Category Members

Members and employees of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce are welcome to “stop by” next Tuesday, October 17, as we celebrate Business Week in our community.

Starting at 10 a.m. and running through 3 p.m. at the Chamber building, 556 N. Christina St., we’ll be bringing in speakers and consultants on several issues of importance to business owners.

At 10:00 a.m. Chamber staff will be on hand for a meet and greet, and throughout the day new members will be displaying information about their businesses, trade-show style.

From 10:30 a.m. to noon, four experts will answer all your questions about:

  • WSIB  – Patricia Cowdrey, community coordinator at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
  • Bill 148 (workplace legislation) – Susan Houston, a lawyer with Matthews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP
  • Corporate tax changes – Andrew Jones and Brent Steeves of BDO Canada LLP
  • BizPal – City of Sarnia

At 1 p.m. special guest Lisa Smith, a small business entrepreneur whose Limn Social delivers marketing and public relations expertise, will talk about how your company can benefit from the latest trends online.

Join us, won’t you? We’re looking forward to meeting you and showing you how the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping you move forward.


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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce was well-represented nationally at the Annual General Meeting and Convention of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, held last month in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The opportunity to have Sarnia-Lambton’s business community represented nationally is an important one and attending on behalf of the local membership were Shirley de Silva, President and

CEO; Michael John Kooy, Board Chair; and Monica Shepley, Manager of Advocacy and Policy Development.

We were able to engage in policy discussions with our colleagues from other areas of the country and also bring forward our ideas for change to the national stage.

One of the policy resolutions that delegates approved called for a renewed strategy related to infrastructure, linking future grants to productivity performance, economic growth and job creation.

This  resolution, co-sponsored by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce ,  also calls on the Federal Government to deliver an increased share of

existing funding through formula-based programs like the Gas Tax Fund.




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The Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CCEA), an independent research consulting and data technology firm, has released a report that outlines the economic impacts the proposed

provincial legislation known as Bill 148 is likely to have if approved by the Ontario government.

The CCEA estimates that some 185,000 jobs will be put at risk over the next two years as a direct result of the proposed legislation. About 400,000 small business owners are exposed to 46% of

the increased costs from the Act.

At least 80% of small business employers will be affected by the changes outlined in the Act, which will lead to higher costs.

The CCEA has determined that there is a $23 billion cost challenge awaiting Ontario businesses over the next two years if the legislation is passed.

As many as 1.8 million Ontario residents are expected to be negatively affected directly or through a family member small business owner or by a job loss. The CCEA estimates the additional

increase in prices will amount to an annual $3.4 billion.


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Blackburn Radio is holding its annual Sarnia-Lambton Business Showcase on Wednesday, October 18 at DeGroot’s Nurseries on London Line, co-sponsored

by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.  Our staff will be on hand at our Chamber booth to welcome you and showcase our

products and services.  This “free to attend” event will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Look forward to seeing you there!



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September’s Business After Five was a BLAST at the Rooted Bohemian in Petrolia, graciously sponsored by the Town of Petrolia! Awesome music, amazing food, and opportunities galore to network and get to know local businesses.

We experienced awesome music, amazing food, and opportunities galore to network and get to know local businesses.

Check out some of the photos to see how much fun we had!  Click HERE to view!

Join us on October 18 @ DeGroot’s Nurseries during Business Week. 

Click HERE for more information!


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Membership in the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is a great way to help grow your business and build relationships. If you want to make a valuable investment in your business and in your community, the Chamber is a great place to start. With business and networking opportunities, there are countless benefits to help your business connect, succeed and grow.

Here are just a few membership benefits worth considering:

  • Group Insurance
  • Advertising – Print, Email & Website
  • Membership Directory
  • Esso Fuel Discount Program
  • Newsletter
  • Merchant Services
  • UPS Shipping Discount Program
  • Networking & Committee Volunteering
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Event Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Business After Five hosting



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You can make the most of your directory profile in just a few easy steps.

To edit your membership listing, proceed as follows: On the home page, scroll up to the top of the page, click on ACCOUNT Enter your username and password. Find your business and select it, then click VIEW PROFILE/EDIT. Once you have logged in, be sure to enter keywords that best describe your business. Keywords are used by our search engine to better connect users to appropriate members.

Need some help in the process. Reach out to Ana Dailey or Kim Inniss-Petersen at the Chamber and we’ll be happy to help.


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Several business owners from a wide range of sectors, including retail, farming, and medicine, gathered on Tuesday for a Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce-hosted event that highlighted the impact proposed changes by the Federal Government would have, not only on their economic livelihood but the entire nation.

