Membership in the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is a great way to help grow your business and build relationships. If you want to make a valuable investment in your business and in your community, the Chamber is a great place to start. With business and networking opportunities, there are countless benefits to help your business connect, succeed and grow.

Here are just a few membership benefits worth considering:

  • Group Insurance
  • Advertising – Print, Email & Website
  • Membership Directory
  • Esso Fuel Discount Program
  • Newsletter
  • Merchant Services
  • UPS Shipping Discount Program
  • Networking & Committee Volunteering
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Event Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Business After Five hosting

 

 

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You can make the most of your directory profile in just a few easy steps.

To edit your membership listing, proceed as follows: On the home page, scroll up to the top of the page, click on ACCOUNT Enter your username and password. Find your business and select it, then click VIEW PROFILE/EDIT. Once you have logged in, be sure to enter keywords that best describe your business. Keywords are used by our search engine to better connect users to appropriate members.

Need some help in the process. Reach out to Ana Dailey or Kim Inniss-Petersen at the Chamber and we’ll be happy to help.

 

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An Accredited Financial Counsellor will be sharing her expertise with members of YP Connects, an organization affiliated with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, at its Thursday, September 28 meeting.

The event takes place at the Ups and Downs “private room” and runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Ellan Dickieson, who works with Credit Counselling Canada, will be making the presentation, which begins at 5:20 p.m.

Appetizers, a prize giveaway, and a chance to ask questions are all included in this YP Connects gathering.

Be sure to stay connected with YP Connects on Facebook.

 

 

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Several business owners from a wide range of sectors, including retail, farming, and medicine, gathered on Tuesday for a Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce-hosted event that highlighted the impact proposed changes by the Federal Government would have, not only on their economic livelihood but the entire nation.

The picture being painted is not a pretty one.

Debra Taylor, a CPA who outlined the various changes that were put forward on July 18, said she objects to comments made by Finance Minister Bill Morneau that the proposed moves are intended to close loopholes.

“The reason we have corporations set up by people in business is to limit personal liability,” she told the gathering of business people at Manley’s Basics in Point Edward.

“If these changes are implemented, the incentive to take risk—which is at the heart of our economy—will be gone.”

Taylor said the government, if it truly wanted to be fair in making any changes, would have allowed a reasonable period of time for the transition and grandfathered existing businesses. “The 75 day consultation period is too short,” said Taylor. “There should be an extended period of consultation and feedback.”

But Taylor also made it clear that adding complexity to the tax burden is not the best way forward, pointing to a current tax code book that is substantially bigger than ever before.

“It’s not sustainable.”

But people like Carolyn Luciani, who with her sister Lisa Hewton owns Manley’s, says she is making far less than what the Federal Government suggests and that others might believe. “Financially, I’d be better off with a government job that offered vacations and benefits. None of that is the case when you own your own business.”

And she too objects to characterizations that the government is concerned about loopholes.

“These are not loopholes,” said Luciani. “They are reasonable provisions that offer stability and predictability for our business.”

Karen Sanders, who along with her husband Steve own Wild Hog Farms in Watford, said the proposed moves by the government will decimate the family farm.

Referring to two of her children who have expressed an intent to continue the operation, which employs seven people outside the family, she said her children would have to pay triple the tax than if their parents sold the operation to an unrelated business.

Al Langford, also a farmer who works other jobs outside his family’s cash crop operation and who is president of the Lambton Federation of Agriculture, said there is a real risk that his generation will be the last to farm the 750 acres that have been in the family for 107 years.

“We’re struggling,” he said.

The changes being proposed will have a huge impact on his community and he and others intend to spread the word about those impacts.

They plan to gather on Tuesday, September 26 at the Brooke-Alvinston Arena for a meeting to draw attention to the issues being raised.

“We’re on the edge,” said Langford. “We can’t allow it to happen. We have to stand up to it. Our whole lives are in this.”

Dr. Sean Peterson is a family doctor who also practices emergency medicine and runs a clinical research company in Sarnia. He’s also, with a partner, expanding his office building to create a team-based practice that would attract new doctors who want to work in that atmosphere.

But, Peterson, who is also a director of the Ontario Medical Association, said he’s concerned that the changes being proposed will make it harder to attract doctors who see the U.S. as being a potentially better place to practice.

And Peterson objects strongly to comments by Prime Minister Trudeau that a doctor pays less tax than a nurse in the same room.

“I can tell you, the only time that would ever happen is if the doctor is on maternity leave and isn’t receiving employment insurance payments,” he said.

According to Chamber research, two-thirds of Canadian small business owners make less than $73,000 a year, and half of those make less than $33,000 a year.

The Chamber of Commerce has a detailed guide to the proposed corporate tax changes on its website. The document can be seen HERE.

A website sponsored by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (www.protectgrowth.ca) outlines some of the issues. It states:

“Canadian small businesses represent almost 97% of all businesses in the country and employ nearly 70% of all Canadians working in the private sector. Encouraging the growth of small business is critical to creating jobs and supporting the economy.

