MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (September 11, 2021)

Fortunate to have the opportunity to remember the victims of the September 11th terror attacks on air, alongside Elmer Kim and John Northcott.  On the 20th anniversary of the attacks that changed the world in many ways, this human tragedy is also a business story.  I recall the details of that day so clearly, and one of the things that I thought about was the many people who were simply going about their day to earn a living: the morning commute, getting a coffee, moments at their desk, greeting a colleague in the hallway, boardroom meetings “first thing”.  Others were travelling for work in the skies above; too many would not reach their destination.  As a career business person, I have done all of these things, often without a second thought.  How tragic it is that thousands of people would have these “normalcies” be the last moment of their lives.

September 11th gives me the feeling every year that the carefree days of Summer are gone in an instant, a door that slams shut with profound sadness.  We remember the victims today and every year on this day.

We also discussed the business news of the week, including Canadian economic developments and the global semiconductor chip shortage.

It is always positive to see the economy add jobs and beat expectations, however, given the realities of COVID19, it is difficult to know if this is merely a point on the curve or part of an overall growth trend.  The pandemic, unfortunately, continues to be very much a part of our communities and business environment, and as the Fall weather cools, the importance of taking recommended steps to combat COVID19 should not be lost.  Our economy is depending on Canadians to do the right things, to avoid cycling back to the days of business closures and other setbacks, as nobody wins when this happens.  Businesses are not measured by peaks and valleys, but rather, by the ability to survive over the long term; this is extremely difficult to achieve when the surrounding community is not healthy.

Related to this point, although it might sound like an obvious statement that companies need products and services to sell in order to be financially viable, the ability to do so in our current world is anything but a given.  Many companies are unable to get the materials that they need in order to manufacture products, with a prominent example being the semiconductor chip shortage,  This situation is multifaceted, as it is impacted by the high demand for technology, as well as geo-political and logistical factors.  Although not every situation can be resolved in the short term, business leaders need to bring creative solutions, as well as procurement options and strategies to manage customer expectations.  Having said that, the reality is that many consumers will simply have to wait until the shortage dissipates and expect to see higher prices, while businesses look for other options to resolve their own inevitable financial challenges.

Thank you for watching.  Today is a good day to do something to help others; we can all make a difference.

Jenifer Bartman
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