As the economy begins to reopen, many businesses will need access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, hand sanitizers, face shields, or gowns. Sourcing these supplies is often challenging, especially to businesses that do not normally need to for their day to day work.

To help address this problem, Canadian industry has contributed to the creation of the Rapid Response Platform (RRP Canada), which is free to use and provides matchmaking service to connect manufacturers and businesses in need of PPE. The RRP includes hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 masks, surface sanitizer, face shields, and gowns.

For the full statement by the Canadian Chamber, click here

To access the RRP website, click here.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on consumer behaviour and consumption patterns. In this context, how can business owners predict demand and adapt their marketing to continue attracting customers? Martin Wiedenhoff, Director, Revenue Growth and Expansion for BDC Advisory Services has some advice.

Survey your customers: Ask customers how they have been experiencing the crisis and what they will need in the coming weeks and months. This will give you an idea of the level of demand for your products or services.

Create a sales forecast: When forecasting sales, one trick is to think of your sales funnel as a reverse pyramid. For example, if 50% of your leads move on to the quote stage, 20% go on to the negotiations stages, and 25% to close, then you know you need to talk to 1,000 leads to sell 25 units.

Plan for a variety of scenarios: As part of your scenario planning, try to think about the impact of changing consumer behaviors on your sales and include those predictions in your forecast.

Revamp your marketing plan: Since in-person events and sales activities have been cancelled, you will want to reallocate that money to finding leads in other ways. Some ideas could be online webinars, expert discussions, tutorials, or product demos.

Get online and be creative: Companies need to be able to measure their impact, and moving online makes it easier to decide if your efforts are successful or not!

For the full article, click here.

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Welcome to the Chamber Community: Lake Effect Studio! Lake Effect Studio is a brand new digital marketing company that specializes in environmental marketing. The company is owned and operated by recent graduates Sam Eastman and Kelly Moir.

As a welcome to the chamber and congratulations on their official launch, we will be having a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony over Zoom on Monday, June 1 at 2:00 pm. MP Marilyn Gladu and MPP Bob Bailey will be cutting the ribbon. Click here for more details.

To visit Lake Effect Studio’s website, click here.

To see Lake Effect Studios contact information, click here.

Left to Right: Kelly Moir and Sam Eastman
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Lambton Ford donated 100+ face shields to the Bluewater Health Foundation. Lambton Ford is pleased to be able to make future additional donations to further help support the needs of our local, committed front-line workers. 

Ford Motor Company has partnered with U.S. healthcare and safety providers to help provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to those front-line workers that need them the most. In Canada, Ford and UNIFOR have begun the production of face shields at their Windsor facilities. In addition to local donations, Ford is planning to produce an additional 2.5 million face shields for sale and distribution across Canada through government health agencies. Thanks Ford and Lambton Ford for all you are doing to keep the community safe!

Rob Ravensberg owner of Lambton Ford and Johanne Tomkins, Bluewater Health Foundation
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This week, a joint initiative between the COVID-19 Business and Economic Task Force and County of Lambton titled “Shop Lambton” launched. 

Shop Lambton is a free resource that intends to help consumers find goods and services locally. It features a database of local businesses, their hours of operation, their contact information, and how they are delivering their products & services during this time. 

Lambton County Warden Bill Weber spoke to the importance of such an initiative, “The pressures our local businesses are dealing with as a result of COVID-19 are different than anything we’ve experienced before. By shopping local and supporting Lambton County businesses, you can help our economy recover from the financial hardships we are currently faced with and keep our local businesses operating well beyond the course of this pandemic”.

 Local establishments are encouraged to access the site to fill out their registration information. Click here to register.

Click here to see the Shop Lambton Map.

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The Government of Canada has invested $350 million to improve the ability of community organizations to serve vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 crisis. Three intermediary organizations will be in charge of disbursing funds to community organizations. These intermediaries include: the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada, and the United Way Centraide Canada. 

The goal of this funding is to allow communities to put decisions in local hands where possible and allow flexibility to respond to local needs, among other things. To qualify for funding, the community organization must:

  • Address a pressing social inclusion or well-being need caused by COVID-19
  • Serve one or more vulnerable population(s) during COVID-19
  • Can be carried out in a short timeframe with a reasonable budget
  • Can attest to not having secured funds to cover the costs of the activities for which they have applied from another intermediary, federal COVID-19 response program, or a different source.

Interested community organizations are encouraged to visit intermediary partner websites regularly to learn more about how to apply.

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The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was announced on April 1, 2020 and helps employers protect jobs, rehire employees, and provide workers with a decent income. The subsidy covers 75% of an employee’s wages (up to $847 per week) for employers who have been hit hard by COVID-19.

The Government of Canada is looking for contributions to a consultation that will help inform potential changes to the CEWS to help maximize employment and best meet the needs of businesses and workers during this unprecedented time. The consultation is run by the Department of Finance Canada and is seeking feedback from businesses of all sizes, not-for-profit, charities, and labour representatives. 

The Consultation opened on May 25, 2020 and will close on June 5, 2020. Click here to participate in the survey or to provide in-depth feedback on the guiding questions, email at fin.cews-succ.fin@canada.ca.

To read the full statement, click here.

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In this episode of the Business of Business, Perrin Beatty President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sits down with Garrick Tiplady, Managing Director of Facebook Canada about the resources available for small businesses during COVID-19 and how Facebook has launched over $3.5 million in grants for small businesses across Canada. 

Garrick discusses all the features Facebook and Instagram have added to support Small Businesses across Canada during this time. 

For more information on the grants available through Facebook and the eligibility, click here.

 

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The Business Resilience Service (BRS) allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small-to-medium sized business, not-for-profit, or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty. 

The BRS is run through the Canadian Chamber’s Business Resilience Network in collaboration with EY and with support from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), and Imagine Canada.

The Program will be provided for four weeks from Monday, May 25, and involves support from approximately 125 business advisors from across the accounting profession. 

For more information about the BRS, click here.

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The province of Ontario is investing in its first Virtual Action Centre, an online counseling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers, and is helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment, and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools.

The government is also providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020 to 2021 and $7.5 million in 2021 to 2022. This will help new, eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. To be eligible for the new grant, apprentices must have: completed level 1 training on or after April 1, 2020, have an active registered training agreement, and be registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months.

Nearly $2 million will be invested to open the Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75. The virtual job training resource will provide up to 7,000 unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone, including: mental health resources, technical skill training, digital skill training, English language certification, and more.

For the full statement from the Ontario government, click here.

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