As the provincial election campaign begins, the Chamber is linking up with the Seaway Kiwanis Club for an all-candidates lunch on Tuesday, May 29 at the Sarnia Golf & Curling Club.

This noon event is a great opportunity for Chamber members to hear from representatives of all parties regarding their stand on key issues.

And because a great majority of those issues will ultimately affect our members, the Chamber is committed to making your pre-election day research as comprehensive as possible.

As you know the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce plays a key role in advocating on behalf of business and we see this is one more example of how we fulfill that mandate.

We hope to see you at noon on Tuesday, May 29 at the Sarnia Golf & Curling Club. Register TODAY online by clicking HERE.

 

Read More

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is presenting, for the second year, its Small Business Health & Safety Leadership Award program.

WSIB officials say they know that many small business owners work hard to keep the people who work for them healthy and safe.

With a goal of shining a light on small business leaders who make their workplaces healthier and safer—and who can inspire their peers by example—the Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards recognize outstanding health and safety programs in small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

You can nominate your own business or one in your community or association. The WSIB is inviting you to tell them about your health and safety practices, how you do inspections, deal with hazards and support employees to return to work.

The top three businesses will receive a cash prize – $5,000 (gold), $3,000 (silver), $2,000 (bronze) – and be recognized at the WSIB Annual General Meeting. The first place winner will also be featured in a promotional video.

Read the Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Award Guidelines to find out if you qualify and to learn about the nomination process.

 

Read More

There are often times when opportunities arise to take the pro-business message of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce beyond our own region and one of those occurred last week when CEO Shirley de Silva visited the Rotary Club of Port Huron.

“It’s always a pleasure to take our message of collaboration and working collectively to make a difference in our community beyond our borders,” said de Silva following her visit to Port Huron.

“In this case, I was able to bring greetings from our own membership and continue a very positive relationship our Chamber has developed over the years.”

Both the Blue Water Chamber of Commerce and the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce have representatives on one another’s board, another example of how this truly international business relationship continues to thrive.

 

Read More

The Ontario Government recently announced it was backing off a portion of Bill 148, the Fairer Workplaces, Better Jobs Act that would have seen part-time workers, even if they worked only occasionally during the month a public holiday occurred, receive a full eight-hours pay.

Seeing the unintended consequences of the proposed calculation for public holiday pay under the Employment Standards Act, the Ontario Chamber Network (which includes the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce) advocated for a return to the prior calculation to avoid a system that would be unfair to some workers.

The government announced that, after hearing from stakeholders, it will undertake a review of the public holiday system of the Employment Standards Act later this year. As an interim measure, the government will reinstate the previous holiday pay calculation, coming into effect on July 1.

 

Read More

Next Wednesday, May 16, will be the latest event in a very popular series of Chamber events.

Yes, we’re talking about Business After 5 and the next stop is the Sarnia Riding Club, hosted by Goodwill Industries. This iconic organization is marking its 85th anniversary of building our community into a genuinely better place to live, especially by helping create jobs every time someone donates their gently used items.

With a “Changing Lives Since 1933” line on its 85th anniversary banner, it’s easy to understand just how powerful Goodwill’s mission has become.

Anyone who’s been to a Chamber Business After 5 event can assure you that the opportunities for networking are virtually unlimited.

And if you don’t see someone you know—a rare occasion indeed—the very helpful members of the Business After 5 committee will step in to help you connect.

Attending a Chamber Business After 5 can be one of the most immediately rewarding aspects of your Chamber membership and certainly one that can result in the start or continuing of a positive relationship … one that can ultimately help your business grow.

We look forward to seeing you at the Sarnia Riding Club, next Wednesday, May 16!

Read More

Among several Member Only Benefits Programs available through the Chamber is one that can save your business money every time you get in your vehicle and go somewhere.

It’s the Esso Business Card Program and it’s available only to Chamber members through our affiliation with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Using this card at any Esso-branded services stations will automatically discount your purchase by 3.5 cents a litre.

An online application for this valuable program can be found HERE.

In the next few weeks, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce will be updating our descriptions for various Member Only Benefits, with the information appearing on our website.

Happy savings!

 

Read More

Are you doing enough to protect the most vulnerable workers in your workplace from injury? The Ministry of Labour’s (MOL) new and young worker inspection blitz, May 1 to August 31, is a signal to Ontario’s workplaces to review and strengthen workplace procedures related to this group. Doing so could help you prevent injuries and avoid penalties from the MOL.

