The Canadian Government has announced expanded access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, changes that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says are designed to “better support those who need help but don’t qualify for the CERB.”

Trudeau, who announced the changes on April 15, also said Canadians who work in essential jobs who make less money than they would if they received the benefit. Other groups that would benefit from the changes include allowing people to earn up to $1,000 a month while collecting the CERB and those who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and cannot find work due to COVID-19.

The full Government release can be found HERE.

A story from CBC News which provides more details can be found HERE.

 

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Energy producers around the world, including Canada, are in uncharted territory when it comes to their future.

So says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in its “5 Minutes for Business” feature.

Its specific advice includes providing support for the oil and gas sector by keeping as many of the people employed.

Pausing all new regulations that would increase the cost to the sector is also among the initiatives being made by the Canadian Chamber.

 

 

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Hello Chamber Members,

It’s Mary Jean O’Donnell, Chair of the Board of Directors.  We hope you and yours are healthy and staying safe.

We know that many local businesses are worried and we want to help, so we have partnered with Fan Saves Helps to help our members for FREE.

Because you’re a valued member of the Chamber, we are inviting you to be part of this Gift Certificate Program, customized for use by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

The program allows people to buy gift certificates from businesses that are currently closed or offering limited services. Once things get back to normal, the gift certificates can be used.

The first step for a business wanting to participate (the recipient) is to fill out THIS FORM.

Once that’s done, your business will appear on a unique website designed through Shopify, one of the safest, most convenient shopping portals (and a Canadian company to boot!)

How it works: As recipient companies appear on the Sarnia Lambton Chamber’s Fan Saves Helps site, we’ll let you know through our website (you can also visit the site to check to see who has registered as a recipient business).

Clicking through to a recipient business listing, you can then purchase a gift certificate. You’ll receive a digital gift certificate with a unique code that will be tracked for the recipient business in a spreadsheet (which you will have access to). Monies received on your behalf will be transferred to the business via Direct Deposit or e-transfer within 14 days (less credit card transaction fees).

When you re-open your doors, the buyer can redeem the gift certificate that they’ve printed off at your business.

You can keep track of the balance however it works best for you (some businesses are transferring it to their own gift card program, others are using the old-school method of tracking the balance right on the print out).

As mentioned, this program is completely free.

If you are interested in being a recipient business, please fill out this form and submit it as soon as possible.

Sincerely, Mary Jean O’Donnell
Chair, Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce
519-464-3699 (mobile)

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is hiring a new Chief Executive Officer.

The successful candidate manages all aspects of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, a 650+member non-profit organization.

The role includes directing membership sales, member relations, budgeting, marketing, media releases, volunteer coordination, advocacy, community outreach, sponsorships and event planning.

A close working relationship with the board of directors, including regular communications and reporting is also fundamental to the role.

The CEO is the face of the organization and is required to sit on numerous local boards in addition to all Chamber committees, to attend all Chamber events, and to attend a high percentage of non-Chamber events for which there is an expectation of Chamber participation.

The CEO is expected to build upon the existing goodwill and long history of the Chamber to engage and retain members, grow the membership, find new sources of revenue, innovate, modernize service delivery, and generally expand the influence and community profile of the organization.

Skills/Attributes

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills (required);
  • Financial management and budgeting (required);
  • Experience reporting to a Board of Directors as a senior manager or CEO (required);
  • Technology competency (common software such as MS Office, etc.) (required);
  • Experience managing employees (required);
  • Experience managing volunteers;
  • Experience planning events;
  • Experience as Chamber of Commerce executive or volunteer;
  • Familiarity with Sarnia-Lambton and/or Sarnia-Lambton roots is a significant asset;

Applications may be submitted in confidence to Mary Jean O’Donnell, chair of the Board of Directors, by email (mjodonnell@slchamber.ca).

Closing date for applications is May 1, 2020.

 

 

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This year’s Annual General Meeting, will be a “virtual event”, it will take place from 6 pm to 7 pm on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

The AGM will include the election of officers and directors and approval of the financial statements.

“We are living in times that are a game-changer,” said Mary Jean O’Donnell, who was recently elected Chair of the Board by her fellow Chamber directors.

Stay tuned for more details on this event as we get closer to Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

 

 

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Tourism Sarnia-Lambton has launched an initiative designed to support local businesses.

The initiative includes a comprehensive listing of businesses that are providing various levels of take-out and delivery options.  The listings can be found by clicking HERE

“We’re happy to do all we can to help our members succeed in these challenging times,” said Mary Jean O’Donnell, who is both Chair of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and Chair of Tourism Sarnia-Lambton.

“We encourage all members to support one another as we work through these times together.”

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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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Your organization can learn how to guide your enterprise through the COVID-19 crisis through specific steps that can help blunt the impact of the crisis.

So says the experts from Deloitte in a guide made available online.

Included in the guide are several key points, including recognizing that in the face of certain challenges and a still uncertain set of risks, business leaders are rightly concerned about how their companies will be affected and what they have to do next.

In the heat of the moment there are a number of lessons from history that can be applied now.

Deloitte has pooled its insights in affected areas around the world to provide practical insights for chief executives and their leadership teams in taking appropriate action.

The guide can be found by clicking HERE.

 

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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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