The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched the National Food Services Working Group to address the economic challenges of the food services industry. With approximately 98,000 food service establishments in Canada, the industry is integral to economy vibrancy in communities.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s food service sector was a $93 billion industry that directly employed 1.2 million people. The industry has lost 800,000 jobs and is on track to lose as much as $17 billion in sales over the second quarter of 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. In addition, the sector is a vital end-user for Canadian agriculture producers and food processors, thereby compounding the economic impacts in other sectors.

The working group will focus on ensuring the benefits of the wage subsidy and rental assistance programs materialize for a sector that has been hard hit, and that will likely be one of the last sectors to recover as restrictions ease. The food service industry’s needs are unique with the combination of thin margins and practical challenges to maintain physical distancing protocol.

To read more about it and see the members of the Working group, click here.

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Sarnia-Lambton just received the go-ahead to move into Stage 2 as of Friday, June 19th at 12:01 am.

Some establishments that can open with the proper health and safety protocols include:

  • Personal care services (ie.: hair services, beauty salons, day spas, etc.)
  • Personal services (ie.: wedding planning & consulting services, personal fitness trainers outside of gyms, etc.)
  • Restaurants and bars (can open for dining in outdoor areas only)
  • Shopping malls and centres (with the omission of indoor food courts)
  • Photography services
  • Film and TV production
  • Tour and guide services
  • Low contact outdoor recreational facilities
  • Beaches, parks, and camping

The Ontario government has released safety guidelines to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19. Sector guidelines contain recommendations and tips for employers on how to keep workers safe on the job.

To read the full statement and access the guidelines, click here.

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Saat Lune Yoga Studio 

Yoga has been part of Nicol’s life for 15 years. During this time she has experienced growth both on and off the mat. Now, she set out to share what she has learned through her practice with her community in Bright’s Grove. Nicol is certified in Yoga, Reiki and meditation. Students of all ages will feel comfortable and confident in the Saat Lune environment, allowing Nicol to nurture body, mind and soul through yoga.

Trevor Tynes SEO Consultant 

SEO Campaigns will increase your brand awareness, improve your web traffic and fit seamlessly into your digital marketing strategy. All their SEO strategies begin with an SEO audit and are supported with earning backlinks from targeted link building strategies.

Seedz Corp

Seedz provides an integrated dashboard for businesses to easily create campaigns and add locations on the map. Explore your city and receive exclusive offers, prizes and content to geolocations near you. Earn points to get exclusive discounts on events, promotions, and more. Easily browse offers & deals on the map and follow its location to collect a seed. It’s that easy!

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The Sarnia-Lambton Chamber wants to encourage all chamber members to participate in an initiative called “Take Out Wednesday” to help our local restaurants get back up and running. Ordering take out from a local food establishment every Wednesday helps stimulate our economy, gets a local business one meal closer to financial security, and gives you and your family something to look forward to each week!

If you are taking part in #TakeOutWednesday, share it on your social media platform and tag us at @sarnialambtonchamber or #slchambercommunity.

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Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is encouraging the people of Ontario to establish a social “circle” of no more than 10 people who can interact and come into close contact with one another without physical distancing.

To form a safe social circle, the Ontario government has outlined five simple steps:

  • Start with your current circle: the people you live with or who regularly come into your household.
  • If your current circle is under 10 people, you can add members to your circle, including those from another household, family members or friends.
  • Get agreement from everyone that they will join the circle.
  • Keep your social circle safe. Maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of your circle.
  • Be true to your circle. No one should be part of more than one circle.

Ontarians should think of their circles as the people they can touch, hug, and come into close contact as we continue the shared fight against COVID-19.

These social circles are meant to help improve people’s mental health and reduce social isolation, as well as supporting rapid case and contact tracing by limiting the number of close contacts in the event of a case of COVID-19 within that circle.

Click here to read the full article.

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The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street Platform. It is a $57-million program which will help up to 22, 900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.

Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:

  • shopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario’s strengths by hiring skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves.
  • Digital Main Street Grant will help main street businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing.
  • Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in their new economy.

“The global marketplace is rapidly changing, and in order to compete and succeed Ontario must adapt.” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Along with the Digital Main Street platform, the province is investing an additional $150 million in rural broadband which will help open the digital road for many Ontario businesses.

To read the full article, click here.

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The Government of Canada is providing $816,507,200 million under the Gas Tax Fund (GTF) to Ontario. More than $813 million is being provided to the following 642 recipients across Ontario, including 443 municipalities and 199 local road boards. The remaining funding is going to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to administer the GTF. Sarnia and Lambton County will both receive funds.

Click here to read the full article.

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On June 10, 2020, a new bill was tabled in the House of Commons that will allow the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry to issue orders to extend various deadlines for federal businesses, not-for-profits, cooperatives, and boards of trade.

Bill C-17 affects the following acts administered by Corporations Canada:

  • Canada Business Corporation Act
  • Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act
  • Canada Cooperatives Act
  • Board of Trade Act

The Bill grants authority to extend the period of holding annual meetings and, for boards of trade, the deadline for filing annual summaries. We will provide more information as soon as it is available.

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The Government of Canada is taking action to further support Indigenous businesses and the Indigenous tourism industry in response to hardships created by COVID-19. Many of the 30,000 Indigenous businesses in Canada are small to medium sized-enterprises and operate in sectors particularly hard-hit by COVID-19.

$133 million in new funding was announced  to support Indigenous business through the pandemic and into recovery. Of these additional funds, $177 million will reach more community-owned First Nation, Inuit, and Metis businesses including microbusinesses, who are not eligible for existing business support measures.

Both investments will support Indigenous businesses and expand the reach of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 relief measures.

To read the full statement, click here.

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RBC Bank has shared a report titled ”Small Business, Big Pivot”, in which they lay out the highs and lows of the pandemic and the economic consequences that follow. We have included some of the findings summarized below:

Small firms need to compete in a world that has become more virtual, local, and fragmented since the pandemic – and because of it the pandemic has transformed our economy. Online shopping has become the norm with almost one-third of Canadians now purchasing items they would’ve normally bought in-store. Economic nationalism is on the rise, as are ‘buy-local’ campaigns. Finding ways to compete and win in a more virtual and fragmented economy will require all Canadian businesses to adapt. Many of Canada’s million plus small businesses will be challenged to do so. In 2017, nearly half of Canadian firms with fewer than 500 employees didn’t even have a business website, according to Statistics Canada. Of those that did, fewer than 10% were enabled for online payments.

To view the full report, click here.

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