Entries in business (13)

Thursday
Nov062014

Province moves ahead with legislation to tie minimum wage increases with CPI

The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce was part of a group of Chambers of Commerce in the network to encourage government to go this route.  The recommendations in the September 2013 report called “Predictable, Transparent, Fair: The Business Perspective on How to Set Ontario’s Minimum Wage”  included adjusting the minimum wage every two years based on the cumulative change of CPI.  The government has decided to make the change every year with an announcement made in April and the changes coming into effect October 1st of that year.  

Ultimately, the Chamber Network report came to the following conclusion: “By tying the minimum wage to the CPI, both employers and employees will be able to reasonably predict the increases in their labour costs and salaries, respectively.  Everyone will benefit.  Workers won’t be subject to long freezes and deterioration of their purchasing power.  Employers won’t be subject to sudden and unforeseen increases in the cost of doing business.” 

Ontario Government Press Release: 

November 6, 2014 12:10 P.M.

Today, Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, passed third reading with all party support in the Ontario legislature. 

The new act supports Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy, and is designed to further increase protections for vulnerable workers. The act will help workers by:

  • Tying future minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index for Ontario which will be announced by April of each year, and come into effect on Oct.1
  • Ensuring Occupational Health and Safety Act coverage for unpaid co-op students and other unpaid learners , which will give them protection under the OHSA such as the right to know about workplace hazards and the right to refuse unsafe work
  • Eliminating the $10,000 cap on the recovery of unpaid wages through Ministry of Labour orders to pay and increasing the period of recovery to two years
  • Expanding employment protections to cover all foreign employees who come to Ontario under an immigration or foreign temporary employee program
  • Holding temporary help agencies and their employer clients accountable for certain employment standards violations, such as failure to pay regular wages, overtime pay, and public holiday entitlements.

Protecting vulnerable workers and making the minimum wage fair is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

“Taking the politics out of setting the minimum wage provides fairness for workers and predictability for businesses. This legislation will also protect the most vulnerable workers and level the playing field for employers who play by the rules. These are the right steps to take; they will make Ontario a better place to work and run a business.” Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour

 

Wednesday
Nov052014

Connecting the dots to a prosperous Peterborough

Chancellor of Trent University, professor and author Don Tapscott wrote an article recently for the Toronto Star (Friday, October 17, 2014) about the success in Guelph and the re-imagined role of municipal government.  Here we will take a look at the principles and highlight what Peterborough already has in place and what areas are in need of attention. 

 

1. Promoting Entrepreneurship to Achieve Prosperity

In the Toronto Star article Tapscott says, “when it comes to jobs, entrepreneurship is key, as close to 80 per cent of new jobs come from companies five years old or less, and technology enables little companies to have the capabilities of big companies.”

He goes on to tell us about Innovation Guelph which “since launching in 2010 has coached more than 500 companies and helped channel more than $12 million into client companies.”  

In Peterborough:
There are actually two regional entities in the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster (GPIC) and Peterborough Economic Development’s Business Advisory Centre.   The Innovation Cluster mandate is “to drive 21st century technology-based, innovation-driven, and entrepreneurship-led economic growth and high-tech job creation by supporting innovation, entrepreneurship, commercialization and new company formation & growth.”  It recently developed “The Cube” which is a technology business incubator that puts entrepreneurs into direct contact with experts who can help them commercialize their ideas.  

In the 2013 Annual Report from Peterborough Economic Development, the Business Advisory Centre is credited with facilitating 64 new start-ups.  The Centre offers “entrepreneurs various tools from registration to guidance from business experts to access to resources or a quiet place to work.”   

2.  Open Government

Here Tapscott relays what the City of Guelph has accomplished from adopting a plan developed by engaged citizens, local business and community stakeholders to including citizens in government decision making to making the new councillor orientation handbook available as a user guide to local government - The Guelph User Guide

In Peterborough:
The City of Peterborough has 10 Advisory Committees, eight of which has citizen appointees.  In the County there are also 10 Advisory Committees and citizen appointees.  

A great idea is publishing the new councillor user guide as a general user guide to local government.  Educating the public on how government works and the processes it follows allows for residents to feel included.  

3. Turning Public Safety Inside Out

Guelph has launched a group called “Guelph Enterprise” which is a model for innovation in human services.  The thinking behind the group is that great policing isn’t the only solution, strong health care, education and social services need to work together with an eye to freeing up resources and capacity for stretched service providers. 

