Entries in Peterborough Chamber (83)


OCC call for Red Tape Challenge heard by province

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) recognizes that the Government of Ontario is taking an important step towards addressing the cumulative burden facing Ontario businesses by announcing the implementation of a Red Tape Challenge. 

This online consultation tool will allow businesses across Ontario to identify and help eliminate regulatory duplication, lessen compliance burdens, and make it easier for businesses and citizens to interact with government. This online consultation process will focus on six sectors including: auto parts manufacturing, food processing, financial services, mining, chemical manufacturing and forestry. 

"Last summer, the OCC called on the Province to adopt a crowd-sourced approach to regulatory change, where the public could submit comments and suggest changes to the regulations that impact them. It is encouraging to see the Province making burden reduction a priority," said Allan O'Dette, President and CEO of the OCC.  

This initiative is an example of the OCC's powerful advocacy work being directly reflected in the provincial government's policies.

"The Chamber Network has made the elimination of red tape and burden reduction a priority," said O'Dette. "This commitment is the beginning of a process that will address the red tape burden that Ontario's business community faces. This is an encouraging step towards alleviating unnecessary pressure on businesses, while helping to drive Ontario's economy forward."  


Getting it right: A framework for "Scaling Up"

It’s no surprise to us in Peterborough that entrepreneurship is rapidly becoming a focus in our economy.  

A few weeks ago entrepreneurship was included in the Chamber’s Top 10 Opportunities for growth in the Peterborough economy.  We have seen an intentional and concerted effort to build and create a sustainable ecosystem for startups and new businesses.

What do we know about small business in Canada?  It represents 98 percent of all firms and created 77.7 percent of all jobs between 2002-2012 (Industry Canada website).  This situation is expected to continue.  

What has the government committed to on this issue?  In the 2016 budget, through the Business Growth Initiative scaling up was identified as a key pillar.  “While Ontario is home to dynamic entrepreneurs and many cutting-edge companies, the province lags the U.S. and many other advanced economies in its share of medium-sized and large firms that comprise the economy.  This is important because larger firms tend to be more productive, export-oriented and pay higher wages, on average. For this reason, the Province is taking action to help scale up more Ontario firms by enhancing access to capital and establishing new programs that will focus on fostering accelerated growth — concentrating resources on young companies that have demonstrated success and have great potential” (2016 Provincial Budget). 

What do those of us in the business ecosystem need to do?  The goal of the Peterborough Chamber is to help and be the voice of business to the province in creating a framework to ensure small companies can grow and be sustained successfully.  

As part of representing our members, the Peterborough Chamber is on an Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Taskforce examining the needs of businesses looking to grow.  The OCC Taskforce is looking to support economic growth in the province by creating the conditions for firms to scale up in Ontario, clearly defining the concept of “scaling up"and the current barriers to doing so, providing constructive recommendations to government and the business community, and answering a few questions such as, how do we encourage more firms to scale up in Ontario.  

The OCC identified “scaling up” as one of the major topic discussions coming out of the 2015 Ontario Economic Summit.  According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Canada ranks as a leader, especially in early stage entrepreneurial activity.  The startup ecosystem includes over 140 assistance organizations.  However, the tools must be in place to ensure the entrepreneurial spirit translates into successful business with economic benefits. 

Part of the Taskforce's research process involves asking business owners about the challenges they’ve had with scaling up.  The goal is to gather Ontario specific data from those who have gone through the experience.  Some of the questions include identifying the top barrier to business, whether it is access to financing, talent, mentorship, peer support, new customers, markets or regulation/red tape. Those answering the survey will be asked how the barriers affected the scaling up process and whether there was any thought to leave Ontario.  The survey also asks about the ease of seeking government resources and the role of the private sector.  For those not interested in scaling up, we are asking why it is not a consideration.


The Top 10 Opportunities for growth in Peterborough

In identifying the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce got us thinking about the opportunities for Peterborough.  

