As part of the Chamber’s  Members Only Benefit Programs, Chamber member Joe Gorzeman of JoeGoPhoto is offering an area-exclusive service that puts a company’s virtual tour online.

The service—Google Business Virtual Tours—is one that Gorzeman says can help a business “stand out from the ordinary” in its online presence.

Having an online presence is something that every business should have as a “basic” part of their marketing toolkit.   But the Google Business Virtual Tour takes that to the next level, by letting ‘visitors’ click their way in the front door before they take the time to arrive at the bricks and mortar premise.

Further information on this Members Only Benefit, you can contact Kim Inniss-Petersen at kim@slchamber.ca or visit JoeGophoto.com.

And make sure you tell Gorzeman you’re a Chamber member!

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Spring is definitely “in the air” and Richard Bain’s work on an upcoming coffee table book is also heating up.

Production of “Sarnia Lambton Simply Sensational” is well underway and the publication will be delivered later this year.

As part of the project, Richard Bain is working with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and a limited number of partnering organizations.   Those spots are going fast, says CEO Shirley de Silva.

“We are very encouraged with the response so far,” she says. “But time is running out and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed.”

The foreword to “Simply Sensational” is being authored by now-retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to command a mission at the International Space Station and who was born and raised in the area.

Demand for the book is expected to exceed supply, with Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley and Lambton County Warden Bill Weber both offering their enthusiastic support for the project.

Richard Bain’s past work has included a number of similar projects, completed successfully in partnership with several regional groups, including Chambers in Stratford, Niagara, London, Guelph, and Kitchener-Waterloo. Without exception, those with whom he has worked have seen positive results from those projects.

Partners—which may include businesses, organizations seeking visibility in the area, and local municipalities—will have several copies of Simply Sensational which can be distributed to clients, employees, and others. Additional copies will be made available through Ontario bookstores or directly from the Chamber.

If your organization would like to ensure your spot on the list of partners, contact Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Chamber, directly at (519) 336-2400, ext. 1, or by email: sdesilva@slchamber.ca.

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The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is inviting members of its Chamber Network (including the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce) to take part in a FREE webinar intended to explain how industrial power users can take advantage of the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI), a program to help customers who use peak power of more than 500 kilowatts in an average month.

The webinar, which will take place on Friday, April 6, 2018, is being sponsored by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and the Ontario Ministry of Energy. It will run from 11 a.m. to noon and provide an overview of important program timelines and energy-saving opportunities.

To register for the webinar, click HERE.

Customers that participate in the ICI are called Class A customers and pay Global Adjustment (GA) based on their percentage contribution to the top five peak Ontario demand hours in Ontario over a 12-month period. Participating customers that can successfully predict the top five peaks and reduce their demand may see a reduction in their Global Adjustment costs.

The ICI program eligibility expanded in 2017 to include manufacturers and greenhouses with average monthly peak demand greater than 500kW.

This webinar provides an opportunity for ICI participants to connect with other program participants and energy experts from industry, the IESO, and Ministry of Energy. Stay informed on how to successfully participate in the ICI or determine if the program is right for your organization.

The Know Your Power initiative is a one-stop-shop for information on energy-saving programs and opportunities to improve your energy efficiency that will help businesses identify measures to help reduce electricity bills and conserve energy.

Who Should Attend?

—Businesses participating in the ICI program
—Eligible businesses interested in opting into the program
—Energy managers specializing in industrial processes
—Energy consultants
—Qualified energy efficient contractors
—Local utility companies and municipalities

 

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Several companies have chosen to join the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and that makes us both pleased and proud!

Our celebrations began early in 2018 when we welcomed Wellings of Corunna as the very first new members of the year. Pictured is Shelly Rodgers, the leasing and community consultant.

Since then, we’ve happily said “hello” to several others, including:

Doug Krall Farms, third generation egg producers based in Petrolia.

Smoke & Spice Barbecue, where our March Business After 5 will take place on Wednesday, March 21.

Bodystream Medical Marijuana Services, located at 836 Upper Canada Drive, Unit 1F, Sarnia.

Pinchin Ltd., an environmental engineering consulting firm.

Walden Law Professional Corporation, headed by Deryck P.N. Walden of Forest.

Locke Consulting, a licensed insolvency trustee.

—R&B Graham Trucking, 396 McGregor Side Road, Sarnia; and

—Concrete Solutions, 1994 Plank Road, Sarnia.

 

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The local office of Express Employment Professionals, members of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, recently earned an award for providing superior service to job seekers.

The award was a “Best of Staffing Talent” that was presented to Bruce Hein, owner of the Sarnia Express Employment Professionals franchise.

“We were very pleased to hear of this acknowledgment of professionalism from one of our own,” said Shirley de Silva, CEO of the Chamber. “They have clearly distinguished themselves in a very competitive field and we offer our congratulations to Bruce and everyone at Express Employment Professionals.”

As part of the ratings that lead to the award, Express Employment Professionals received satisfaction scores of nine or 10 out of 10 from 67% of their placed job candidates, higher than the industry’s average of 45%.

