Business leaders weigh down their hopes for 2022

It has been a difficult year, although the word does not seem adequate to reflect the pain, stress, anxiety, and the almost constant flow of problems over the past 12 months.

As the COVID pandemic continues unabated in the background, Greater Victoria has suffered unprecedented heat, torrential rains and flooding, along with protests, blockades and protests of anger.

As we face 2022, we asked a selection of business leaders to give us some thoughts on the year almost behind us and the one to come.

We asked them to come up with a Christmas wish, a New Year’s resolution, an initiative, a project or a hope for their community, and what they would like to see on the region’s agenda in 2022.

Dan Gunn, Managing Director, VIATEC

“Our local tech sector had a remarkably strong year in 2021. It would have been considered exceptional even if we weren’t in a time of a pandemic. I can’t remember a time when we saw so much growth and so many successful fundraising rounds and significant acquisitions by and by local tech companies.

“Thanks to the cascading effects on just about everything that is caused by the pandemic, we see 2022 as a blank slate that will allow us to assess everything we do and how we do it. I hope everyone takes a moment to realize that the Etch-a-Sketch has been shaken up so much that we all have an opportunity for reinvention and improvement.

“It’s exciting to assess what we would do differently and to have the opportunity to introduce new priorities and approaches less cluttered by the habits and expectations of the past. Our mission to cultivate the most cohesive tech community in the world by providing resources to tackle shared opportunities and challenges while providing a sense of belonging and shaping our region will remain, but the way we do it is on the way. table. “

Jill Doucette, CEO, Entreprises Synergie

“As the mess of 2021 draws to a close, I reflected on the challenges small businesses face and their resilience. In 2022, I hope we build on creativity and innovation to support entrepreneurship, the arts and small businesses. “

“Let’s create more spaces for creators, allow more small businesses and home businesses to thrive. Let’s support local businesses that are taking the plunge to do things differently. Let’s support the innovators, the fearless and the backbone of our economy – our small businesses.

Reid James, General Manager, Grand Pacific Hotel

Reid James says his hope for 2022 may seem obvious – less disease. His other hope is linked: that tourism revenues return to the island, as well as the necessary labor.

Casey Edge, Executive Director, Victoria Residential Builders

“The prevailing reality of the past year has been record housing stock, high demand and record prices.

“[New housing] supply might be available, but dust is accumulating in glacier-pace development permitting processes in many municipalities. Our hope for the New Year is that the BC government will begin supporting Millennial families by holding municipalities accountable for the blockage of housing supply.

“Additionally, millennials can empower their local councils by voting for candidates who genuinely support housing and administrative efficiency in the October 2022 municipal election.

“Finally, we hope that Santa Claus brings a new LRT train to the Langford-Colwood twins, as they have done most of the family housework for the other 11 children at CRD. “

Marci Hotsenpiller, Founder, RITUAL Nordic Spa

“After a year with so much fear of illness and getting sick, our wishlist for 2022 would include a host of new and innovative ways to ensure that workers – both frontline workers and workers of all days – receive support to stay healthy. At the provincial level, we applaud the new sick leave policy in British Columbia, but would like to see these costs shared by the government so that small businesses are not overburdened.

“Socially, we are seeing a more open conversation about mental health, which is a starting point for reducing the stigma surrounding mental wellness.

“From a business perspective, encouraging employees to feel good and stay healthy, both physically and mentally, may become a higher priority for employers.

“At the civic level, with more and more research showing that time spent in nature or in parks can boost the immune system and overall well-being, the design of our city in downtown Victoria might work to forcing developers to add more green spaces to new condo towers under construction downtown.

“At the community level, the wave of local interest in cold water swimming and welcoming communities of ocean swimmers that have sprung up in Victoria in recent years has shown a hopeful energy among residents taking their well-being. hand. May this energy grow and continue into the New Year.

Jeff Bray, Managing Director, Downtown Victoria Business Association

“For 2022, the DVBA would like to see the city provide real-time parking information for city-owned parking lots. This would make it easier for visitors to find out where there is parking and get there directly. It would improve the experience for people visiting downtown.

Ian Robertson, Director General, Greater Victoria Port Authority

“My wish for all is health, happiness and a day when we can throw off the masks and see everyone’s faces again. “

John Wilson, Managing Director, Wilson’s Transportation

“My wish for our community is to be safe and to feel safe.

“To be healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally. These difficult times have affected us all. It is important that we take care of all aspects of our health and the health of those around us. And to be happy, whatever happiness looks and feels for you and your loved ones.

“We still have a long way to go and it is important that we continue to support each other. Together we will go through another year where the only thing that seems certain is the uncertainty itself. “

Paul Nursey, Managing Director, Destination Greater Victoria

“On the region’s program for next year and the years to come, the emphasis would be on the renewal of infrastructure.

“This is a growing region for residents and the visitor economy will come back stronger than ever over the next two years. It is important to have the Belleville [Street International Marine Transportation] Terminal project on the other side of the line, work on integrated public transport solutions such as light rail and we will continue our research on the medium and long term need for renewal of the downtown conference center, as we demonstrated before COVID-19 that we can sell this and we refuse vital and lucrative meetings and conferences.

“Therefore, if Santa Claus can focus on infrastructure renewal, that would be greatly appreciated by our industry. “

Al Hasham, Managing Director, Maximum Express Courier

Al Hasham has a few wishes in mind, ranging from the disappearance of COVID to the council of Victoria taking on a very different look after the next election, with “smart, down-to-earth, business-minded people” and red tape being replaced with swift procedures and profitable. decision making at council tables.

“I wish everyone a less COVID, better, successful, harmonized and collaborative year 2022.

“Let’s work together to help each other and make our community and region the best place in the world to work, play and live.

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