The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce has reached out to the Federal Government asking for continued leadership in creating a national strategy to support the development of bioindustry, a sector that is particularly important to our area.

In a letter addressed to Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Chamber’s Charles Fisher, board chair; and Shirley de Silva, president and CEO, pointed out that such a strategy was supported by delegates to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM, which was held recently in Thunder Bay.

Such a national strategy being advocated would develop value chains, increase international connectivity and investment, advance research, target funding, attract investment and jobs, and establish a national voice.

The letter also acknowledged Federal support that included the $12 million funding in 2016 Bioindustrial Innovation Canada’s COMM SCI project, which has national benefits.


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In a co-branded event that will take place at DeGroot’s Nurseries on Wednesday, October 17, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with Blackburn Radio for a combined Sarnia-Lambton Business Showcase/Business After 5.

Members will be greeted by Chamber staff on entering DeGroot’s, followed by opportunities to “mix and mingle.” Many businesses consider the Showcase event to be one of the most effective forms of marketing, especially as the fall season gets into high gear.

‘This is a very good partnership for the Chamber and our members,” says Shirley de Silva, president and CEO. “Our relationship with Blackburn Radio is one that we both benefit from as we continue to build a strong business community together.”

This event has a slightly modified Business After 5 schedule, opening at 4 p.m. and running through 8 p.m.

A full list of the vendors that are participating in the Showcase can be found HERE and there is still room for additional vendors.


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Sometimes it’s the “little things” that can make a difference. For business owners that put their heart and soul into creating value in their community, having Chamber members visit to welcome them into the fold could very well be one of those special touches.

With that in mind, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is set to create a group of “Ambassadors” ready and willing to participate.

Those who come forward to become a Chamber Ambassador will be willing to respond to a periodic invitation to visit new members—perhaps a casual ribbon-cutting event—or even pop in on a special anniversary to thank them for being part of the Chamber community.

If this idea appeals to you, please reach out directly to Shirley de Silva, President and CEO, to take the next step.


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It’s a competitive world. For that reason, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, is presenting a second Amazon Marketplace webinar after an excellent turnout for an earlier event.

The second webinar event will take place next Wednesday, September 26 from noon to 1 p.m.

Speaking at the webinar will be David Heaney, senior manager, and Leith Ledger, sales manager, both of Amazon Canada.

Attending the webinar will give participants all they need to know to start selling on Amazon. Once the webinar is complete, attendees who subsequently register for an professional seller account will receive invite-only access to additional benefits, including advanced account set-up and access to an account representative for help in getting started.

This partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce represents an opportunity to help Chamber members begin selling to more customers in over 25 product and service categories.

To register for this free webinar, click HERE.

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Still not sure of who you’ll vote for in this year’s Sarnia municipal election?

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is organizing an opportunity for members (and other members of the public) to “Meet the Candidates” ahead of this the October 11-22 voting.

The event will take place on Wednesday, October 10, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. near the food court at Lambton Mall.

Candidates are invited to answer questions posed by visitors and share reasons why they deserve your vote.

Voting in Sarnia this year will be held using internet and telephone voting only. Voting starts at 8 a.m. on Thursday, October 11 and concludes at 8 p.m. on Monday, October 22.

More information on voting can be found on the City of Sarnia website.


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The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership is hoping to connect with university graduates to gauge interest in developing alumni networks in the Sarnia-Lambton area.

Aimed at connecting university graduates in the area, the Partnership’s Alumni Network Project was developed to determine the interests of the area’s alumni, which may include career development, community growth, or social activities.  Potential networks could prove to be a very valuable asset in strengthening the community.

To provide the initial steps in making those connections, the Alumni Network Project team constructed a short survey that will be available for completion throughout the month of September.  The survey, which can be found HERE.

In addition to the survey, the Alumni Network Project team will also look to connect with university graduates at various community functions throughout the month of September and is offering to visit with any local businesses or individuals to provide more information on the project.

Anyone interested in more information on the Alumni Network Project can contact the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership at (519) 332-1820 or email

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The Inn of the Good Shepherd is organizing a special “Brown Bag Lunch” it hopes will contribute to the ongoing challenges around food insecurity in our community.

As part of the Tuesday, October 2 event, which is being sponsored by Subway restaurants, supporters can order a $10 lunch (a six-inch sub, Subway cookie, veggies and dip, fruit and a beverage). A choice of ham, turkey, cold cut, or veggie is being offered. The meal can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the front entrance of the Dante Club on London Road.

Organizers are asking supporters to order online—click HERE—before September 26.

For more information on this event, contact Dana Piggott at (519) 344-1746, extension 303.

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The City of Sarnia is conducting a master planning session for the Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport. with an industry-specific meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2 at Sarnia City Hall.

At this session, attendees will offer ideas on how the airport can be used to support local industry and further economic growth and development in the region.

Industry participant feedback will be used in future development planning at the airport.

For further details, or if you wish to attend electronically, please contact the City at

An online survey that will help the City plan future airport improvements can be found HERE.


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A delegation from the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce will be representing local businesses at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting in Thunder Bay this weekend.

Representing the Chamber will be Charles Fisher, chair of the Chamber; Shirley de Silva, president and CEO; and Monica Shepley, manager of Advocacy and Policy Development.

Connecting with the Canadian Chamber and representing issues of importance to the local business community is part of an ongoing strategy designed to advocate for members.

The AGM will bring together some 320 Chambers from across the country to discuss the economic and political issues that affect the prosperity of Canadian business, the result being even more relevance in a quest to foster a stronger economic environment.


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Organizers of a “Start-Up Weekend” that will take place in Sarnia-Lambton later this month are expecting 60 participants from across the southwestern Ontario area and beyond.

The community organized event, initiated by members of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation group at Lambton College is being held under the auspices of Techstars, a group that has coordinated events globally.

The event is “powered by Google for Entrepreneurs” and comes together at 148 Front Street starting Friday, September 28 at 6 p.m. and running through Sunday, September 30 at 10 p.m.

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Organizers suggest bringing “lots of energy” to the weekend event, an opportunity for teams to pitch their own idea or listen to others. There will then be voting on the most interesting ideas, followed by the forming of teams with diverse skill sets.

Full details are available online, with links to Eventbrite and the purchase of tickets.


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