 

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Congratulations for this achievement!  Chamber member Electrozad Supply Company Limited has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in a program that saw hundreds of entrepreneurial companies compete for the designation, now in its 25th year.

The company, which has a Sarnia office on Scott Road, was selected for its commitment to service and quality, investment into the future, adaptive business strategies, and its focus on employee development. Electrozad and its dedicated staff contribute to numerous philanthropic endeavours through the Electrozad Foundation and OZAD Institute, as well as community volunteering initiatives and sponsorships.

“When we have a company like Electrozad so honoured with this distinction, it says a lot about the Chamber as a whole,” said Shirley de Silva, president and CEO. “We congratulate them on this amazing achievement.”

 

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George Mallay, the recently retired general manager of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, received the Community Service Award from Life Sciences Ontario at its annual awards dinner last month.

Mallay, who was also an ex-officio member of the board for the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, was recognized for playing a leading role in establishing the award-winning Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park.

Now happily retired after 21 years as SLEP’s GM, Mallay is also past co-chair of the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative. He also served on the board of the Lambton College Foundation and in 2016 was chair of the Ontario Cleantech Alliance.

Our congratulations go out to George for this award.

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We have clearly entered an age of heightened awareness when it comes to what constitutes sexual harassment.

With recent exposes and resignations seemingly coming at us non-stop, there remains a critical opportunity for workplaces to take a stand to prevent inappropriate and harmful behaviours from taking root.

So says Andrew Harkness, strategy advisor with Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, who calls the recent news in the entertainment industry a “wake-up call for organizations.”

Here then are some tips to help your organization prevent this type of workplace harassment:

—Assume that harassment may exist in your organization. “I often hear people say violence and harassment isn’t a problem in their workplace,” said Harkness. “But how do you know if you haven’t looked into it.” Keeping an open mind toward understanding that some employees may be fearful of coming forward for various reasons and that one of those reasons may be workplace culture.

—Ensure you’re compliant with legal requirements. Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act sets out roles and responsibilities with respect to workplace violence and harassment, including sexual harassment. Employer responsibilities include developing and implementing policies and programs, and reporting, investigating and resolving incidents. Learn more about what the law says by clicking HERE.

—Communicate policies, programs, roles and responsibilities to all employees so they know that preventing violence and harassment is a company principle and understand what’s expected of them.

—Create a code of behaviour that promotes civility and respect. “If you know how you expect people to behave towards each other, you can coach this behaviour and prevent bullying or harassment from happening,” says Harkness.

—Assess what’s going on in your organization. Involve multiple players in a conversation: Human Resources, Health and Safety, Security, etc. They may be aware of, but not sharing incidents of harassment, bullying or discrimination.

—Conduct an employee survey. Consider using WSPS’ employee violence risk assessment questionnaire (available HERE) as a model.

—Implement training programs for all employees based on a needs assessment. Start with people in leadership and supervision roles.

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A motion that would see Lambton County Council approve the elimination of the Commercial Vacancy Rebate, first announced several weeks ago, has now been tabled to allow for consideration ahead of next month’s meeting on April 4, 2018.

County Council is inviting the public to comment on the proposed elimination of the Vacancy Rebate at their next meeting in April. We encourage anyone who wants to comment on this matter to do any of the following:
  • Request to speak to Council on April 4th by emailing leah.klompstra@county-lambton.on.ca before March 28
  • Send a letter to the Warden and County Council before March 28 and your letter will be included in the April 4 agenda package.
  • Send a letter to the county councilors individually before April 4.
For more information on the proposed changes to the Vacancy Rebate, click here.

 

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While commending Lambton County for its largely fiscally responsible draft budget document, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce says a long-term problem, a looming infrastructure deficit, flat demographic growth, and the uncertainty of future government grants, has not been fully addressed.

In a letter signed by 2017-18 Chamber chair Michael John Kooy and CEO Shirley de Silva this week, the Chamber expressed its concerns as part of a consultation process.

“Your visible commitment to keeping taxes manageable is appreciated,” said the letter ( Chamber County Budget Response 2018 )

The approach, however, is concerning for the future, with the Chamber offering a cautionary note.

“It does not reduce the County’s exposure to still deeper financial and operational exposures from causes that are already visible on the horizon,” said the Chamber’s letter.

Those include further government funding cuts and service downloads, interest rate fluctuations, inflationary cost increases and capital asset replacement requirements.

“The Chamber believes that these risks warrant an approach that moves beyond the point of line-by-line budget reviews to a focus on non-levy-based revenue generation,” said the letter to the County. “Renewed investment in the Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership, strategic exploration of new economic development opportunities and responsible debt for key infrastructure projects are worthwhile investments that can result in new sources of revenue.”

The letter closes by encouraging County Council to continue working with the Chamber.

“The Chamber sees great potential in strengthening our collaborative approach. By applying our collective, local resources to a common purpose, we believe that Lambton County will continue to be a great—and economical—place in which to live, work and run a business.”

 

 

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