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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 3, 2023

Labour market still tight, but shortages have eased from peak, most Canadians see recession as most likely economic scenario, and more.

In this edition:

Labour market still tight, but shortages have eased from peak

Today, the Bank of Canada released the results from its first-quarter 2023 Business Outlook Survey and the Business Leaders’ Pulse surveys from January through March 2023.

Firms continue to view the labour market as tight, though labour shortages and wage growth pressures have eased. Demand for labour has softened over the past several quarters but continues to be robust—more than half of firms still plan to increase their workforce over the next 12 months.

As in recent surveys, businesses anticipate that their sales will grow but at a slower pace. For many firms, this slowdown will follow a period of exceptional strength over the past year.

Click here to read more.

Most Canadians see recession as most likely economic scenario

The Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations for Q1 2023 has revealed that most Canadians see a recession as the most likely scenario for the economy in the next 12 months, but many are uncertain about where the economy and labour market are going.

Expectations for inflation one to two years ahead have fallen but remain well above their levels from before the COVID-19 pandemic. Most consumers think the Bank of Canada’s ability to get inflation back to target is hampered by high government spending and challenges with supply chains.

High inflation and rising interest rates are putting pressure on consumers, and particularly on mortgage holders. In response, consumers expect to spend less on discretionary services such as travel, restaurant meals and other social activities than they did over the last 12 months.

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Ontario introduces new red tape reduction legislation

Today, the Ontario government introduced the Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023. This is the 11th Red Tape Reduction package and the 10th Red Tape Reduction bill introduced by the Ontario government since 2018.

Ontario’s Spring 2023 Red Tape Reduction Package includes 42 new initiatives that, when fully implemented, are estimated to save businesses, not-for-profits, and the broader public sector $119 million in net annual regulatory compliance costs.

Click here to read more.

New supports for Canadian families struggling with cost of living take effect

The Government of Canada is highlighting new measures aimed at reducing the rising cost of living for Canadians. Measures taking effect this month include:

  • The federal minimum wage is increasing from $15.55 to $16.65 per hour, to keep pace with inflation;
  • Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans, including those currently being repaid, become permanently interest-free;
  • Financial institutions can offer the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, to help Canadians save up to $40,000 tax-free for their first home;
  • Quarterly Climate Action Incentive payments increase for people in provinces where the federal price on pollution currently applies;
  • Eligible low and median income homeowners can receive up to $10,000 toward a new energy efficient heat pump through the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program.

These newly available support measures build on a range of other investments and initiatives, including doubling the GST Credit for six months, providing dental care for more than 250,000 children, and delivering a one-time tax-free payment of $500 for low-income renters.

Click here to read more.

Port Colborne retains consultant for Active Transportation Master Plan

The City of Port Colborne has retained McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers to undertake a study to develop an Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) for the City.

The ATMP will serve as a centralized document to guide all active transportation related development within the City and will support the management and direction of short and long-term active transportation initiatives until 2032.

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Black Owned 905, Future Black Female prepare for opening of storefront

Black Owned 905 and Future Black Female will open their storefront on April 8, and the grand opening will feature a market inside the space.

The store, located in the Corbloc, serves as a space for black-woman-owned businesses to get their feet off the ground.
The businesses featured in the store will be chosen through the organizations’ joint “Marketplace Bootcamp” program.

Black women between the ages of 18 and 25 with a business plan can contact for more information.

Click here to read more.

Meridian launches Earth Month eco-upgrade project to help businesses become more eco-friendly

Meridian is marking Earth Month with the launch of its inaugural Eco-Upgrade Project for small business owners in Ontario. The project aims to help businesses become more eco-friendly by providing eco-upgrade grants from a total grant pool of $30,000.

There will be one large eco-upgrade selected to a maximum value of $15,000, two medium sized upgrades to a maximum value of $5,000 each and the remainder of the budget will be divided up to grant as many smaller eco-upgrades as possible within the total grant pool.

Click here to read more.

Hidden Bench adds to estate with purchase of 48-acre Beamsville Bench property

In what is likely one of the largest parcels of land left on the Beamsville Bench suitable for planting grapes, Hidden Bench has acquired a “coveted” 48-acre property.

Preparation for the vineyard has already begun, with approximately 25-30 acres devoted to new plantings, bringing the total amount of acreage Hidden Bench owns and farms organically to approximately 110 acres in now four estate vineyards — Locust Lane, Rosomel, Felseck and the new vineyard, plus a vineyard the estate leases and farms organically in the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation.

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Focus on Small Business

Do not apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to your marketing

A common mistake that many companies make is using a “one-size-fits-all” approach to its marketing efforts. Said another way, the company comes up with one marketing strategy, uses mass marketing techniques and the same messaging to everyone that sees its advertising.

Yes, that is a simple approach, and saves you time and efforts required to customize your messaging to specific sub-audiences. But if you are looking to maximize your return on marketing spend, that additional upfront investment in building customer personas (sub-audiences) and a customer journey flow (from upper funnel to lower funnel) will pay back in spades.

Click here to read more.

Whatever happened to Groupon?

Founded in 2008, Groupon’s appeal was a supposed win-win for both customers and businesses:

  • Customers scored big discounts at local merchants if enough of them agreed to make the same purchase.
  • Businesses got exposure and new customers.

In August 2010, Forbes called the Chicago-based platform the “fastest growing company ever.” The following year, it IPO’d at a $17.8B market cap.

Today? Groupon is worth just $103m — a 99.4% plummet from its IPO. And though it does maintain ~14m active users, it had 83m+ subscribers in 2011, per TechCrunch.

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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