The Importance of Advocacy
For businesses on the Saanich Peninsula the policies, bylaws, and ideas of our local councils have a massive affect on us. Sometimes they align with a healthy atmosphere for businesses but sometimes they don’t.
Business owners do not have the time to track what is happening in our local municipalities because they are focused on launching, growing, and running their businesses. Local business is one of the key components of a vibrant community in our municipalities, providing many of the essential and non essential services that make out communities livable and enjoyable. The benefits that a healthy local business economy creates for local residents are often unknown or under appreciated without advocacy.
Being a member of the chamber ensures you have a larger voice on local policy. We survey our members to identify the challenges they are facing in current business markets, consolidate our findings, and work on our members behalf to advocate for change in local policies that matter most.
The Chamber is the only non government funded organization that is involved in advocating for business needs to the local municipalities. We are a member driven organization that is funded by our membership to work on their behalf to promote a healthy business climate in our region. Our job is to ensure that local governments take local businesses and the economy they create into account when making decisions.
The Value Behind Business Advocacy
Effective advocacy with municipal governments is difficult for small businesses to do. Only large organizations have the resources to maintain the effort and relationship building that is needed. Small businesses often don’t have those kinds of established resources and power.
Advocacy requires long roots. For instance, a new business owner who is having challenges with zoning bylaws may not have the same relationship established with the municipalities that the chamber may have. Advocating for our members in an issue like that can be invaluable to an individual member, especially if we’re able to affect positive change for them.
Advocacy Is Required To Change Public Policy
Businesses serve the public and contribute to the identity of our communities. From delivering services, responding to needs, to creating new opportunities that assist individuals, businesses help communities to thrive. The chamber is focused on our missions, our work can be hindered by public policies. So local businesses must also advocate. Advocating for good public policy is a way to tackle larger systemic forces.
Advocacy Helps Meet Your Goals
Public policy can create barriers to getting your work done, such as making it difficult to secure resources and space for programming, connect community members to opportunities, ensure a workforce, or protect their health and well-being. Advocacy is a way to present sustainable solutions, express concerns, influence decisions, create access, defend, promote and make changes so your business can get work done, and serve our community.
Advocacy Empowers Communities
Chambers are an important bridge, connecting governments to the people and businesses affected by government policy. Businesses that work to meet your goals gives your community culture, community connections and subject expertise. We can convene and channel business concerns, lived experiences and grounded ideas to the government. The act of advocacy itself creates connections, and increases engagement and opportunities among community- builders and strengthens the business sector and the surrounding community.
Public Policy Impacts Your Business.
How your business goes about its work, what you can do as a business operating locally, and how you do it can all be affected by local policy. Whether you are a small business or a large one, your operations can be greatly affected by policies that you may not have been aware of, or may not be aware are being changed. We are watching and tracking local councils as they discuss policies that affect our membership and the business community as a whole on the Saanich Peninsula.