The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is proud to be involved in the 2018 production of a coffee table book that will celebrate everything there is to love about Sarnia-Lambton, with emphasis on the storytelling to be done through the camera lens of Richard Bain, a noted landscape photographer.

As the project is launched, the first step has been to gather the support of Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley and Lambton County Warden Bill Weber, both of whom have enthusiastically done so.

Arguably one of Sarnia-Lambton’s most famous “alum” is Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first to command a mission of the International Space Station, who has agreed to write the foreword to the coffee table book.

While the name of the book has yet to be finalized, the “behind the scenes” work has already begun, with Richard Bain making periodic visits to the area from his home in London, Ont.

Richard has already published a number of coffee table books in partnership with some of the broader region’s Chambers of Commerce, including Stratford, Niagara, London, Guelph, and Kitchener-Waterloo. Without exception,  chambers have been very complimentary of the positive results generated by those projects in their communities.

Here in Sarnia-Lambton, the Chamber will be inviting 30 select corporations and institutions to partner on the project. Sponsors will receive several books to distribute to their 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 sponsors, 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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It may seem like a long ways off, but organizing next year’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards still takes time and the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce committee is already meeting to ensure another successful event.

We’ll start with the date, which has moved to Friday, October 12, 2018. The Imperial Theatre, always a warm and willing host, has been booked for the night, the timing intended to coincide with Business Week, a logical connection with the business community.

And speaking of “community,” the Chamber this year is widening its reach to include all businesses in the Sarnia-Lambton community.

While the response from Chamber members to the OBAA process was certainly strong, the view that removing the requirement that those being nominated would be members is expected to substantially broaden the impact to the entire community.

Which brings us to the traditionally “paper-intensive” submissions themselves.

The Chamber is working to create an “on-line” process through which those who are nominated will enter the judging phase of the 2018 OBAA.

Sponsors from previous years will be contacted in the very near future, but opportunities remain for the kind of exposure to which growing companies can benefit. Lead sponsor for the 2018 OBAA is Libro Credit Union.

Dates and an easy-to-follow nomination and submission process will be widely communicated in the very early days of 2018.

In the meantime, mark your calendar—Friday, October 12, 2018—and get ready for an even bigger, brighter, and bolder Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala, one of the Chamber’s “must attend” gatherings.

 

 

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Chamber members will soon be able to take advantage of a new member benefit that will help them bridge a “digital divide” through the use of technologies designed to provide online shoppers with a 360-view of the physical premise ahead of their actual in-store experience.

The service is being offered by JoeGoPhoto, a new Chamber member based in Petrolia.

This service enables clients to have their shop photographed in a way that it can be linked to Google maps. A visitor who finds the business online can then take a visual tour, without having to leave their computer or mobile device.

Members have said they value opportunities to assist them with the challenges facing brick and mortar stores to compete in an increasingly digital world.  Working with JoeGoPhoto,  the Chamber is  excited to bring this cutting-edge technology to our  members.

For further information on this member benefit, contact Kim Inniss-Petersen, manager of Member Engagement and Retention.

 

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The Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Network, a nonprofit group that includes representation in Sarnia-Lambton, is reaching out to the community to determine how residents and businesses throughout the area currently use the internet.

While the online survey is completely voluntary, SWIFT officials say the information will be used to help make sure plans for improvement to internet service are consistent with the need.

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce supports SWIFT’s goal of building “broadband for everyone” and encourages members to participate in the survey.

Information collected in the survey will be kept confidential and data gathered will only be used in a form that guarantees anonymity.

SWIFT, which was initially funded by the federal and provincial governments, includes partners throughout the region.

More information on SWIFT can be found on its website (www.swiftnetwork.ca).

 

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Chamber members can now explore ways to brighten up their email correspondence through “Outstand,” a member benefit program and service that’s committed to helping businesses improve the way they communicate. Customers using Outstand can create stunning, branded messages that make a powerful connection and the right impression in any inbox.

Chamber members will be able to sign up for Outstand to integrate emails with text messaging and dramatically improve click rates. There are numerous options to automate marketing campaigns, all with new levels of personalization to stand out and accelerate relationships.

For more information on Outstand, check out their website—then contact Kim Inniss-Petersen, the Chamber’s manager of Member Engagement and Retention, to take the next step in improving your email service with special Chamber member pricing.

 

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December’s Business After 5, which takes place on Wednesday, December 13, is a very special version of the monthly Chamber event.

With a “Yule Shop & Mingle” theme, the event, which takes place at the Dante Club (1330 London Road) from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., will feature an extra hour of networking, along with shopping for those special people on your list.

This is one of the most popular Business After 5 events of the year, made extra special in that the “holiday spirit” has settled on us all!

Having the opportunity to see what various merchants who have signed up to display their goodies (Christmas presents anyone?) puts the proverbial icing on the cake.

