future. That spirit begins by getting along and working together.