The province is projecting the Ontario economy will grow by 2.2 percent in 2016, so what can Peterborough do to ensure that some of that growth happens here?

“If you view a challenge as an opportunity to be intentional in your focus,” says Jason Becker, BDO Canada LLP and Chair of the Peterborough Chamber Board of Directors, “then the outcome may be even more rewarding than had you not faced the challenge.”

Here are our  

Top 10 Opportunities for Peterborough:

  1. #TeamPtbo. Build and communicate the Peterborough brand.  Maximize the impact of the engaged group of individuals in our business ecosystem.  
  2. Airport. Ready for takeoff.  Developing the airport was an intentional decision by the City and County. 53,475 aircraft movements were facilitated at the Peterborough airport in 2015. We have existing serviced industrial lots, and 15 companies. The City also purchased the East of Airport Road land last year, which means there is the opportunity for more strategic development in this space. 
  3. Trent Research and Innovation Park. Set the stage for the future. The City and Trent University have partnered to build out the site adjacent to Trent with a focus on Clean Technology Sectors.  Noble Tech Inc. has announced it will build a $20 million plant and be the first tenant at the site.      
  4. Manufacturing. Honour our history, by succeeding in the present.  In the early 1900s Peterborough was viewed as an industrial hub and leader.  While the manufacturing sector has changed, there are 50-60 local businesses with ties to the Kawartha Manufacturers Association (KMA) and the Canadian Manufacturers’ and Exporters (CME).  These connections will help trigger opportunities into the future. Perhaps even recognition as an Advanced Manufacturing Consortium for Eastern Ontario as was announced for southwestern Ontario in the 2016 budget.  
  5. Agriculture and Rural Economic Development. Grow the future. Agriculture is a staple in the Peterborough economy generating over $400 million in economic activity each year. The provincial government has committed to continued support in the 2016 budget through programs such as the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP).  This is essential with the push on food security and food safety.
  6. Nuclear. Power into the future. With the recent reinstatement of the Darlington Nuclear refurbishment we need to revitalize the local Nuclear Cluster.  In doing so, we will be able to capitalize on the opportunity to be a part of the supply chain and lobby for fair and balanced procurement for the project to ensure that there is local opportunity. 
  7. Tourism. Celebrate what Mother Nature gave us.  Our natural and many of our built attractions are connected to our environment.  The successful Travel Media conference in 2015 continues to bear fruit for this sector along with new projects such as the cycling partnership with Shimano Canada and various themed tours.  
  8. Entrepreneurship. Nurture the future.  An intentional and concerted effort has gone into building and creating a sustainable ecosystem for startups and new businesses.  In Canada, small business represents 98% of all firms and created 77.7% of all jobs between 2002 and 2012. This is expected to continue.  Our goal should be creating a framework to ensure these small companies can grow and be sustained successfully.  In the budget the province promised help to scale up small and medium-sized business.  The Peterborough Chamber is on an Ontario Chamber Taskforce examining the needs of business to do so with ease. 
  9. Harmonious Councils. We’re all in this together.  City of Peterborough and County of Peterborough councils need to continue to find new ways to work together to promote the area and create a climate where current and new businesses can flourish.  Just as in the business ecosystem, they must promote the Peterborough brand.
  10. Our First Nations. Partner for the future.  With three First Nations communities in the Peterborough region, we must foster a relationship that creates positive ties between our communities.    


 2015 Year in Review, City of Peterborough

 Fifty Facts About Peterborough, Ont., Canada, Peterborough Board of Trade circa 1900




The power of an hour to talk about the Peterborough economy

Words such as collaboration and community were a few of the takeaway phrases from the Chamber’s inaugural Power Hour event last week and the atmosphere encouraged a sense of connection between our elected political leaders and a sense that there was an understanding of the issues facing businesses.  What they are able to action still remains to be seen, but the event was about connections, and these connections and conversations must start somewhere.  

