Category Advocacy

The YMCA wants to see you SWEAT for Sarnia! YMCA SWEAT for Strong Kids will be an online, three day event from April 30th to May 2nd. This will involve taking part in Y Thrive online classes, joining a Facebook live class, or conducting your own workout and then heading to their Facebook page to share your Sweaty Selfie. They will be sharing more information about the fundraiser in a Facebook Live stream to answer questions, thank their sponsors, and share their lineup of live classes!

To visit the YMCA SWEAT for Strong Kids Facebook page, click here.

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The Canada Revenue Agency opens its application process today (April 27) for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), therefore allowing them to release funds by May 5th. CEWS provides a wage subsidy of 75% (up to $847 per employee/week) for up to 12 weeks.  The wage subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations.

Who is eligible:

  • Individuals
  • Taxable Corporations
  • Registered Charities
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Partnerships consisting of eligible employers

(eligible employees are individuals who are employed by you in Canada and has received eligible remuneration for 14 or more consecutive days in the eligibility period)

Your revenue reduction period eligibility depends on whether you received a:

  • 15% drop in revenue between March 15 to April 11
  • 30% drop in revenue between April 12 to May 9
  • 30% drop in revenue between May 10 to June 6

(to determine this, compare your eligible revenue for the starting month of the claim period with your baseline revenue or the average of January and February 2020)

Eligible remuneration includes: 

  • Amounts you paid an employee as salary, wages, and other taxable benefits, fees, and commissions.

(severance pay and items such as stock option benefits or the personal use of a corporate vehicle are not part of eligible remuneration)
For more details on how the subsidy is calculated, eligibility, and how to apply, click here.

For a step-by-step guide on how to apply for CEWS, click here.

To help you calculate your subsidy amount, click here.

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Corporate Knights, a sustainable business magazine, is celebrating Wednesday’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a list of 50 green initiatives by companies who working to create a sustainable planet.

The magazine recognizes that when Earth Day was born, concerns were mounting about the lead fumes puffing out of tailpipes, the Cleveland river soaked in industrial waste that had caught on fire the year prior, and the thousands of dead, oil-soaked birds that had washed up on the beaches of Santa Barbara in the largest oil spill in American history.

By the end of 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency had been founded, ushering in an era of groundbreaking clean-air, water, and endangered-species regulations that would reshape corporate America’s relationship with nature, providing a cornerstone for modern environmental policy.

The full story on the positive impacts the organizers of Earth Day have been able to see in that half-century can be seen HERE,

 

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The Canadian Government has published a mobile app designed to serve as a comprehensive guide to help business survive during the COVID-19 crisis.

Download the Canada Business App: HERE to see how easy it is to navigate government services, get recommendations tailored to your business, set up personalized notifications and find the answers you need to start up, scale-up and access new markets.

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As Canadians grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 virus, there are unsung heroes that have helped keep supply chains open and flowing. Canada’s long-distance truckers have been on the front lines, putting their own lives at risk to keep grocery store shelves stocked for shoppers. These people are vital to economic growth – about 70% of Canadian goods are transported by truck.

It has not been easy. While truck drivers are considered essential workers, which provides them with the ability to travel between Canada and the US, they face significant challenges to their normal work routines.

While some progress has been made in negotiations with various orders of government, the drivers are unable to access washrooms and showers at some truck stops and are being refused access to facilities at more and more distribution centres. This barrier makes them unable to follow government-mandated hygiene requirements.

Drivers also need adequate support from shippers and receivers.  As Maryscott Greenwood, CEO of the Canadian American Business Council and Stephen Laskowski, President of the Canadian Trucking Alliance noted in a piece yesterday morning, some shippers and receivers are not letting drivers use their bathroom facilities and insisting they stay in their trucks.  Surely, given that these drivers are keeping our economy moving, shippers and receivers can develop practices and protocols to keep drivers and their employees safe while providing driver access to these facilities.

“If we can work together to get the product to the people it needs to get to, why can’t we work together to ensure we look after each other’s basic human rights and needs?” asked Mike Millian, President, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada.

We should all be inspired by recent acts of generosity and good spirit towards truck drivers. There are stories around the country of family-run businesses that are taking measures to truck drivers to give them at least a bit of a break. For instance, one business in Quebec is permitting truckers a free 30-minute stay at certain hotels. Another in Nova Scotia offers them free meals. These are just some of the ways Canadians are stepping up to help one another.