The picture being painted is not a pretty one.

Debra Taylor, a CPA who outlined the various changes that were put forward on July 18, said she objects to comments made by Finance Minister Bill Morneau that the proposed moves are intended to close loopholes.

“The reason we have corporations set up by people in business is to limit personal liability,” she told the gathering of business people at Manley’s Basics in Point Edward.

“If these changes are implemented, the incentive to take risk—which is at the heart of our economy—will be gone.”

Taylor said the government, if it truly wanted to be fair in making any changes, would have allowed a reasonable period of time for the transition and grandfathered existing businesses. “The 75 day consultation period is too short,” said Taylor. “There should be an extended period of consultation and feedback.”

But Taylor also made it clear that adding complexity to the tax burden is not the best way forward, pointing to a current tax code book that is substantially bigger than ever before.

“It’s not sustainable.”

But people like Carolyn Luciani, who with her sister Lisa Hewton owns Manley’s, says she is making far less than what the Federal Government suggests and that others might believe. “Financially, I’d be better off with a government job that offered vacations and benefits. None of that is the case when you own your own business.”

And she too objects to characterizations that the government is concerned about loopholes.

“These are not loopholes,” said Luciani. “They are reasonable provisions that offer stability and predictability for our business.”

Karen Sanders, who along with her husband Steve own Wild Hog Farms in Watford, said the proposed moves by the government will decimate the family farm.

Referring to two of her children who have expressed an intent to continue the operation, which employs seven people outside the family, she said her children would have to pay triple the tax than if their parents sold the operation to an unrelated business.

Al Langford, also a farmer who works other jobs outside his family’s cash crop operation and who is president of the Lambton Federation of Agriculture, said there is a real risk that his generation will be the last to farm the 750 acres that have been in the family for 107 years.

“We’re struggling,” he said.

The changes being proposed will have a huge impact on his community and he and others intend to spread the word about those impacts.

They plan to gather on Tuesday, September 26 at the Brooke-Alvinston Arena for a meeting to draw attention to the issues being raised.

“We’re on the edge,” said Langford. “We can’t allow it to happen. We have to stand up to it. Our whole lives are in this.”

Dr. Sean Peterson is a family doctor who also practices emergency medicine and runs a clinical research company in Sarnia. He’s also, with a partner, expanding his office building to create a team-based practice that would attract new doctors who want to work in that atmosphere.

But, Peterson, who is also a director of the Ontario Medical Association, said he’s concerned that the changes being proposed will make it harder to attract doctors who see the U.S. as being a potentially better place to practice.

And Peterson objects strongly to comments by Prime Minister Trudeau that a doctor pays less tax than a nurse in the same room.

“I can tell you, the only time that would ever happen is if the doctor is on maternity leave and isn’t receiving employment insurance payments,” he said.

According to Chamber research, two-thirds of Canadian small business owners make less than $73,000 a year, and half of those make less than $33,000 a year.

The Chamber of Commerce has a detailed guide to the proposed corporate tax changes on its website. The document can be seen HERE.

A website sponsored by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce ( outlines some of the issues. It states:

“Canadian small businesses represent almost 97% of all businesses in the country and employ nearly 70% of all Canadians working in the private sector. Encouraging the growth of small business is critical to creating jobs and supporting the economy.

“The Government says it’s all about “fairness,” but there are good reasons why owners are taxed differently than employees. Because unlike an employee, a business owner doesn’t get a pension or health benefits or vacation pay. She invested her own money to get the business started. Or, she pledged her personal assets (house, car) as collateral for a loan. She has employees who depend on her. And, if nobody wants her goods or services next month, she does not earn a penny.”

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Welcome to Kimberley Inniss-Petersen, the newest  member of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce team as Manager of Member Engagement and Retention.

Kimberley, who lives in Petrolia with her husband and three daughters, is passionate about her community.  In her new role, which is also a new one for the Chamber, Kimberley will be

applying her people skills, developing  strategies that will improve the Chamber’s value proposition for the membership.  Kimberley can be reached by email at


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Chamber members will be starting out fall in style next Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at the first Business After 5 of the season.

The event will take place at the Rooted Bohemian Salon & Day Spa in Petrolia, located at 4194 Petrolia Line, between Centre Street and Tank Street.

Members are welcome, but so are guests—especially those who may be checking out the Chamber as an important part of their networking strategy.  A non-member entrance fee of $10 is applicable; members are free.

Featured at the event will be live music and food, with numerous networking opportunities available. Click for more information.

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