Mississauga Board of Trade: Building Mississauga’s business community
CBJ spoke to Sheldon Leiba, President and CEO, Mississauga Board of Trade, one of the country’s leading business communities Boards
What is the Mississauga Board of Trade’s mandate?
“Mississauga Board of Trade has really been very proactive in mobilizing the business community to help support Mississauga’s continued economic prosperity and quality of life. Our mandate is to represent and serve the interest of business in our community through advocating on policy issues at all levels of government impacting business, providing a variety of business programs and services that will help support development of business and individuals as well as to connect business in the community through various events.”
To what do you credit the Mississauga business community’s success?
“What many people don’t necessarily recognize is Mississauga is the sixth largest city in Canada, it’s also a very large diverse and thriving economic centre. We have over 50,000 businesses and over 60 Fortune 500 Canadian headquarters located in our city. It’s a significant business community in both in size and prominence. We are fortunate, I think, to be located next to Toronto and the largest airport in Canada, so our location is a great asset. We are accessible by air and land transportation systems (with the 400 series highways coming through the city) and we are also in close proximity to the U.S. border which presents a huge market for Canadian business. On top of that, we also have activity that has had excellent civic leadership particularly from the mayor for over 30 years, an individual that has been very pro-business in the sense that she has seen the importance of the correlation between a thriving economy and quality of life in the community.”
What is it specifically about the Mayoral leadership that has helped Mississauga?
“Our mayor has the ability to attract and retain quality business for our residence, quality business that will contribute to the local provincial and federal tax base and also a business community that gets involved in supporting community programs and initiatives through sponsorship and volunteerism.”
How do you envision the future of Mississauga?
“The population growth in Mississauga is starting to wind down, we are probably going to be approaching capacity within the next 10 years. I think the outlook for business in our community is very positive because we have attracted so many prominent businesses already that there is a great potential to really elevate business in Mississauga in what is an increasingly global and competitive economic environment. I think looking at the new emerging knowledge-based economy where Mississauga is going to be competing with other communities throughout the world shows we are at a great advantage because we have a lot of knowledge-based business already, and have the infrastructure to support them through the post-secondary system here at University of Toronto, Mississauga and Sheridan College’s campus in Mississauga. There is great synergies developed between our education system and providing the talents that businesses are going to need to sustain themselves and grow in the future.”