Taking policy to new heights

Taking policy to new heights

< Back to Articles | Topics: Working for you | Contributors: Emily Bednarz

This past October, the Chamber team was happy to welcome Nick Cunningham to the team as Policy Analyst. Nick brings a wealth of knowledge and a passion for advocacy to the Chamber community. We sat down with Nick to learn more about the impact he aims to make on behalf of our members.

Tell us about your background and how you came to the Halifax Chamber.

I studied Economics at the University of St. Mary’s here in Halifax with a focus on Labour and Health Economics. My first opportunity after my studies was with the Halifax Partnership attracting prospective businesses to Halifax. This was the beginning of my career working to support and grow the business sector in Nova Scotia. Following the Partnership, I worked as the Nova Scotia Policy Analyst for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA), which ultimately led me to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

How does policy inspire you and your work?

What inspires me about policy is having the opportunity to make changes for the betterment of the community where I’m living. I love solving problems, and so it’s exciting to have a hand in addressing problems that are directly impacting the people I interact and live with. I’m a strong believer that a robust local economy is key to addressing deeper social issues and improving the quality of life for everyone.

What kind of impact have you seen policy make?

I think I’ve seen both sides of the coin when it comes to policy. I’ve seen antiquated policies that have caused unnecessary hardship on businesses and have also seen progressive policies that have had direct benefits to peoples’ lives.

It can sometimes be a battle trying to figure out the best policy approach to solving systemic issues. However, I believe that overall, people want things to be better. If we can all agree on that, it’s a starting point to build out the best possible landscape for businesses to succeed and for the community to thrive.

What are you hoping to learn at the Chamber?

There’s a lot to learn for sure. As the Chamber, we have a lot of members in a wide range of industries with sometimes siloed or overlapping issues. Ideally, I’m hoping to learn the most efficient way to address both.

What questions would you like to ask our members?

I would be interested in finding out what our members envision for not only their own business or industry, but for the community as well. We have seen social issues like affordable housing have direct impacts on the success of the business community.

The Chamber has over 1,850 members. Collectively, that’s a lot of knowledge relating to not only the problems within their respective industries, but also ideas to address social issues within the community they are a part of. I’m a strong believer in listening to the experiences of those with boots on the ground. The more information and collaboration we gather, the quicker we can find solutions to improve the quality of life for everyone in Halifax.

What issues is your business currently facing? Are there social causes you would like to see brought to the forefront? Reach out to Nick at:

nicholas@halifaxchamber.com

< Back to Articles | Topics: Working for you

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