In Peterborough:

The Peterborough Lakefield Police Service has identified this as a major stumbling block.  One Inspector is interested in pulling together a group that sounds very much like “Guelph Enterprise”.    The following was printed in a Voice of Business article on Thursday, October 2, 2014:  

The Chamber is wholeheartedly in favour of a working group to come up with ideas to improve the city for all residents, as suggested by Inspector Dan Smith. “There are no simple solutions and we all must work collaboratively to deal with these problems,” he stated in an email. “Every enforcement initiative we undertake just displaces the activity to another location and doesn't provide a permanent solution.  I would like to form a working group of interested persons to see if we can come up with some ideas.”  

4. Rethinking Transportation

When it came to transportation Tapscott commended Guelph for its cycling master plan including: 100 kilometres of bike lanes and another 110 in various stages of approval, affordable bus pass program, Guelph Central Station Transit Hub, and off-road trails. 

In Peterborough:
“Peterborough’s environment; green space, trails and parks” were identified as one of the best things about 

Peterborough in the 2014 Vital Signs document.

Transportation in general was one of the major issues of the 2014 Municipal Election campaign.  The Peterborough City County Health Unit (PCCHU) report on Active Transportation released last month acknowledges that active transportation rates are on the rise in the region.  The report reflects how Peterborough moves and the impact of transportation choices.

The City presently has 58 kilometres of cycling facilities. The facilities include off-road multi-use trails, trails beside the road and on-road bike lanes. The proposed cycling network calls for an additional 83 km of on-road and 48 km of off-road cycling facilities. The cost of these projects is estimated at $24-33 million and they are expected to be implemented between 2012 and 2031. (PCCHU Report: Active Transportation)

The City of Peterborough passed a new Transportation Master Plan in 2012 that carries with it the following introduction:

“Peterborough’s 2012 Transportation Plan was initiated as an update of the 2002 Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The two plans chart a similar course in terms of policy direction. However, the 2012 Transportation Plan can be characterized as requiring a substantially smaller road capital program to support it, and having a greater emphasis on active transportation.”

The 187 page “Transportation Master Plan” report can be found at peterborough.ca

5. Creating a Sustainable City

In this section, Tapscott talks about water, energy and waste diversion measures in Guelph and the successes that community has seen in those areas.

In Peterborough: 

Water Usage:
“In 2013, the Water Treatment Plant produced an average of almost 32,300,000 litres of water per day. That supplies all the needs of the city, including commercial, industrial, institutional and residential uses,” says Wayne Stiver, Vice President of the Water Utility for Peterborough.  “An average person in the City uses about 230 litres of water per day and residential water use accounts for about 56% of the total City demand." 

In response to the affect of the new water meter program, Stiver says, "we are estimating that our customers will use 10 to 15% less water on average and this is based solely upon our consultant's
estimate. We will need several years of data to determine the effects as weather can also play a huge part on water demand. We've had two fairly wet summers in a row and the outdoor water use has been below average in 2013 and 2014."

Energy Mix:
The City of Peterborough through Peterborough Utilities Inc has six power generation stations, generating a total of 33.5 megawatts currently.  An upgrade for another 6 megawatts is in the works.  The mix of generation includes hydro-electric, solar, and landfill gas. 

In the 2013 Vital Signs Report, recycling and composting rates show 55% of household waste was diverted from landfill in 2012 in the City of Peterborough and 44% was diverted in the County of Peterborough.  Both numbers are above comparable city and regional averages.

From the business community perspective, the business plan for corporate social responsibility (CSR) is there. In January of 2013, Sustainable Peterborough hosted author Bob Willard who explained that making green choices could improve your bottom line by between 51 and 81%.  Several chamber members presented at the event and said that even though they made green changes for different reasons the end result is an improvement on their triple bottom line (profit, planet and people).  Find the article under News/Voice of Business/January 17, 2014 on the Chamber website peterboroughchamber.ca

6. Transforming Social Services

“The digital revolution enables cities to better integrate social services, reducing cost and improving value,” says Don Tapscott in the Toronto Star article. 

Guelph formed the Guelph Wellbeing Leadership Group to use the Canadian Index of Wellbeing to assess overall well-being and pool resources inside and outside government to find solutions.

In Peterborough: 

The Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough has completed two Vital Signs Reports in 2013 and 2014.  This is essentially an overall snapshot of the well-being of our community.  

The next step would be to take the information gathered in Vital Signs and assess how effective strategies and solutions can be found.   

