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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 13, 2023

New funding for training to help thousands of Canadians get online, Ontario tightening rules around mass layoffs, and more.

In this edition:

Government of Canada announces funding for training to help thousands of Canadians get online

Digital literacy skills are essential in today’s world. Whether booking a medical appointment, doing online transactions, studying, working or looking for a job, Canadians need to be able to use the Internet safely, securely and effectively. Innovation and technological progress are crating tremendous change, so learning these skills and understanding digital technology will not only reduce barriers to accessing valuable information and resources but also open up opportunities for all Canadians to succeed in everyday life.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that 23 not-for-profit organizations in communities across the country will receive funding as part of a $17.6 million investment in the second phase of the Digital Literacy Exchange Program (DLEP). This significant investment will support the organizations in teaching digital literacy skills to those who need it most.

Click here for more details.

Ontario tightening rules around mass layoffs

The Ontario government is proposing updates to employment laws that would respond to more workers being remote and a changing economy. Under the proposed changes, employees who work solely from home would be eligible for the same enhanced notice as “in-office” and other employees in mass termination situations. This would ensure that remote employees receive the same eight-week minimum notice of termination or pay-in-lieu.

Also, under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), employers are currently only required to share the latest version of the employment standards poster, which outlines ESA workplace rights and responsibilities, with new employees. To protect precarious employees, the government is also proposing regulatory changes that would require employers to provide new hires with information in writing about their job, such as pay, work location and hours of work, and the date by which that information needs to be provided (e.g., before their first shift).

Click here for more details.

Volkswagen picks St. Thomas, Ontario for first battery cell plant outside of Europe

The Ontario government has announced the construction of a Volkswagen electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing plant in St. Thomas, close to the city’s airport.

The announcement was released today by the office of Vic Fedeli, the province’s minister of economic development and trade, and is the first public confirmation of the deal that has long rumoured to be in the works.

The company said production is set to begin in 2027, calling it its first overseas “gigafactory” for battery cell manufacturing.

Brendan Sweeney, managing director of the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing at Western University in London, said the new EV battery manufacturing plant “really is a vote of confidence in Ontario as a location for manufacturing and particularly southwestern Ontario, especially given that this is not an incumbent manufacturer making a new investment — this is a manufacturer that is quite new to Canada.”

Click here for more details.

Niagara’s Community Emergency Response Team searching for 100 new volunteers

Niagara Region is searching for volunteers from across Niagara to join its Community Emergency Response Team.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a group of trained, certified volunteers who help their community in a time of disaster or crisis. Having an emergency response team in place helps increase Niagara’s safety and resiliency and is a critical part of emergency response employed by communities throughout North America.

Click here for more details.

Niagara River Lions’ community suite applications open today

The City of St. Catharines is once again offering up the opportunity for charities and groups to use the community suite at the Meridian Centre to cheer on the Niagara River Lions.

Registered charities, local non-profits and sport organizations are invited to apply for the Meridian Centre Community Use Program. The program includes the use of the suite at the Meridian Centre for children and youth to attend a home game during the season.

Click here for more details.

Focus on Small Business

Small businesses can become stronger than ever with these 5 essential strategies

Barak Jacques, Entrepreneur

As 2023 races ahead, many small business owners are looking for solutions to help keep their businesses afloat and compete in an ever-changing business landscape. The challenge can be complex but not impossible. With the right strategies, small business owners can successfully navigate these uncertain times and grow stronger.

Small businesses are vital parts of our economy, but staying ahead of the competition can be difficult for even the most experienced entrepreneurs.

Click here to read more.


FirstOntario 1Awards seeking small business owners who could use some support

Nick Fearns, Niagara Falls Review

Do you know a small-business owner who deserves some recognition? What about recognition and $25,000 cash and $175,000 of in-kind professional services?

The FirstOntario 1Awards are back with a call to small business owners who could use some support to step up their services. Entrepreneurs in the Niagara region, Hamilton, Halton, Brant, and surrounding areas are welcome to apply for a chance to pitch, win and share in the prizes.

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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