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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 16, 2023

TikTok banned on work devices by regional police and some municipalities, OCC submits provincial budget recommendations, and more.

In this edition:

Partnering with the Pros

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TikTok banned on work devices by regional police, and a majority of Niagara municipalities

The number of Niagara municipalities removing TikTok from corporate devices is growing following federal and provincial government bans on their employee-issued devices due to “privacy and security” concerns.

The Town of Lincoln is the latest, this week imposing a ban on the social media video app on all corporate-issued devices and internet networks at town facilities.

“Cybersecurity and privacy are of the utmost importance when it comes to our staff, residents and visitors,” Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton said in a press release announcing the decision.

“It is important that we take this precautionary measure as we continue to learn more of the threats of TikTok to cybersecurity.”

That follows Niagara Region, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Thorold, Port Colborne and Grimsby, along with Niagara Regional Police, in barring the app.

Click here for more details.

Ontario Chamber of Commerce submitted provincial budget recommendations

To foster an environment that supports long-term, sustainable economic growth, the Ontario Chamber Network released their provincial budget submissions to support greater productivity and long-term, sustainable economic growth. Some key proposals include:

  • Fostering an inclusive workforce and addressing labour market challenges by supporting innovative training and education models, boosting immigration, making regional immigration pilots permanent, continuing to remove barriers to labour mobility and foreign credential recognition, and adopting supplier diversity programs to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses that support diversity and inclusion.
  • Strengthening health system capacity and resilience by continuing to tackle the health human resources crisis, combating growing rates of mental health and addictions challenges, supporting the aging population, and continuing to address the backlog of surgeries and routine immunizations, as well as deferred cancer treatments, diagnostics, and procedures.
  • Investing in growth-enabling infrastructure by continuing to accelerate broadband rollout across the province, building affordable housing and complete communities, expanding regional transportation connectivity, and investing in energy generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure to support long-term growth and resiliency.
  • Modernizing government services and regulations by building an integrated health data system, bolstering interprovincial trade, improving supply chain infrastructure and public sector procurement processes, and lowering administrative burdens on business.

Click here for more details.

Wholesale sales rise at the start of 2023

Wholesale sales rose 2.4 per cent to $84.2 billion in January. Sales increased in six of the seven subsectors, accounting for 84 per cent of wholesale sales. Strong growth in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the food, beverage and tobacco subsector led the increase for January.

Following a sharp decline in December, sales of machinery, equipment, and supplies rose 3.2 per cent to $17.7 billion in January. Two out of the four industry groups reported a rise in sales.

The food, beverage and tobacco products subsector reported an increase of sales (+3.6 per cent to $15.7 billion) for the second consecutive month in January. Growth was reported in two of the three industries. However, it was the increase of the food industry group (+4.2 per cent to $14.0 billion) that contributed the most to the monthly increase. As reported in the latest Consumer Price Index release, food prices have risen at a slightly faster pace year over year in January, with higher prices in meat, bakery products, dairy products and fresh vegetables.

The only declining subsector in January was motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories, down 2.4 per cent to $13.3 billion.

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Empire reports $125.7M net earnings as it rebounds from Sobeys cyberattack

Empire Company Ltd. said its net earnings hit $125.7 million in its latest quarter as its Sobeys supermarket chain rebounded from a November cyberattack.

The results reported Thursday for the grocery store operator’s third quarter compared with $203.4 million in net earnings during the same period the year before.

Its earnings for the period ended Feb. 4 amounted to 49 cents per share, down from 77 cents per share in the third quarter of the prior fiscal year, when Empire said it incurred “unusually large” lease termination income and higher property sales from Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust.

Its adjusted net earnings totalled $164.8 million, down from $203.4 million a year earlier.

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Japan, Canada in talks over collaboration in battery metals supply chain

Japan and Canada are discussing collaboration on building strong supply chains for battery metals, Japan’s industry minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, said on Tuesday.

A public-private mission led by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and including 16 companies that work with batteries visited Canada last week for talks on building sustainable and resilient supply chains, he said.

“Canada has an abundance of battery metals and good market access to the United States,” Nishimura told a news conference.

“Canada is one of the most important countries for Japan when it comes to strengthening our supply chains of storage battery metals,” he said.

Click here for more details.

Focus on Markets

Credit Suisse shares soar over 17% on Swiss National Bank loan announcement

Elliott Smith, CNBC Markets

Credit Suisse shares soared more than 30 per cent at today’s market open after the bank said it will borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs ($74 billion) from the Swiss National Bank.

The Swiss-listed stock’s rally cooled slightly during the day’s trading, but the shares were still up 17.3 per cent. The embattled lender announced late Wednesday that it would exercise its option to borrow from the Swiss central bank under a covered loan facility and a short-term liquidity facility.

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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