7. Reinventing Local Democracy

In this last point, Tapscott says Guelph is well on its way to shifting the relationship between government and citizens from “us vs. them” to “we’re in this together”, given the community involvement in the above list. 

In Peterborough: 

The new city council has four new members.  Each council member has a passion for Peterborough and ideas on how to make Peterborough it’s most vibrant and enticing self.   There will be budgets and issues at hand to be dealt with soon enough, but at this moment as the new council settles in to their posts it feels like a crossroads with opportunity stretching out in either direction. 


Perhaps it’s time to take the “we’re in this together” vibe touted in various ways during the election campaign to the next level. 

In the lobbying world there is a saying about how more can be done if groups have “skin in the game” or some type of invested interest in the outcome of an issue.  We all have skin in this game and the opportunity to step up our game has never been greater.  

Join us for more discussion on these topics at the “Connecting the Dots” Policy Forum on Thursday, November 27, 2014 at the Holiday Inn Peterborough Waterfront from 5:30pm – 8:00pm. 

Comment through the “Peterborough Chamber” group of LinkedIn. 

Tuesday
Oct282014

Congratulations and welcome to the 2014-2018 City and County of Peterborough Councils

Congratulations to the new and returning mayors and councillors of the City and County of Peterborough.  The Chamber warmly welcomes you to your posts after the Municipal Election on Monday,
October 27, 2014.  

“The 2014 Municipal Election campaign was full of engaged individuals on issues important to the business community,” says Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.  “We look forward to continuing to build and develop a collaborative relationship over the next four years.”

Issues from planning to vision to jobs and employment stood out for Peterborough Chamber members during the six week campaign and we will ensure their voices continue to be heard.    

“Whether a one-person home-based business or a multi-national chain, all businesses open their doors every day to achieve various forms of success for themselves, their customers and the community,” says Bob Doornenbal, 2014 Chair of the Board of Directors in his Chair’s message. 

“Government, whether it is municipal, provincial or federal, sets the framework in which businesses have the opportunity to thrive, “adds Harrison.  “The membership is committed to working with you to create a business climate that fosters investment and growth.”

The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce is a member-based organization. Our main focus is to channel the collective strength of the business community to improve the economy. This includes providing representation on numerous committees, conducting surveys, issuing discussion papers and developing policy positions on issues of significance to our members.

Thank you to all candidates who put their names and ideas forward for consideration.  

Thursday
Oct232014

Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 


 

 The 2014 Business Excellence Awards were handed out at the awards ceremony at The Trentwinds on October 22nd.  The 11th annual ceremony was presented by the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, and is designed to publicly recognize and honour local businesses who have demonstrated a passion for excellence.

In all, 40 businesses were profiled as “Finalists”, with one Excellence Award handed out in each of the 17 categories.

The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce also announced its annual Business Citizen of the Year recipient at the awards ceremony. As the Chamber of Commerce is a Business-to-Business organization, the role that a nominee for the Business Citizen of the Year Award has had in the Business Community is extremely important. The Chamber of Commerce also recognizes the importance of volunteerism within the broader community. The 2014 recipient is Mary LaRocque! 

Mary joins a long list of Business Citizens of the Year, who have all made a significant contribution to the community.

The Chamber also congratulates the first 4-Under-40 profilees:

Robert Gauvreau, Hajni Hos, Jason Stabler, Dr. Brenda Tapp

“The 4-under-40 program is a reflection of an important component of our vibrant business community and their commitment to Peterborough and area,” said Bob Doornenbal, Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors and Director of Franchise Sales for Driving Miss Daisy. “We are thrilled the Chamber’s Young Professionals Group has selected the 4-under-40 profilees to be recognized and celebrate their drive and ambition.”

 

Business Excellence Awards Finalists 2014
(listed in alphabetical order)

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT (sponsored by Gauvreau & Associates Chartered Professional Accountant)

  • Cravings Bakery & Market
  • Marlin Travel
  • Noble Purification Inc.  – Recipient!

SUPPLY CHAIN (sponsored by Peterborough Community Futures Development Corp.)

  • At the Lake Distributing Inc.
  • The MEDIA Works 
  • Wakeford Automatics – Recipient!

