Businesses meet to shape city's economy

Hamilton Economic Summit brings local businesses together this Thursday.

Hamilton's economic summit set to tackle role in region

It's where the head honchos of Hamilton's largest companies and local small business owners get the unlikely chance to rub shoulders.

The city's annual economic summit happens Thursday at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

The day-long summit gives local business leaders a chance to attend information sessions and talk about Hamilton's economic future.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the summit and will tackle Hamilton's role in the regional economy.

"For a long time, [Hamilton's economy] was based on manufacturing and now we've added sectors like health sciences and education," said David Adames, president and CEO of Hamilton's Chamber of Commerce.

"We wanted to have a discussion about how do we think about the diverse nature of our economy and leverage other assets and move it forward," said Adames.

Adames and his committee have added three new opportunities to this year's summit — a coordinated networking lunch, a sales coach to lead sessions throughout the day and a score card of new initiatives.

At the end of each session, participants will be asked to write down their priorities for the Chamber of Commerce on their scorecards.

Based on consensus, Adames said, the Chamber of Commerce plans to pursue three to five of the priorities over the course of the year.

While the formal agenda is important, panel facilitator Keanin Loomis says it's the accidental collisions between Hamilton's diverse business leaders that make the day.

"This is the only time of year all these people get together in the same room," Loomis said. "I hope to see people talking in between sessions. … Things will get advanced there."