There is also an opportunity as part of this Business After 5 to “meet and mingle” with members of the YP Connects group.

Looking for an opportunity to take part in the shopping part of this event? A few spots are still available by contacting Kim Inniss-Petersen, the Chamber’s manager of Member Engagement and Retention.

Don’t miss out!

 

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce has urged Sarnia City Council to “think outside the box” and provide leadership with a view to increasing revenue without putting additional burdens on taxpayers.

The comments from the Chamber came in the form of a letter addressed to Mayor Mike Bradley and members of Council that was delivered to City Hall ahead of budget deliberations that took place earlier this week (Nov. 20, 2017)

Chamber CEO Shirley de Silva and Chair Michael Kooy, in acknowledging that “our goals are high,” also said the vision of the Chamber and its members is clear.

“We will need to work together as a community to succeed,” said the Chamber representatives.

In the letter, the Chamber focused its comments on three areas: taxation, debt, and infrastructure.

Taxation

The Chamber is advocating for revenue generation over cost reduction or increasing taxation. The organization said it supports Council’s direction to staff to research potential business incentives, including locked-in commercial tax rates and grants to offset development charges.

The Chamber advocates a “trial” period for the incentives to determine their effectiveness.

Debt

While the Chamber has congratulated the City for reducing its municipal debt, it reminded Council of its urging last year to take advantage of historically low debt and low-interest rates to invest in economic development projects. This year, it cited the partnership to redevelop the former Sarnia General Hospital site as an excellent investment that will revitalize a neighbourhood while removing what had become an eyesore, a fiscal burden, and a security risk.

The Chamber also pointed to funding for the Oversized Load Corridor by the City as a worthwhile investment.

Infrastructure

The Chamber is pleased that Sarnia is expanding its asset management plans pointing out that there is a minimum of $240 million in repairs, upgrades, and replacements needed.

The letter concluded with a recommendation to make wise investments “to create a more prosperous community which new and existing residents are proud to call home.”

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Note: As many radio listeners already know, the Chamber, in partnership with Blackburn Radio, reaches out to the business community in a “Chamber Minute” that airs on Fridays. We thought this would be of interest to readers of the Chamber Times.

As we prepare for the holiday season, one of the very best opportunities to meet and mingle with members of the business community is coming up very soon.

It’s our “Yule Shop and Mingle” Business After 5 event—which will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 13, a week earlier than usual.

We hope you’ll join us starting at 5 p.m. at the Dante Club, located at 1330 London Road in Sarnia.

Along with the traditional goodies that are being served, we have created an opportunity to do some serious shopping, thanks to some great vendors that we’re bringing in to share our space.

There are still a few spots remaining to come on board for this experience, so don’t be bashful. Call the Chamber office today at 519-336-2400 and speak with Ana for details.

In the meantime, we wish you our very best wishes for a wonderful holiday season. It is indeed a special time of year ahead and we sincerely hope to see you on Wednesday, December 13 for a chance to offer our greetings in person.

See you there!

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario, is offering a FREE half-day seminar that will benefit companies interested in exploring how exporting can make a positive difference in their growth trajectory.

The seminar, which takes place Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at the Chamber’s offices at 556 Christina St. N., will run from 9 a.m. to noon.

The first 15 businesses to register will be able to attend the seminar, which is being offered by the Canada-Ontario Export Forum, Ontario’s Regional Trade Network.

The organization is a partnership of federal, provincial, municipal and non-profit organizations—all dedicated to helping Ontario companies export.

The Chamber’s Global Business Opportunities Community is hosting the seminar in its role as a facilitator of export development opportunities in Sarnia-Lambton.

Companies that attend will be able to explore ways they can assess and develop their export readiness. They will also learn what resources are available to help them achieve export success.

Participants will also receive an overview of key export support resources and partners that can help small and medium enterprises become “export ready” and export to global markets.

Registration information can be found HERE.

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Karen Minty, a new member of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce through her Forty Hours business, is offering individuals the opportunity to build an effective introductory tool that she says will help set them on the right path.

Her upcoming “Elevator Pitch” seminar is one of the latest examples of how Minty is helping make a difference in the community.

The event takes place on Thursday, Nov. 30 at the offices of EXIT Realty (1323 Michigan Ave., Sarnia). The cost is $45 for the 9 a.m. to noon seminar.

To register, email Minty.

Forty Hours is Minty’s umbrella business that she says is about helping individuals and organizations create positive change in the way they present themselves.

“Together, we’ll dig deep to uncover that ‘superpower’ of yours,” said Minty. “We’ll help you to embrace that difference, push it to the forefront, and weave your story in a way that empowers you. Properly told, your story will resonate with people and draw them in as potential clients or investors.”

The “Elevator Pitch” is often can be a first step in that process.

Minty offers workshops, speaking engagements, and individual appointments as a way to help individuals present their message in a clear, concise, and engaging way.

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