SKILLED TRADES (sponsored by Business Development Bank of Canada)

  • H & H Mechanical Autobody
  • Mortlock Construction Inc. – Recipient!
  • The MEDIA Works 

 TOURISM (sponsored by BMO Financial Group)

  • Birch Bend Cottage Resort
  • Lang Pioneer Village Museum – Recipient!
  • Peterborough Musicfest

HOSPITALITY (sponsored by Sysco Central Ontario, Inc.)

  • Cravings Bakery & Market – Recipient!
  • The Keg Steakhouse & Bar Peterborough
  • Wee Wok Express

MICRO BUSINESS – Fewer than 5 employees (sponsored by The Staffing Connection/Level A)

  • Blossom Hill Nursery – Recipient!
  • Kevin M. Duguay Community Planning and Consulting Inc. 
  • Peterborough Centre of Naturopathic Medicine

RETAIL - CHAIN/FRANCHISE (sponsored by RBC Financial Group)

  • Aerie
  • Marlin Travel
  • Merrett Home Hardware Building Centre – Recipient!

 RETAIL - NON-CHAIN/NON-FRANCHISE (sponsored by The Peterborough Examiner)

  • BOATsmart!
  • Jo Anne’s Place Health Foods
  • Primal Cuts – Recipient!

 CUSTOMER FIRST (sponsored by TD Canada Trust)

  • Applewood Retirement Residence
  • Jason McIntosh Fresh Frozen Beef – Recipient!
  • Marlin Travel

 LOCAL FOCUS (sponsored by Trent University)

  • Cravings Bakery & Market – Recipient!
  • Mortlock Construction Inc.
  • snapd Peterborough

INNOVATION / RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (sponsored by Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster)

  • Noble Purification Inc. – Recipient!
  • Sciens Industries
  • UnLock Math

COMMERCIAL RESTORATION / RENOVATION (sponsored by City of Peterborough)

  • Ashburnham Realty 
  • BrandHealth Inc.  – Recipient!
  • Lakeshore Designs

MARKETING & PROMOTION (sponsored by BDO Canada LLP)

  • Central Smith – Recipient!
  • Marlin Travel 
  • Trent University

 ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES (sponsored by County of Peterborough)

  • Camp Kawartha – Recipient!
  • Lansdowne Place
  • Warsaw Caves Conservation Area & Campground

 HEALTH & WELLNESS (sponsored by Peterborough Regional Health Centre)

  • Kawartha Dental Clinic 
  • Peterborough Centre of Naturopathic Medicine – Recipient!
  • The Ear Company (Peterborough Audiology) Inc.

 NOT - FOR PROFIT (sponsored by Fleming College)

  • Canadian Cancer Society, Peterborough & District
  • The James Fund – Recipient!
  • United Way Peterborough & District 

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR (sponsored by LLF Lawyers LLP)

  • BOATsmart! – Recipient!
  • Marlin Travel
  • Peterborough Regional Health Centre

STUDENT BUSINESS LEADERSHIP BURSARY – Fleming college (sponsored by Peterborough Economic Development)

  • Thomas Wilkins (Marketing) – Recipient!

 

STUDENT BUSINESS LEADERSHIP BURSARY – TRENT UNIVERSITY (sponsored by Peterborough Economic Development)

  • Jessica Rogers (Business Administration & Economics) –Recipient!

 

 

 

4-UNDER-40 PROFILEES (sponsored by Peterborough Distribution Inc.)

  • Robert Gauvreau
  • Hajni Hos
  • Jason Stabler
  • Dr. Brenda Tapp

BUSINESS CITIZEN OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Nexicom)

  • Mary LaRocque, Marlin Travel – Recipient!

Thursday
Oct162014

Business issues drive mayoral debate

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, in conjunction with the DBIA and Women’s Business Network, the
Peterborough Chamber of Commerce hosted a mayoral debate.  

15 questions pertaining to business issues, from job creation to availability of land to transit to the experience needed to be Mayor were asked of five of the six mayoral candidates in front of a crowd of about 200 at The Venue.   

The Chamber has identified 10 areas of concern in this election:  

 

  1. Broader Community Vision 
  2. Business Corridors (Downtown, Lansdowne, Chemong, Industrial Park)
  3. Employment & Job Creation
  4. Finances
  5. Infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc)
  6. Inter-government Relations & Government Accountability
  7. Interest Arbitration Process
  8. Planning Process (What can be done to make it easier for business?)
  9. Transportation
  10. Taxation & Development Charges

 

Find videos of each question and answer on the Chamber YouTube channel 

Comment through the “Peterborough Chamber” group of LinkedIn.