“The Government says it’s all about “fairness,” but there are good reasons why owners are taxed differently than employees. Because unlike an employee, a business owner doesn’t get a pension or health benefits or vacation pay. She invested her own money to get the business started. Or, she pledged her personal assets (house, car) as collateral for a loan. She has employees who depend on her. And, if nobody wants her goods or services next month, she does not earn a penny.”

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Welcome to Kimberley Inniss-Petersen, the newest  member of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce team as Manager of Member Engagement and Retention.

Kimberley, who lives in Petrolia with her husband and three daughters, is passionate about her community.  In her new role, which is also a new one for the Chamber, Kimberley will be

applying her people skills, developing  strategies that will improve the Chamber’s value proposition for the membership.  Kimberley can be reached by email at kim@slchamber.ca

 

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Chamber members will be starting out fall in style next Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at the first Business After 5 of the season.

The event will take place at the Rooted Bohemian Salon & Day Spa in Petrolia, located at 4194 Petrolia Line, between Centre Street and Tank Street.

Members are welcome, but so are guests—especially those who may be checking out the Chamber as an important part of their networking strategy.  A non-member entrance fee of $10 is applicable; members are free.

Featured at the event will be live music and food, with numerous networking opportunities available. Click for more information.

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Worried about possible business tax changes? Come out Tuesday afternoon to see what we’re doing about it and show your support for Chamber members who would be impacted.

We have heard members tell us that increasing costs like electricity and wages are making it difficult for your business to compete. We are now hearing concerns from across Canada about the federal government’s proposed changes to corporate taxes. The changes would impact family businesses, farmers and professionals like doctors and dentists who rely on corporate earnings to save for their retirement, pay for their kids’ education and pass on their business to future generations. You can read more about the proposed changes in Your Guide to Corporate Tax Changes.

To hear how these changes will impact families and business owners in Sarnia-Lambton, please join us for a media event at Manley’s Basics 152 Kendall St, Pt. Edward, on Tuesday, September 19 at 4:00 PM.

We hope you can come out to show that this issue matters to you and support your fellow Chamber members. There will also be a brief presentation about proposed changes by Debra Taylor (FCPA, FCGA), Hume McDonough Little Taylor, LLP.

If you have a story to share about how the tax changes would affect you as a business owner, we want to hear from you. Please call either Shirley de Silva or Monica Shepley at 519-336-2400.

 

 

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Rural residents, farmers, and businesses on the outskirts of Sarnia won’t be forced to pay for bus services, following calls by the Chamber to tax only those who have the opportunity to use bus services.

At Monday’s meeting, Council considered removing the current “transit levy” and requiring all Sarnia tax payers to share in the cost of conventional bus services. This would have included taxpayers who do not have the service and cannot access it near their homes or places of business.

After consulting members, the Chamber wrote to Council expressing their concerns, “until conventional service is made available everywhere, it is only a public good for those who have the opportunity to access it.”

The Chamber’s input was part of a wider public consultation held over the summer. The City had issued a survey to which 400 people responded, with 63% objecting to the changes being proposed.

In the end, Council decided to maintain status quo and open up the discussion to other options.

Chamber CEO Shirley de Silva said instances like this, where the Chamber facilitates discussions in response to proposed legislation that could impact business, is part of what the organization does on a regular basis.

“Our members are the lifeblood of the community, providing the essential tax base,” she said. “We believe by acting collectively, we can get our message to those who write the laws so that they are aware of how our members would be affected.  In this case, they have listened.”

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The federal government has announced plans to change corporate tax rates that could have big impacts on small business owners and their families.

The Sarnia-Lambton Chamber supports measures that prevent tax evasion, but these changes go beyond that, and will punish many legitimate businesses. The government should put these changes on hold to avoid hurting thousands of small businesses across the country and to have a broader, thoughtful discussion regarding the measures needed to stop those who use their businesses to avoid paying taxes.

To find out more about the proposed changes, read Your Guide to Corporate Tax Changes and the article “Concern mounts over Morneau’s proposed tax changes affecting small businesses” which appeared in the Globe and Mail and discusses the latest news around the government’s taxation plans.

Now is the time to make your voice heard, which can be done by:

The government is accepting comments until October 2, 2017

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While discussions around changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement are in their early stages, Canadian businesses are becoming more vocal around a potential change to the minimum level by which goods are taxed when they enter the country, either through e-commerce or cross-border shopping.

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is among the organizations concerned.

The issue—which is referred to as the De Minimis Threshold—is potentially under pressure as American retailers in particular want to make it easier to do business across our border. The problem for Canadian retailers is that it puts them at an unfair advantage, which is something that no one in Canada wants.

A more complete explanation of the issue can be found HERE, outlining the position of Chambers in Sarnia-Lambton, Greater Niagara, and Windsor-Essex.

An article in the Windsor Star, which can be seen HERE, points to a “real world” example of the impact a change to the De Minimis rate could have on the local economy.

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