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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: January 23

In this edition:

  • Brock named third best employer in Canada by Forbes
  • Bank of Canada expected to hold interest rate steady, but tone could offer clues on cuts to come
  • Income and wealth gaps increased in the third quarter of 2023
  • These fast-food jobs are going to robots
  • Focus on Small Business

Brock named third best employer in Canada by Forbes 

Brock University has been recognized by Forbes as one of the top employers in the country.

The University ranked third overall in the annual list of Canada’s Best Employers compiled by Forbes and market research firm Statista.

The rankings, which were released Tuesday, January 23, 2024 and include 300 organizations from across the country, are based on survey results from more than 40,000 people working for Canadian companies and institutions with at least 500 employees.

Brock followed only The Hershey Company, which ranked first, and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, which ranked second.

“Being recognized by an organization like Forbes helps to show the rest of the country what we already know: that Brock is a wonderful place to work and build a career,” says Lesley Rigg, Brock President and Vice-Chancellor. “This ranking really speaks to the community of dedicated, talented people who work here and make this institution a leader in Canadian post-secondary education and student experience.”

Click here for more details.

Bank of Canada expected to hold interest rate steady, but tone could offer clues on cuts to come

The Bank of Canada will make its first interest rate decision of 2024 tomorrow, January 24, with investors and consumers looking for clues as to when they will see relief from the high cost of borrowing. Here is what economists think the governing council of the central bank will have to say:

  • “You don’t need a PhD in economics to determine that the target for the policy rate should remain on hold at five per cent,” Royce Mendes, managing director and head of macro strategy at Desjardins, said in a note on Jan. 19, adding that the bank finds itself in a mushy middle where growth and inflation are neither strong enough nor weak enough to warrant either an increase or a cut.
  • The Montreal-based economics team from National Bank also expects rates to remain at five per cent – the fourth straight hold from the Bank of Canada following its last hike on July 12. “Although growth projections will likely be downgraded and all-items CPI forecasts left broadly unchanged, we don’t think Governing Council has seen enough to remove its ‘threat’ to hike more if needed,” Taylor Schleich and Warren Lovely said in note on Jan. 22.
  • Tu Nguyen, economist, RSM Canada, like most economists, expects the Bank of Canada to hold interest rates at its current level of five per cent. She will also be parsing their commentary for signs of a shift in tone from governor Tiff Macklem and his deputies. “Although the tone would likely shift to neutral, acknowledging the weakening economic conditions, they might feel it too early to signal rate cuts just yet given sticky wage growth and shelter price growth,” Nguyen said in a note on Jan. 23.

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Income and wealth gaps increased in the third quarter of 2023 

Statistics Canada reports that income inequality increased in the third quarter as the gap in the share of disposable income between households in the two highest income quintiles (top 40 per cent of the income distribution) and two lowest income quintiles (bottom 40 per cent of the income distribution) reached 44.9 per cent, up 0.5 percentage points from the third quarter of 2022.

The lowest income households – those in the bottom 20% of the income distribution – were the only income group to reduce their average disposable income in the third quarter of 2023 relative to the same quarter of 2022.

While higher interest rates can lead to increased borrowing costs for households, they can also lead to higher yields on saving and investment accounts. The lowest income households are more likely to have a limited capacity to take advantage of these higher returns, as on average they have fewer resources available for saving and investment.

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These fast-food jobs are going to robots

Fewer people want the fast-paced and demanding jobs on the restaurant sector’s front lines. In 2021, more than 250,000 restaurant workers had quit to find new careers, according to a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Amid those staff shortages, labour costs have also been rising. Companies have looked for solutions fill the gap, and many of them are designed to replace human workers on the assembly line.

Restaurants have traditionally lagged behind other sectors in introducing industrial robots, though they could potentially replace 82 per cent of jobs, according to one forecast by industry consultants Aaron Allen & Associates. Some experts suggest the workforce is on track to shrink permanently.

Dr. Robin Yap, a professor of management at George Brown College, said while the technology will boost opportunities for innovation, he cautioned that it’s crucial for employers to plan to retrain their employees. Yap suggested companies could move human workers to more customer-facing roles, or to managerial positions. They could also give employees technical training.

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Did you know?

Online videos have an audience reach of around 92.3 per cent among internet users worldwide.

Focus on Small Business

5 ways grants can help grow your business in 2024

Diane Amato, RBC

With the cost of doing business rising in a challenging economy, business owners can use all the financial help they can get. And with borrowing costs high, there’s nothing better than tapping into new funding opportunities that you don’t have to pay back. If you’re looking to grow your business, learn how government funding can help you achieve your goals.

However you are planning to grow, expansion of any kind takes investment, which is often a barrier for businesses with limited cash flow.

Here are five ways government grants and incentives can help you grow your business in 2024.

Click here to read more.

4 Tips for starting an online business in 2024

Georgi Todorov, Entrepreneur

 Annually, more than 5 million businesses embark on their entrepreneurial journey. However, statistics indicate that about 30 per cent of these  ventures face the challenge of sustainability, leading to failure within their first two years.

To navigate these hurdles and set your business on a path to success in 2024, let’s delve into four key tips that can help your online venture not just survive, but truly thrive.

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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