MP for Peterborough-Kawartha Riding and Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef spoke about the importance of jobs and how a job carries so much more meaning to an individual than just paying the bills.  “A job brings with it a sense of dignity,” she told the crowd of 175 people.  She spoke about how Peterborough has so much going for it as a region, with many connections by road, air, and yes, rail.  

MPP for Peterborough Riding and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal detailed the importance of several spokes of Peterborough’s economy – agriculture, water and innovation and how going forward in the future the role these industries play will only grow.  Minister Leal also spoke about the impact of the 407 being completed to the 115 and how that road will start to push growth from the GTA even further east.  The impact of the 407 is also an issue the Chamber has on its radar as we determine how to help businesses prepare. 

Warden for the County of Peterborough J. Murray Jones spoke about how all of us in this region are responsible for building it up and seeing success.  “We’re all in this together,” Warden Jones reiterated.   He went on to speak about the importance of bridges and infrastructure projects that top the list for the County, such as the James A. Gifford Causeway, and how there is a constant struggle to raise the funds needed for infrastructure.

City of Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett told the crowd that the role for government is to provide a framework for business success and that jobs are created by businesses that have a solid framework from which to work. "When our businesses prosper, so too does our community.”   Mayor Bennett detailed a number of projects on the go at the city level from Bethune Street flood mitigation, to the library upgrade, to the new research park at Trent University.

Chamber member Noble Purification also received a number of mentions throughout the night as a shining example of Peterborough success.  

At the end of the prepared speeches, three questions were put to our four elected leaders including:

  1. What is the most pressing issue for businesses in Peterborough?
    Encouraging innovation was the main theme in the answers to this question.  Businesses need to be given the space to be innovative and have a support system that allows for that.
    The Chamber network asked in the “Emerging Stronger” document that the SR&ED tax credit be restored to 20%.  The program was reduced to 15% in 2014.
  2. With billions of infrastructure dollars looking to be spent what do you see as opportunities for Peterborough?
    Minister Monsef spoke about the infrastructure spending program and how it will be rolled out in two phases.  She spoke to the importance of recognizing the water situation on the Curve Lake First Nation and how a clean water system in that community would benefit us all.
    The main message was the importance of infrastructure is well known and the benefit of solid infrastructure to move our goods is paramount to our local economy.  The Warden and Mayor spoke to concerns about the funding model and the difficulty raising the one-third as municipalities must do under the current model. 
  3. How do you see the refugee resettlement benefiting your community?
    There was no doubt that each of our leaders sees the opportunity in welcoming potential new Canadians to our community.  They all expressed that not only does our economy benefit, but the community as a whole.  It came up more than once that Peterborough’s own roots lie in immigration and how we will need immigration to fulfill the needs of our economy.  

The private and public sectors must work hand in hand, collaborate, for a strong economy at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government.  

“All ships float on a rising tide.”   

Thank you to our elected leaders for their words and to our Power Sponsor Cogeco Connexion for taping the event.  Cogeco has provided a few dates the show will be airing:

Sat, Feb 20, 2016 06:30:00

Sun, Feb 21, 2016 12:00:00

Tue, Feb 23, 2016 15:00:00

Tue, Feb 23, 2016 21:00:00

Wed, Feb 24, 2016 12:00:00

Fri, Feb 26, 2016 19:30:00

Sat, Feb 27, 2016 08:00:00

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" LinkedIn group.


#TeamPtbo scores again! Way to go Community Futures Peterborough!

This is #TeamPtbo in action.  

Community Futures Peterborough just released a white paper called "More Bang for the Buck" about the impact of CFDC lending on Ontario's economy.  

The Peterborough result? "Our $7,5551,486 in lending over the five year period (2009-2014) equals a $33,981,687 impact on real GDP in Peterborough County." - Tonya Kraan, General Manager of Community Futures Peterborough.   


In CFDC's 30 years they have distributed loans to 672 small businesses totalling $26,004,390.  This has helped those businesses maintain and creat 3344 jobs.  

Learn more