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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 12, 2023

In this edition:

10 key steps to getting a small business loan

Thinking of applying for a small business loan? At first, the process might seem daunting. The more prepared you are for the application process, however, the more likely you are to have your loan approved. Click here to read the 10 key steps to securing your small business loan.

At Meridian, we’re proud of the ways we help small businesses thrive in our community. Whether you need start-up funding or an injection of cash to help you grow, be sure to ask about the Canada Small Business Financing Program, through which you can qualify for a guaranteed loan from Meridian.

We also offer a wide range of flexible, industry-specific, and alternative financing solutions for small business.

If you’re considering a loan for your small business, talk to a Meridian Business Advisor today.

Sponsored content from Meridian Credit Union

Regional Chair Bradley makes announcements on housing, shared services and advocacy at 2023 State of the Region

Speaking to a sold-out audience of business and community leaders from across the region, Chair Jim Bradley delivered his message for the future: to grow a better Niagara we must do it together.

The Chair’s keynote address, delivered at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre, made three key announcements which aligned directly with Regional Council’s priorities for this term.

Specifically, Chair Bradley announced:

  • The creation of an Office of Attainable Housing
  • The creation of the Office of Share Services
  • The return of the highly-successful “Niagara Week” at Queen’s Park

In a media release, GNCC CEO Mishka Balsom welcomed the announcements, remarking that “in the GNCC’s municipal election platforms, we had campaigned for the dedication of staff and funds to find new opportunities for shared municipal services. At the GNCC, we really felt that the best way to make progress was to make it the primary responsibility of a department. We are pleased to see this being done.

“We have also prioritized attainable and affordable housing at the GNCC. The cost of housing is not only a social problem, but an economic one. We hope that the Office of Attainable Housing will be able to make progress on this problem.

“The GNCC is also pleased to be partnering with Niagara Region on the Niagara Week advocacy project at Queen’s Park. The meetings we hold will help advance the causes that are important to Niagara and ensure that our region and our business community gets the attention it needs.”

Regional Chair Jim Bradley also announced the names of the six winners of the 2023 Niagara Impact Awards. Now in their third year, the Niagara Impact Awards were created to recognize individuals, non-profit organizations and private sector businesses who have gone above and beyond to improve the quality of life of those living in the Niagara region.

Click here for the transcript of the Chair’s address.

Bank of Canada maintains interest rate, continues quantitative tightening

The Bank of Canada today held its target for the overnight rate at 4.5%, with the Bank Rate at 4.75% and the deposit rate at 4.5%. The Bank is also continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.

In Canada, demand is still exceeding supply and the labour market remains tight. Economic growth in the first quarter looks to be stronger than was projected in January, with a bounce in exports and solid consumption growth. While the Bank’s Business Outlook Survey suggests acute labour shortages are starting to ease, wage growth is still elevated relative to productivity growth.

Click here to read more.

CFIB says that small businesses believe CRA has grown worse over the last three years

Small businesses and tax practitioners rate the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s service as satisfactory, giving the CRA a grade of C, finds a new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

While the CRA’s overall grade hasn’t changed since the last two report cards in 2014 and 2017, three in ten (31%) businesses and 76% of tax practitioners think CRA’s service got worse in the last three years.

Click here to read more.

HOPA signs MOU with Atura Power for green hydrogen

The Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Atura Power to provide them with green hydrogen which will be produced at the Niagara Hydrogen Centre on the Niagara River.

Once complete, Atura Power’s Niagara Hydrogen Centre will feature a 20-megawatt electrolyzer system, making it Ontario’s largest green hydrogen facility. It is expected to be operational by the second half of 2024.

Click here to read more.

Stars align at pitch event for NAVIGATE entrepreneurs

Participants in Brock LINC’s NAVIGATE program recently showcased skills they’ve acquired to steer the entrepreneur ship.

The inaugural session of the program, which explores how to navigate the early stages of starting a business, wrapped Wednesday, April 5 with a student and community pitch competition. The event saw three winning participants later recognized at a Brock LINC Up! networking event later that day.

Click here to read more.

Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks now accepting applications for 2023 OCEF

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is now accepting applications for the 2023 Ontario Community Environment Fund (OCEF), a program that directs money collected from environmental penalties to community-based environmental projects like shoreline cleanups, habitat restoration and tree planting.

This year, more than $1.5 million is available for projects in three of the five regions where environmental penalties were collected. Interested organizations can visit the OCEF webpage to see if their project proposal would fall within one of the following eligible regions with funding available, or the application guide. Two webinars will be held to provide information and updates on the program and application process. To attend a webinar, please register for either Thursday, April 20, 2023 – 2 pm to 3 pm or Tuesday, April 25, 2023 – 10 am to 11 am.

The deadline to submit an application through the Transfer Payment Ontario portal is Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Click here to read more.

Focus on Climate

10 resources for improving corporate climate literacy

Below is a list of fantastic solutions available to help you start or scale your employee engagement initiatives.

Based on conversations at GreenBiz 23 with individuals leading the charge on employee engagement, it sounds like pairing a solid basic climate literacy training resource with a high-level overview of the work that your company is doing in sustainability is a really nice place to start for engaging your employees around these issues.

Click here to read more.

Biden looks to boost EV sales with plan to cut vehicle emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday proposed sweeping emissions cuts for new cars and trucks through 2032, a move it says could mean two out of every three new vehicles automakers sell will be electric within a decade.

The proposal, if finalized, represents the most aggressive U.S. vehicle emissions reduction plan to date, requiring 13% annual average pollution cuts and a 56% reduction in projected fleet average emissions over 2026 requirements. The EPA is also proposing new stricter emissions standards for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks through 2032.

Click here to read more.

Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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