Why business advocacy matters

James
James McLeod
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Board of Trade chairman Derek Sullivan made his case Tuesday afternoon for why business advocacy is important, and what he's been doing on that front.

Speaking at the Northeast Avalon Rotary Club luncheon, Sullivan explained that advocating for business is about advocating for a stronger community.

Board of Trade chairman Derek Sullivan addresses a Northeast Avalon Rotary Club luncheon Tuesday. Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Board of Trade chairman Derek Sullivan made his case Tuesday afternoon for why business advocacy is important, and what he's been doing on that front.

Speaking at the Northwest Avalon Rotary Club luncheon, Sullivan explained that advocating for business is about advocating for a stronger community.

"Business advocacy is sometimes not well understood," he said. "Successful businesses have a great impact on the community."

The Board of Trade has been very active bending the ear of government, especially on their centerpiece issues of Marine Atlantic service and municipal development in St. John's.

On Marine Atlantic, Sullivan said the board has recently scored a major coup; thanks in part to its lobbying efforts, the federal government has announced more than $500 million in investment for new ferries and upgrades at ferry terminals.

Specifically, Sullivan said the board has tried to make the conversation about the $10-billion economic corridor that Marine Atlantic represents, and how strong ferry service is of national importance - not just a regional issue.

During the speech, Sullivan gave Rotarians a sneak peek of the Board of Trade's bi-annual business survey.

The results thus far indicate businesses in the capital city overwhelmingly see the economic situation as "good" or "excellent" and at the same time, businesses see things getting better and better.

Sullivan said that kind of prosperity needs to be harnessed, and the city needs to plan its future development and take action.

"There is a time for planning, and that time for planning is now," he said. "We have our offshore oil revenues, so this is the time to be making the key investments, diversifying our economy and building up our infrastructure."

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Marine Atlantic, Board of Trade, Northwest Avalon Rotary Club

Geographic location: St. John's

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