Economic Uncertainty Won’t Stop Business Growth
10 October 2013
While Canada’s economy can expect modest growth next year, its long-term prospects remain strong thanks to “tremendous opportunities” in the world’s developing markets, according to Scotiabank chief economist Warren Jestin. As a gateway to the Pacific Rim, he said Richmond and BC are well positioned to capitalize on those opportunities.
Jestin told a Richmond business audience Wednesday that the bank maintains a positive outlook in general for the global economy, despite the angst being created by the partial shutdown of the US government and fears of an impending default on its debt.
“The US is not going to default on its debt,” Jestin boldly predicted. “We will see an end to the political theatre in the next couple of weeks.”
Jestin maintained the US economy is enjoying a solid rebound and there’s too much at stake for warring political factions to allow the government to default on its debt. Jestin was one of two guest speakers who addressed an exclusive audience of Richmond business leaders at the City of Richmond’s second annual Business and Partner Appreciation event.
Fellow guest speaker, George Melville shared his business insights on how he and partner Jim Treliving overcame economic ups and downs as they built a single pizza franchise into an empire that includes retail, restaurant and real estate businesses generating revenues in excess of $1 billion annually. Melville is chairman and owner of Boston Pizza International Inc. Together with Treliving, he sets the corporate strategy for Boston Pizza and for several other businesses that form the T&M Group of Companies.
Melville said his company’s success was often tempered by global economic or taxation changes beyond their control. But he said the company overcame those challenges and has continued to grow and thrive by paying close attention to its three pillars of success: guest experience, brand and profitability. He urged businesses leaders in the crowd to continually work to stay connected with their customers and focus on building their company’s brand reputation by quickly and thoroughly addressing any customer concerns or complaints.
“Brand will carry you through any crisis,” advised Melville.
As host for the event, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie outlined the City’s initiatives in working to ensure Richmond continues to have a growing and prosperous economy.
“At the centre of current efforts is our new Resilient Economy Strategy which will focus on industry sectors and strategic areas that provide economic, environmental and/or social benefits,” said Mayor Brodie. “We are analyzing sectors that have strong potential for economic growth, that reduce our environmental footprint or can improve the quality of life for employees and residents through high-paying jobs or other benefits.”
The City’s annual Business and Partner Appreciation event provides an opportunity to strengthen ties among stakeholders with a joint interest in fostering economic development in Richmond. It is also an opportunity to recognize the corporate partners who’ve helped directly support City programs and events.