What inspectors will be looking for

Inspectors will target workplaces that employ workers aged 14-24, have workers who have been on the job for less than six months, or been assigned to a new job within the same period. These workers are three times more likely to be injured during their first month than more experienced workers. A company’s specific practices related to these new and young workers will be under the microscope, as well as their overall health and safety program. This includes:

  • Information, instruction and supervision. Are new and young workers getting the required information and supervision to protect their health and safety?
  • Safety measures. Do you have measures and procedures in place to prevent injuries and occupational illness? Violence and harassment?
  • Internal responsibility system. Do you have a functioning joint health and safety committee or a health and safety representative?

 What inspectors found last year

Between May 1 to August 31, 2017, ministry inspectors made 2,261 field visits to 1,779 workplaces and issued 6,828 orders, including 88 stop work orders. Among these orders:

  • 1,182 involved violence and harassment provisions
  • 762 involved basic training, including mandatory awareness training for workers and supervisors.

Get a closer look at orders: Inspection blitz results: New and young workers 2017.

3 ways to protect vulnerable workers

Employers can do 3 things to help send new and young workers home from work as healthy as when they started.

  1. Before hiring, assess the job and its hazards. Which scenarios will present risks? Which tasks should be assigned to experienced workers? Are there language barriers you need to address?
  2. Put the emphasis on orientation. In your training, address workers’ three basic rights: to know about hazards, to participate in your organization’s health and safety efforts, and to refuse dangerous work. Accommodate different learning styles for example, in the classroom, in a simulated environment, and on the job. Hand out checklists. Set up a buddy system between experienced and new workers.
  3. Invest in your supervisors. Make sure they know the laws, regulations and hazards, and have the training and experience to help workers adhere to safe work procedures. Supervisors must be patient, repeat instructions, coach, retrain, and offer praise – especially to overcome workers reluctance to ask safety questions.

 How WSPS can help

Read More

In just a few months, readers of Simply Sensational: Sarnia-Lambton will be treated to a collection of magnificent photos of our area intermingled with stories featuring a select group of organizations.

The project is quite simply one of the best-looking “ambassador” pieces to come our way in quite a while and features a foreword by Chris Hadfield, a legendary Canadian astronaut (and one of the area’s favourite sons).

Simply Sensational is being sponsored by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and made possible through the talents of Richard Bain, a noted photographer who has had his hands on similar projects for business groups and communities in the broad region.

As part of the project, Richard is making regular trips to the area from his home base in London and says he’s genuinely excited by what he has come to see and learn about our area.

As a sponsor, imagine what your clients, your friends, and even your family will be taking away from having a copy of Simply Sensational in their hands over the next year?

In the meantime, the Chamber is continuing to reach out to a wide variety of organizations, the intention being to make sure those who see the vision for Simply Sensational have the opportunity to sign up as a sponsor.

Our advice? Don’t wait another day. Contact Shirley de Silva, CEO of the Chamber, by email (sdesilva@slchamber.ca) or phone (519) 336-2400, extension 1.

Read More

Government policy is critical to the competitiveness of Ontario’s business community. That’s why the Chamber would like to know where you stand on a number of important economic issues.

A two-minute survey (CLICK HERE) will provide the feedback to help us inform 2018 Provincial Election candidates what matters to the business community.

If you have any problems accessing or completing the survey, contact Monica Shepley, manager of Advocacy and Policy Development, at (519) 336-2400.

 

Read More

It was about 10 years ago that Dean Holtz and his wife were selling their home.

A professional photographer with a couple of years under his belt by this time, Holtz looked around but wasn’t particularly happy with the quality of photos he saw on various real estate listings.

A little further digging (including Google searches) and Holtz came to the conclusion that there was probably a business opportunity for someone with his photographic skills.

Conversations with at least one of his friends, a real estate agent, lead to Holtz developing a three-stage multi-editing technique, the result being an offering he began presenting to local agents.

While it was at first slow going (one told him that it would be an uphill battle since real estate agents weren’t used to the added cost), eventually several agents began asking for high-quality photos for their listings.

He has since added aerial imagery and eventually entered an exclusive partnership with David Cooke of InSkyPhoto for real estate photography.

Last year Holtz, who is a Chamber member, added RealVision, a 3D virtual tour system, to his offerings.

The local YMCA recently asked him to create a virtual tour and are sending him to six other facilities across Southwest Ontario.

His virtual tour for the Y can be seen HERE.

Holtz is offering a 10 percent discount to fellow Chamber members for any package of services of $500 (plus HST) or more and a 15 percent discount for any package of services of $1,000 (plus HST) or more.

 

Read More

Partners and Sponsors