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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Dr. Bill Howatt, chief of research, Workforce Productivity at The Conference Board of Canada, has produced a short video that focuses on Mental Health and COVID-19.

You can see the video below, which contains an acronym for PLAY.

P is for Passion: Do the things that you love and bring you joy and do them with intention.

L is for Live in the Moment: Capture special moments, and don’t take them for granted.

A is for Awesome: Look for the awesomeness in every day and embrace it.

Y is for Youthful: Don’t be afraid to have fun, be silly and be vulnerable every now and then.

The entire video by Dr. Howatt can be seen below:

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Patrick Gill, senior director of Tax and Financial Policy with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is offering a five-step plan for businesses to find their way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

His comments come on behalf of the Canadian Business Resilience Network, an initiative of the Canadian Chamber.

“It feels as though the world has stopped and in many ways it has,” said Gill. “So what should non-essentials do when a winter like this has come. Before cash balances dry up, Canadian businesses should use the emergency measures that governments coast to coast have announced to put their workers and operations into a state of hibernation.”

Gill says if your company is not able to function right now, “think—hibernation.”

He lists five ways to make this happen.

—1. Take care of the health, safety and liquidity of your workers. Use the emergency benefit of the new wage subsidy to keep your workers attached to you ,but safe at home. “And please don’t let go of your workers if you can,” said Gill. “You’ll recover faster if you do.”

—2. Talk to your bank or credit union about your debt obligations or accessing emergency credit. Interest rates have been slashed and interest-free loans are available and the business credit availability program can help as well.

—3. Don’t worry about the taxman right now. Tax deadlines, audits and payments have been extended at every level. Call your accountant for details.

—4. Speak to your landlord and discuss the situation with them. And know that many provincial governments have stayed evictions. It’s in both parties’ best interest to sort things out.

—5. start planning now for your emergence from hibernation.

“This winter will end how quickly and successfully you emerge can be boosted by doing a little planning now,” said Gill.  “And remember, we’re all in this together. So speak to your banking partners—your lawyer, insurer, banker and accountant. They want to help and they can help. You can survive this economic winter by hibernating like a Canadian.”

 

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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 Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is creating a series of webinars entitled “Shaping the Current & Post-Pandemic Business Community”. 

Thought leaders of various disciplines from our community will offer their insights and guide a free-flowing discussion with participants.

Siskinds LLP, with offices in Sarnia and London, is presenting the first of the series: “How to Deal with Leaves & Lay-Offs”.

It will take place on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Register at www.slchamber.ca by clicking HERE.

 

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As results continue to come in on a survey sponsored by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, a picture of continued pressure on local business due to the COVID-19 lockdown is emerging.

Still, we are looking for additional participation, results of which will be shared with local, provincial and federal authorities.

The link to the latest version of the survey can be found HERE.

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As we adjust to the realities of Covid-19, we’re sharing what four local businesses are doing to make a difference in our community.

Included in the list of “pay it forward” contributors is Sitara Indian Cuisine, who has provided more than 800 complimentary meals to front-line staff at Bluewater Health, an initiative that was coordinated with Adelle Stewardson of the Bluewater Health Foundation.

Refined Fool Brewing Co., is partnering with Lambton College to manufacture hand sanitizer for donation to Bluewater Health. Pictured is Matt Barnes of Refined Fool.

Little Caesars, which operates five restaurants locally, is donating meals to front-line healthcare workers at several long-term care facilities.

Another business, the Toy Corner is using its social media channels to offer curbside pickup or delivery to keep toys circulating in Sarnia-Lambton.

All of these organizations are demonstrating that a spirit of generosity and commitment to customer service is something that shows how we move forward, despite the challenges we face.

Do you have a story about how your business (or one you know) is making a difference in these challenging times? We’d love to hear from you, so we can share with our members.

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