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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 30, 2023

New provincial regulations coming into effect July 1, GDP holds steady while public sector posts first decline since January 2022, and more.

In this edition:

  • New provincial regulations coming into effect July 1
  • GDP holds steady while public sector posts first decline since January 2022
  • Consumers about to renew mortgages already planning spending cuts
  • Hamilton, Burlington and Grimsby at centre of troubling housing paradox
  • Rents expected to rise in Niagara
  • Businesses continue to expect weak sales growth

New provincial regulations coming into effect July 1

New legislation, fee and regulation changes will come into effect on July 1, 2023, including:

  • reducing the burden on small-scale beer breweries by allowing those producing under a certain amount annually to be exempt from requirements to obtain an environmental permission for air emissions while streamlining permissions for others.
  • streamlining regulations to collect utility data to plan networks more efficiently for designated broadband projects.
  • strengthening hygiene requirements on construction job sites, and more welcoming for women by requiring women’s-only washrooms on larger job sites and more inclusive for everyone by requiring properly fitting personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers.
  • establishing better protection for new home buyers by increasing the warranty coverage from $300,000 to $400,000 for freehold home purchase agreements or construction contracts.

For more on these and other changes, click here.

GDP holds steady while public sector posts first decline since January 2022

Real gross domestic product (GDP) was essentially unchanged in April, following a slight uptick in March (+0.1%). Goods-producing industries edged up 0.1%, whereas services-producing industries (0.0%) were essentially unchanged. Overall, 11 of 20 industrial sectors posted increases.

The public sector (educational services, health care and social assistance and public administration) experienced its first decline since January 2022, with a 0.3% contraction in April 2023. While both educational services as well as health care and social assistance remained flat, public administration recorded a large decline (-1.0%).

Click here to read more.

Consumers about to renew mortgages already planning spending cuts

Today’s Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations showed that inflation expectations for one to two years ahead have come down again but remain well above their levels from before the COVID‑19 pandemic. Consumers expect the growth of some goods prices to slow as supply chain pressures ease. Homeowners who are planning to renew their mortgage over the next two years and who expect a significant hike in their mortgage payments are likely to plan spending cuts. In contrast, many low-income households are already buying only necessities, leaving little room for further cuts to their spending.

Despite concerns about the cost of living and mortgage renewal, however, some households are starting to think the worst is behind them.

Click here to read more.

All levels of government must work in unison to solve the dire housing crisis as cities like Hamilton, Burlington and Grimsby are seeing an exodus of talent and skilled trades, the very people needed to build the homes, warns Mike Collins-Williams, CEO of the West End Home Builders’ Association (WEHBA).

“It requires all hands on deck,” he says. “We need the industry to be at the table and we need the federal government, the provincial government and the municipal governments to treat this like the crisis it is and work together to increase the supply of housing.

Click here to read more.

Rents expected to rise in Niagara

Apartment dwellers and others with landlords should brace for more rent increases in the coming months.

According to the June report from, rent increases of 0.6 per cent in May pushed the average rent for all housing types to $2,014 in Canada.

The report ranked St. Catharines 24th on a list of the country’s top 35 cities with the highest rents.

One-bedroom apartments in the city averaged almost $1,700 per month, with a 10 per cent year-over-year increase, while two-bedroom units averaged just more than $1,950 per month with a 0.7 per cent month-over-month decrease and a 2.9 per cent year-over-year increase.

Click here to read more.

Businesses continue to expect weak sales growth

Results from the second-quarter 2023 Business Outlook Survey and the Business Leaders’ Pulse surveys from April through June 2023 show that firms continue to anticipate weak sales growth ahead. Nevertheless, businesses reported that their indicators of domestic demand have moved up compared with a year ago as uncertainty about the path of future interest rates and concerns of a recession fade. Although firms’ price-setting behaviour is gradually shifting closer to what it was before the pandemic, businesses continue to expect wage and price increases to be larger than normal.

Click here to read more.

Did you know?

John D. Rockefeller was the world’s first billionaire. His personal fortune was worth 1.5% of the entire US economy.

Focus on Technology

More Canadian firms doing penetration tests: Survey

More Canadian organizations than ever are using penetration testing to improve their security posture.

According to a recent survey by IT solutions provider CDW Canada, 56 per cent of responding firms said they have performed a penetration test in the last 12 months. That’s a 40 percent increase compared to the response in 2022, the company said.

The survey also found that 44 per cent of respondents whose firms do penetration tests said they use both internal employees and third-party testers to do this work and/or comprehensive security assessments.

Click here to read more.

The top 7 cybersecurity risks in manufacturing supply chains

Manufacturing supply chains are increasingly vulnerable to hacking and data breaches in today’s interconnected world. With the rise of digitalization and automation, cybercriminals are targeting the manufacturing sector to exploit weaknesses in the supply chain. Professionals should be on the lookout for these seven cybersecurity risks.

The manufacturing industry is one of cybercriminals’ favourite targets. In 2022, data violations affected 23.9 million manufacturing workers in the U.S. alone. How can industry professionals respond to this growing issue?

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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