Since the Global Financial Crisis began, governments at all levels, in Canada and around the world, have been racking up huge debt levels to keep the economy going. Governments have, understandably given the circumstances, been cautious about new programs and increasing spending through this period. Unfortunately, many new businesses and industries are looking for support to get them through the period.

This has an effect on how industries have to approach government for this support. They have to be smarter, more creative and generally more prepared when presenting their case to Ministers or the public service.

Governments always want a win-win. If they are spending money on a new venture, they want a return on investment. These days governments think more in the short-term (a single election cycle) than the long-term, so the best way to present a case is to think like them.

Some questions to consider having answers for when you are meeting with a Government representative:

• What does the government get out of my proposal in the next few years?
• Does my proposal create jobs and improve the economy?
• Will any money spent by the government now be earned back? How long will it take?
• Is anyone else already doing what I want to do? Am I able to do it better or cheaper?

Governments don’t just think about money, but the last thing they want to be doing is adding to debt levels without a promise of return. Proposing win-win scenarios has always been an important part of effective government relations, but as government budgets are strained, it is important to think of the financial implications of your proposal.

Despite concerns about politicians only caring about the next election – that isn’t actually the case. They are conscious of good public policy decisions that are also good political decisions. If you can provide the government with one of these, then you’re well on your way to success.

Austerity hasn’t changed the government’s approach. Now, politicians are just interested in getting more done for less, something that makes sense in business and in politics.

At Broadview we can help you put together a government relations strategy that will emphasize your strengths and proposal. We pride ourselves on understanding the political and policy considerations that play a part in government decision making. Give us a call, and we can walk you through a comprehensive government relations strategy to help you achieve your goals.