To the Canadian trucking industry, we thank you. Canada is grateful for the work you do to keep Canadians fed and watered through this difficult time.

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A number of resources designed to help employers, including members of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, are now available across various government agencies, and elsewhere.

Thanks to our relationship with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the local Chamber is passing the following resources on for your benefit. We hope you make good use of these to benefit your employees:

We start with a comprehensive list of resources from the Government of Canada, which can be found HERE.

Another resource, again from the Government of Canada, focuses on Mental Health @ Work. This can be found HERE.

The Canadian Red Cross is offering a pocket guide for mental health issues. “First aid for the mind and our social networks is just as important as first aid for the body. Learning psychological first aid skills for mental health crisis could save a life.”—say officials with the Candian Red Cross.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has published a guide to help with mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is available HERE.

The Canadian Psychological Association has produced a series of Fact Sheets, available HERE.

The Canadian Mental Health Association has put together some resources and suggestions to help support your mental health at this time of uncertainty. Those resources are available HERE.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in the U.S. has recognized that fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Their resources on managing anxiety and stress can be found HERE.

The Conference Board of Canada includes a conversation with Dr. Bill Howatt, Chief of Research, Workplace Productivity. That resource is available HERE.

A parting comment: If you have additional resources you’d like to share with your fellow Chamber members, please don’t hesitate to send a note to us at info@slchamber.ca

We’ll do our best to pass them along!

 

 

 

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The Discover Ability Network is making it easier for employers to hire inclusively through a new hub community in the Sarnia-Lambton region.

While the Discover Ability Network is available for free to employers across the province, the new hub community will offer employers with locally-focused resources, workshops and events encouraging inclusive hiring practices across the Sarnia-Lambton region.

With the business case for hiring people with disabilities becoming increasingly apparent, employers can take advantage of the Discover Ability Network’s powerful job matching technology to connect with diverse job seekers. Employers who would like to join the Discover Ability Network can create a free account at sarnia.discoverability.network to start connecting with qualified talent.

The Discover Ability Network is a joint initiative of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce, which aims to address the high unemployment rate of qualified job seekers with disabilities while simultaneously providing local employers with the skilled talent to fill vacant positions in their workplaces.

To learn more, visit: sarnia.discoverability.network

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Chamber representatives from the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce will travel to Queen’s Park in Toronto on Monday, March 9, 2020, for “Advocacy Day,” organized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, will be part of a local delegation, as will Mary Jean O’Donnell, currently first vice-chair.

Chamber delegates from across Ontario will meet with a selection of senior staff from various ministries as well as Members of Provincial Parliament.

“Bringing chambers together to Queen’s Park is an opportunity to showcase the power of the network,” said de Silva “These opportunities have historically been an outstanding chance for Chamber representatives to present the views of the business community in a face-to-face setting while gaining new insight into what we can expect in the next year and beyond.  These conversations remain one of the most strategic ways for the business community to dig deeper into what initiatives are likely to occur down the road.”

 

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Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has received $15 million in funding from FedDev Ontario to promote new sustainable innovations and bring business support to Eastern Ontario in Canada.

The Sarnia-Lambton based business accelerator provides support, services and investments to developers of clean, green and sustainable technologies, including biofuels.

Following the 2015 creation of the Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation (COMM SCI) initiative in Sarnia, BIC is now establishing the Ontario Bioindustrial Innovation Network (OBIN), which will be a second hybrid chemistry cluster in the St. Lawrence Corridor, located in Brockville, Eastern Ontario.

BIC will partner with the St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission and St. Lawrence College to deliver OBIN, an initiative that will support companies in sustainable chemistry and clean technologies to address setbacks to commercialization while reducing environmental impacts.

The project is expected to help 150 businesses and organizations while creating 700 jobs. The new sustainable chemistry hub will position Ontario, and ultimately Canada, as a leader in helping innovative clean technology companies scale up.

“The federal government has been a strong supporter of our work at Bioindustrial Innovation Canada,” said BIC executive director Sandy Marshall. “With this support, BIC has successfully provided investment, advice and services to business developers of clean, green and sustainable technologies within Canada. We are thrilled to receive this investment to establish the OBIN.”

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