We are currently in the middle of small business week here in Edmonton. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is focusing this week on need to know information for small businesses seeking stability and prosperity in a rapidly changing marketplace. In the past, cross sector collaboration has not always taken place as communities deal with complex issues. However, the role that business can play in helping champion poverty alleviation cannot be underestimated. EndPovertyEdmonton knows that the business community has a critical role to play. In fact, if we want to reach our goal of ending poverty within a generation it will take the effort of the entire community.
Right now we are in the midst of our engagement of Edmontonians to hear what people think about our strategy to end poverty. (There are still opportunities available for people to attend open houses and to fill out our online survey). To date we have hosted over ten sessions and engaged with over 500 people in the process. There is no coincidence that our first engagement session was with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce on September 29th. Task Force member, Carman McNary, spoke eloquently to the group of 40 Chamber members about the role that businesses can play within the strategy. This week we will also be attending the small business mixer and tradeshow to talk with small business professionals about the strategy.
Within the strategy there are five priorities that we want to form strong partnerships with the business community on.
#6 Eliminate racism
#10 Advocate for livable incomes for Edmontonians
#15 Improve skills training to help people gain sustainable employment
#20 Grow social enterprises to build sustainable livelihoods and assets
#21 Invest in food security-orientated enterprises aimed at increasing food access and gainful employment.
When you look through the strategy, we encourage you to find ways that you can get involved in the implementation of the plan whether you are a small business, a community leader, a non-profit organization or a citizen who wants to make a difference.
And if you haven’t already shared your thoughts on the strategy with us, we would love to hear from you!