New Westminster Chamber of Commerce talking biz with the mayor

Mayor Jonathan Cote is tuning into to the concerns of the local business community.

Rnold Smith, CEO of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, said Cote has agreed to speak with the New West business community at its virtual Lunch and Learn event on Wednesday, April 1.

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“The chamber has been hosting a virtual business mastermind since early January for all businesses in New West. Some of the topics have included creating online sales funnels, selling to government, writing business plans and harnessing virtual assistants,” Smith said in an email to the Record. “For the past two weeks we have been focusing on helping businesses understand and access resources, and are now pivoting a give local officials a forum to have live conversations with local businesses so they can hear about their needs and concerns.”

Smith said Cote is the first leader to step up and give his time to the community through the weekly events, but he expects more to follow.  This week’s Lunch and Learn event is a business-focused conversation about initiatives the city has implemented to help the local business community survive.

The one-hour call, which will take place on April 1 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., is open to members of the New West business community. To register, go to

Due to the shutdown of live events because of COVID-19, the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce is expanding its virtual offerings in the coming weeks. Some topics being explored include: an innovation series – helping businesses adapt to the new environment; an opportunity series – helping to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic will change the economic landscape and reflect on what that means for business; a mental health series – helping business leaders and their employees manage worry, anxiety and stress; and virtual networking events – providing opportunities for businesses to connect and support each other.

“We recognize that most businesses are currently in crisis mode and we are doing what we can to help,” Smith said. “We are also attempting to look ahead at the coming weeks and months and help facilitate business operations.”

Smith said the chamber of commerce is continuing to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on business so the government gets up-to-date information.

“In collaboration with the BC Chamber and others, they are planning to check in with business two times per month,” he said. “This survey closes April 1, and we need at least 60 respondents from New West in order to get localized results.”

To complete the “pulse check survey” by tomorrow’s deadline, go to


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