Monthly Archives August 2020

Please join us in welcoming Rustic Scoops Ice Cream Bar to the chamber community!

Located in Corunna, Rustic Scoops Ice Cream Bar was created out of a passion for spending time with friends and family, warm summer nights, and of course – ice cream treats!

Check out their website to learn more about Rustic Scoops and to help you decide which ice cream flavour to get when you visit them next.

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The Lambton Federation of Agriculture Membership would like to thank the Ontario Government and Lambton County Council for partnering with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) and Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) to bring our rural areas quality broadband internet. 

Recognizing this issue, which affects community advancement, will lead to important improvements and impacts to our rural areas. 

To read more details about the Rural Internet Projects, click here.

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Ontario is creating opportunities for young people through the inaugural work and membership of the Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity. To further support disadvantaged youth and job seekers from underrepresented groups, the province is investing $2.2 million to help them develop the skills they need for successful careers. 

“Our government is committed to breaking down barriers and ensuring everyone from all walks of life get the opportunity to achieve their full potential”, said Premier Ford. “To help turn lives around, I am looking forward to receiving the advice of the impressive members of our new Council and seeing the results of our investment in critically important training and skills development programs.” 

One of the Council’s initial tasks will be to gather feedback on the Black Youth Action Plan from individuals and organizations in Ontario’s Black communities, including current program partners, business owners and executives, opportunity-minded community groups, organized labour, employment services, and more. In addition to Council outreach, individuals and organizations will be invited to submit their feedback, recommendations and experiences on the Black Youth Action Plan and how to improve economic success and opportunities for Ontario’s Black communities via email to DYAPfeedback@ontario.ca.

To read more about the Opportunity Council and Skills Training Investments to support underrepresented groups, click here.

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Ontario is pleased to announce that long-term care residents can once again leave their residences for short-stay and temporary absences. 

Effective immediately, residents can spend time away from their long-term care homes for day trips or overnight absences. For short-stay absences (those that do not include an overnight stay) homes must provide residents with a medical mask to be worn at all times when outside the home, if tolerated, and remind them of the importance of public health measures such as physical distancing. When they return, residents must be actively screened but are not required to be tested or to self-isolate. 

Residents may also leave for “temporary absences of one or more nights. Temporary absences will be at the discretion of the home and decided on a case-by-case basis based on safety factors like the risk associated with the absence (i.e: for a family weekend vs. a large gathering) and the ability of the home to help residents self-isolate upon return. For protection of their neighbours, residents who leave on a temporary absence will be required to self-isolate for 14 days when they return to the home. 

Read the full statement by the Government of Ontario by clicking here.

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The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC) found that 29% of accommodation and food service businesses cannot operate at all with social distancing measures in effect. A further 31% will only be able to remain operational for up to 90 days with distancing measures in effect. In other words, up to 60% of the industry risk having to close their doors permanently by November. 

While the economy is slowly beginning to recover, to date the federal government has not offered help tailored to the needs of the hardest hit industries like food services, which will take a long time to recover. That’s why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and 15 food service businesses/organizations are launching the “Our Restaurants” campaign. 

The campaign puts a spotlight on the current situation faced by Canada’s restaurants amidst COVID-19: high costs, fewer customers, and government programs ill-equipped for the unique, long-term challenges faced by the industry.

To learn more about who is leading this campaign & the details, click here.

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The federal government has announced additional funding to support safe and full-time return to school policies. 

The Canadian Chamber’s Council for Women’s Advocacy (CWA) issued a statement on the five things the federal government can do right now to support women and foster economic growth. The first of these is contained in this announcement: 

A call to work with provinces and territories in their respective efforts to ensure there is safe full-time return to school policies for September 2020 that take into account international experiences, learnings, and best practices to date.

The Canadian Chamber and the CWA call on all stakeholders to act collaboratively and swiftly to make safe, full-time return to school a reality for all Canadian students. To do so ensures women can focus on work and fully participate in the recovery process that is essential for widespread job creation and sustained economic growth. 

To read more about the announcement details, click here.

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The fallout from the global pandemic has had a huge impact on Canadian SMEs and we are seeing them rise to the challenge in so many ways. Many business owners adapted quickly, where they could, to find creative and necessary ways to survive. As the economy reopens, the good news is, week after week, business owners say they are less worried about their own business and the Canadian economy. 

Across the country, there are many shining examples of resilience, but in difficult times the way ahead isn’t always clear. 

Planning now for the future is essential. To be able to continue to easily reach and service your customers requires a website and online sales strategy but getting your business online isn’t always as simple as it sounds. There are many things to consider and BDC is here to support Canadian entrepreneurs on the road to recovery. 

BDC has partnered with the Retail Council of Canada and Shopify to help retail business owners learn how to move their business online. Join the first webinar on September 3 to learn more about how to launch online sales, plus hear first-hand advice from women entrepreneurs in retail who have successful e-commerce stores. 

To read more about how the BDC initiative works, click here.

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Recently, Shell employees and summer students coordinated with Lambton Elderly Outreach to visit three local Sarnia-Lambton nursing homes to offer positive encouragement and spread some cheer as part of their “Fuelling Kindness” initiative.

Fuelling Kindness is a Shell program that encourages small acts of kindness knowing these can have a positive impact on health, relationships, and our communities as a whole. 

To read more about this Shell Initiative, click here.

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As businesses and organizations across the country adjust to new realities during the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians are facing additional stress. It’s important during these times to take small breaks during the day to support mental health and well-being. 

The Canadian Business Resilience network has partnered with Canada Life to send 270 “Break Boxes” to businesses and their employees across Canada. Break Boxes are practical resource kits that were designed to help support positive mental health at work and at home through a variety of individual and team – based activities. 

What goes in a Break Box?

  • A checklist on how to support teammates and employees as they transition back to work. 
  • Team activities that help teams talk openly about stress and identity 
  • A virtual scavenger hunt for a light- hearted break. 
  • A plan for resilience that teaches readers how to build resilience and bounce back from stressful situations 
  • Colouring pages 
  • Kudos cards, to recognize a job well done 
  • Fill in the blank sticky notes to help spread positive messages and ideas for managing stress 
  • A stress ball that can also act as a smartphone holder 
  • A workplace strategies for mental health poster to display at home or at work 
  • Workplace strategies for mental health inspirational postcards to collect, display, and share with colleagues and friends. 

If you’d like to receive a Break Box, please fill out this form to be considered.

To learn more about the Break Box initiative, click here.

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The Government of Ontario is making $8 million available to support small business and registered charities who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small businesses and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.  

CEAP-SB, a Government of Ontario program with rules designed by the OEB, is designed to help small businesses and registered charities that are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. CEAP-SB provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

As of August 31, 2020, small businesses and registered charities can apply for funding through their electricity and natural gas utilities or unit sub-meter providers (USMPs).  Please note that CEAP-SB funding is limited, and utilities and USMPs will process applications in the order in which they are received. Submitting an application for CEAP-SB does not guarantee funding.

Full program details including eligibility criteria, on-bill credit amounts, and application processes are available at oeb.ca/CEAP. 

To apply for CEAP funding, customers should contact their energy provider. Electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs) will begin accepting applications for CEAP-SB on August 31, 2020, delivering the program in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB. CEAP-SB funding is limited, with utilities and USMPs expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Please note, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.  

For more information, including eligibility requirements and on-bill credit amounts, visit oeb.ca/ceap.

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